How can rebel groups trust gov’t negotiations again? – Alejano

Mara Cepeda
How can rebel groups trust gov’t negotiations again? – Alejano


(UPDATED) Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano says the revocation of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV's amnesty has a 'far-reaching effect to peace and stability in our country'

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano said the revocation of the amnesty granted to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV could hurt peace deals between the government and rebel groups.

The former mutineer turned lawmaker delivered a privilege speech on Monday, September 10 to condemn President Rodrigo Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572 which voided Trillanes’ amnesty, alleging he did not file for it in the first place.

“The unilateral decision of the President has a far-reaching effect to peace and stability in our country… Hindi lamang kami ang maapektuhan (We are not just the only ones who will be affected), but also those who have availed of the amnesty before us and those who will avail in the future,” said Alejano. 

“We have different rebel groups in the country and there were negotiations that took place and [there are still] continuing negotiations right now. Can they trust the government in granting amnesty if it can be easily revoked after some time?” he added. (READ: Jail time now also possible for former mutineers turned Duterte appointees)

Trillanes and Alejano were among the soldiers who led the 2003 Oakwood mutiny against the administration of former president and now Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. 

Alejano and Trillanes faced several charges, including coup d’etat and rebellion, but were later granted amnesty by former president Benigno Aquino III. (READ: Calida asked for amnesty records of ‘100’ other ex-mutineers)

Aquino signed Proclamation 75 in November 2010, granting amnesty to mutineers in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny, the 2006 Marines standoff, and the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege. It was concurred in by both chambers of Congress in December 2010.

Trillanes applied for amnesty in January 2011 and was in the list of officers and soldiers granted amnesty that same month.

Bangsamoro Organic Law to be affected? In his speech, Alejano said the revocation of Trillanes’ amnesty could also affect the implementation of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, the culmination of the peace deal between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and past administrations. 

“We just passed the Bangsamoro Organic Law, part of which is the granting of amnesty to the members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Can they trust the government na ‘di sila babalikan pagdating ng panahon? (Can they trust the government that it won’t go after them eventually?)” asked Alejano.

Alejano’s speech on Monday echoed a previous statement of Aquino, who also raised concern that the unprecedented revocation of amnesty might affect government peace deals with rebels and insurgents. (READ: Noynoy Aquino says Duterte should ‘respect, recognize’ Trillanes amnesty)

Alejano said that instead of going after Trillanes, the Duterte administration should just focus its efforts on addressing the soaring prices of basic goods, the alleged multi-billion projects awarded to Special Assistant to the President Bong Go’s family, the multi-million contracts cornered by Solicitor General Jose Calida’s family-owned security firm, and the bloody drug war.

If we allow this brazen attempt to violate the rights of Senator Trillanes, nawawala na po ang pagkukuwanri nating lahat na tayo ay demokrasya pa. Tayo ay nasa diktatorya na,” said Alejano.  

(If we allow this brazen attempt to violate the rights of Senator Trillanes, we have to stop pretending we are still in a democracy. We will now be in a dictatorship.) –

Follow the developments here:




Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.


Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at or tweet @maracepeda.