Amnesty of other Magdalo mutineers to be reviewed too – Roque

Pia Ranada
Amnesty of other Magdalo mutineers to be reviewed too – Roque
Nicanor Faeldon and Danilo Lim are Duterte appointees who were also granted amnesty by the previous administration. Will their ties with the President affect the government's review of their amnesty?

MANILA, Philippines – The documents related to amnesty granted to other Magdalo soldiers who mutineed against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will be reviewed, said Malacañang on Tuesday, September 4.

“We will review the records and we will determine who else did not comply,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in a press briefing in Jerusalem. (READ: LIST: Who’s been granted amnesty?)

The declaration was made amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s voiding of the amnesty  granted to former mutineer Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on the grounds that he supposedly failed to apply for amnesty and did not admit guilt.

Titingnan natin kung ilan talaga iyang dapat at (We will see how many need to be reviewed and) it’s up to the President to also decide kung ano ang mangyari diyan (what will happen to them),” he added.

However, Roque was confident that “many of them complied.”

Three other former mutineers given amnesty by President Benigno Aquino III are currently in government, and two of them are Duterte appointees.

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Danilo Lim and Office of Civil Defense Deputy Administrator Nicanor Faeldon are presidential appointees.

Gary Alejano represents the Magdalo Party in the House of Representatives.

There are other Magdalo members in Duterte’s government. Gerardo Gambala and Milo Maestrecampo, now in the Department of Transportation, were among the mutineers who were convicted and sentenced but were eventually pardoned by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Duterte appointed Gambala director of the Office of Transportation Security under the Department of Transportation. Maestrecampo was named assistant director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), also under the DOTr.

Back when they were Bureau of Customs officials, the two were implicated in the smuggling of P6.4-billion shabu from China. It was after the Congress hearings on the controversy when Duterte transferred them to the DOTr. 

Malacañang had said then that Duterte’s reappointment of the former mutineers showed he continued to have trust and confidence in them, despite the accusations of involvement in drug trafficking.

Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano has decried Duterte’s voiding of Trillanes’ amnesty as “political persecution.” Malacañang has denied this, saying Duterte was merely upholding the rule of law.

Trillanes has been a thorn in Duterte’s side since the 2016 presidential campaign when he, then a vice presidential candidate, exposed alleged hidden bank accounts of Duterte and some of his family members.

The opposition senator was also leading a hearing on the government contracts entered into by Solicitor General Jose Calida’s family business. It was Calida, said the Armed Forces of the Philippines, who had asked them to check  if Trillanes’ amnesty application was missing. The AFP’s certification that the document was “not available” in their records was one of the grounds Duterte cited for voiding the amnesty. – Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.