DOJ's latest proof vs Trillanes: No minutes of all amnesty deliberations

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of National Defense (DND) said on Friday, October 5, that there are no records of minutes of deliberations for the more than 250 amnesty applications under former president Benigno Aquino III's Proclamation No. 75.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) initially told the Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 150 that DND has no minutes for the deliberations of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s application amnesty.

But a cross examination of DND chief counsel Norman Daanoy showed that there are no minutes for everyone who applied under Aquino’s amnesty grant. These applicants joined the 2003 Oakwood mutiny and the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege under the Arroyo administration.

“The missing minutes do not only pertain to Trillanes but all?” Trillanes’ lawyer Rey Robles asked, to which Daanoy replied under oath: “Yes.”

After Daanoy was discharged as witness, reporters clarified with him whether his certification of "no minutes" covers all and not just Trillanes. “Mukhang lahat (It appears everything),” Daanoy responded.

Fadullon said that this offer of evidence would not affect for now the amnesties given to the more than 250 individuals who availed of it under Proclamation No. 75.

"You are delving into a matter that is not covered by (President Rodrigo Duterte's) Proclamation No. 572. Huwag nating ipilit 'yung dun sa ibang aplikante, dahil ang pinag-uusapan natin dito malinaw, tungkol lamang sa pagvo-void ng amnesty application ni Senator Trillanes," Fadullon told reporters after the hearing.

(Let's not force the issue on the other applicants, because what we're talking about is clear, only on the voiding of the amnesty application of Senator Trillanes.)

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra had earlier said that it is possible that the government would also review whether there are deficiencies in the amnesties of Trillanes’ fellow Magdalo mutineers. Fadullon said to ask Guevarra instead to clarify.

Branch 148 Judge Andres Soriano is hearing the DOJ motion to reopen coup d’etat charges against Trillanes and order his arrest. (READ: At stake in Trillanes amnesty case

Soriano stalled, holding his 2nd hearing to exhaustively hear evidence of whether or not Trillanes filed an application form.

Daanoy said his information comes from 3 offices of the DND - office of the secretary, office of the undersecretary for policy, and office of personnel.

Robles said Daanoy’s search “was less than exhaustive” because he could have asked the former members of the DND ad hoc committee that actually processed the applications.

“Isn’t it logical to ask them?” Robles said.

Daanoy said: “I did not come to that.” –

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email or tweet @lianbuan.