Duterte did not consult Lorenzana on Trillanes’ amnesty

Rambo Talabong
Duterte did not consult Lorenzana on Trillanes’ amnesty
The defense chief refuses to comment on the validity of the President's order, saying it's now up to the Supreme Court

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana was not consulted by President Rodrigo Duterte before the latter signed Proclamation No. 572, which voided the amnesty of mutineer-turned-senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

Lorenzana disclosed this to reporters in Camp Aguinaldo on Monday, September 10.

“Did the President consult you before he signed Proclamation 572?” a reporter asked.

“No, I was not,” Lorenzana, who has administrative supervision over the armed forces, replied even before the question ended. (READ: Analysis: Don’t mess with the miltary)

Duterte’s proclamation ordered the military to pursue all criminal charges against Trillanes and help in arresting him, prompting the senator to stay in his Senate office since September 5, when the news broke on the voiding of his amnesty.

Duterte’s proclamation also caused the military to announce last week that it convened a general court martial against Trillanes. It was not clear if Lorenzana was also not consulted on this.

Lorenzana refused to comment on the validity of Duterte’s controversial proclamation, pointing out that it is already up for debate before the Supreme Court

He said, however, that Solicitor General Jose Calida asked for the amnesty papers of 100 other ex-mutineers who belong to the so-called “Trillanes group”. 

In the same impromptu press conference Monday, Lorenzana confirmed that Calida called him personally for Trillanes’ “amnesty records” 15 days before the proclamation was signed. He said Calida did not say why he was making such as request. (READ: Without saying why, Calida called Lorenzana for Trillanes’ records)

Defense and military documents obtained by Rappler showed Trillanes complied with amnesty requirements.

Former Navy officer Trillanes is one of the harshest critics of the Duterte administration.

News broke of Trillanes’ amnesty revocation hours before the senator was set to lead a Senate panel probe into the questioned multimillion contracts procured by Calida’s security firm, Vigilant Investigative and Security Agency. – Rappler.com

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.