AFP on revocation of Trillanes' amnesty: 'Just following orders'

MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is convinced it is not being "politicized" for following President Rodrigo Duterte's proclamation to revoke the amnesty granted to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

"Ang sinusunod natin dito ay ang legal na mandato, meron namang official document (What we are following here is the legal mandate, there is a legal document), and we are just following orders," said AFP spokesman Colonel Edgard Arevalo.

"Your Armed Forces is a professional organization, we are a mature organization," he added.

Arevalo was asked by a reporter to address comments that the usually apolitical AFP was dabbling in politics for getting involved in the highly-publicized conflict between Duterte and opposition senator Trillanes.

Trillanes used to serve in the AFP under the Navy, leading the 2003 Oakwood mutiny and 2007 Manila Peninsula siege that got him jailed, before he effectively retired as he ran for senator in 2007. (READ: Without amnesty, Trillanes' retirement voided too)

The military's involvement: The AFP's personnel division was cited by Duterte's Proclamation No. 572, which revoked Trillanes' amnesty.

Upon checking with the AFP's personnel division, Duterte claimed Trillanes "did not file an Official Amnesty Application Form." (READ: Calida behind search for Trillanes' amnesty papers)

"As per the certification dated August 30, 2018 issued by Lt Col Thea Joan N Andrade, Chief, Discipline, Law and Order Division of the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, J1, stating that there is no available copy of his application for amnesty in the records," the proclamation reads.

Media reports resurfaced, however, showing that Trillanes filed his amnesty application inside Camp Aguinaldo.

Still, Department of National Defense spokesman Arsenio Andolong said they were still searching for the documents that the AFP supposedly received from Trillanes. –

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.