The Hague lawyer says President Duterte has the power to revoke an amnesty

Senator Trillanes loses amnesty through President Duterte's Proclamation 572

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday invalidated the amnesty granted to Sen. Antonio Trillanes by former President Noynoy Aquino during his term. Reason for void of his amnesty is because of alleged failure of the senator to comply with its minimum requirements. In his Proclamation 572, dated August 31 and published in the ads section of the Manila Times on Tuesday, President Duterte declared the amnesty null. But, the question now is does the President have the power to declare amnesty grants void? Paula Defensor-Knack, an international lawyer based in The Hague, Netherlands confirmed that President Duterte has the power to void the amnesty given to Sen. Trillanes. In a Facebook post, Defensor-Knack said revoking an amnesty is a power that involves a determination from information and only the head of state has access to that information from law enforcement agencies and military.

 "THE PRESIDENT HAS THE POWER TO REVOKE AN AMNESTY! The Constitution says majority of Congress will concur and does not say "voting separately" in case the Senate doesn't want to vote. It says only "majority" so that is easier than the case of a constitutional revision where the provision says "voting separately."

Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo also concurred with the Proclamation of President Duterte. In a statement, Panelo said the President is constitutionally bound to ensure that all laws, including our penal laws, are faithfully executed. "Further, the President is mandated to serve and protect the people. Given the President's proven character and track record as a civil servant, it should be clear that the President shall not tolerate the perpetuation of criminal elements in our country," Panelo stated in a statement.

Read full statement below: 

Amnesty is an extraordinary privilege granted by law and as an exemption from the general rule on criminal prosecution, the same must be construed strictly against persons claiming such privilege. Indeed, the Constitution grants the President the power to grant amnesty, but the exercise of such power constitutionally requires the concurrence of a majority of all the Members of the Congress and is subject to such terms and conditions that the President may deem to prescribe. In the case of Senator Trillanes, it is unclear whether Congressional concurrence was indeed given considering that the resolutions to such effect of both Houses were not published. Nonetheless, even assuming that the Congressional concurrence was indeed validly given, Senator Trillanes must still comply with the terms and conditions of the amnesty proclamation that he fancies to fall under. It should be made clear that the amnesty granted under Proclamation No. 75 did not refer to a specific list of people, let alone Senator Trillanes. The amnesty proclamation was intended to cover military or police personnel involved in the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny, 2006 Marines Stand-Off and 2007 Manila Pen Incident, who agree to admit to their complicity in such events and who shall validly qualify under the deliberative process of the DND. As applied to Senator Trillanes, the amnesty proclamation did not specifically refer to him, he refuses to claim responsibility for any of the offenses referred to, and there is no record of his valid application for amnesty with the DND. Therefore, he could not have at any point in time been entitled to the privilege of amnesty. In other words, any amnesty claim as regards Senator Trillanes is void ab initio. It is therefore inaccurate and misleading to say that that amnesty granted to Senator Trillanes is being revoked; simply because you cannot lose something that you had no right to in the first place. it must also be remembered that the President is constitutionally bound to ensure that all laws, including our penal laws, are faithfully executed. Further, the President is mandated to serve and protect the people. Given the President's proven character and track record as a civil servant, it should be clear that the President shall not tolerate the perpetuation of criminal elements in our country.

Sources: Paula Defensor-Knack, Sec. Salvador Panelo
The Hague lawyer says President Duterte has the power to revoke an amnesty The Hague lawyer says President Duterte has the power to revoke an amnesty Reviewed by Taong Grasa on September 04, 2018 Rating: 5

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