Robredo: Trillanes amnesty revocation proves admin out to silence critics

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo said President Rodrigo Duterte is bent on silencing his critics after the latter revoked the amnesty granted to opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. 

“Ang desisyon ng Palasyo na ideklarang void ang amnestiyang 'binigay kay Senator Antonio Trillanes IV ay isa namang patunay na gagawin ng administrasyong ito ang lahat para patahimikin ang sinumang kumokontra rito,” said Robredo on Tuesday, September 4. 

(The decision of the Palace to void the amnesty given to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is another proof that this administration will do everything to silence all those who oppose it.) 

On Tuesday morning Duterte’s Proclamation 572 declaring Trillanes’ amnesty “void ab initio” was published under the advertisements section of the Manila Times. He signed it on August 31.  

Duterte ordered the Department of Justice, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Philippine National Police (PNP) "to pursue all criminal and administrative cases" against Trillanes and "employ all lawful means to apprehend" him and bring him back to jail at the PNP Custodial Center. 

In October 2010, then-president Benigno Aquino III signed Proclamation 50, granting amnesty to Trillanes, who led the 2003 Oakwood mutiny and the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege against the administration of then-president and now Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Aquino later issued Proclamation 75 in November 2010, superseding Proclamation 50. It was then concurred in by both chambers of Congress.

Trillanes already vowed to face arrest, saying he is not afraid of Duterte. Malacañang said there was "nothing political" in the order.

Just a distraction  

For Robredo, the Duterte administration is just distracting the public from the ongoing rice crisis, soaring inflation, worsening traffic problem, and corruption allegations being faced by several officials. 

She said there is “no place for politics” when Filipinos are going hungry. 

“Walang lugar ang pamumulitika sa panahong nahaharap ang karamihan ng ating mga kababayan sa malalalim na problema tulad ng gutom, kahirapan, at kakulangan ng trabaho. Bilang mga hinalal na opisyal ng pamahalaan, ipinagkatiwala sa atin ang kapangyarihan para humanap na solusyon, at hindi para magsulong ng personal na interes,” said the Vice President.

(There is no place for politics during a time when most of our countrymen are facing hunger, poverty, and loss of jobs. As elected officials, we are entrusted with the power to find solutions, and not go after our personal interests.)

She said the Duterte administration’s attacks against its critics only makes the public lose faith in the country’s democratic processes and institutions. 

“Hinihimok natin ang administrasyon na kilalanin ang 'binigay na amnestiya kay Senator Trillanes, agarang itigil ang pagsasayang ng pera at oras ng taumbayan sa mga alitang walang katuturan, at sa halip ay pagtuonan ng pansin ang mga pangangailangan ng sambayanang Pilipino,” said Robredo.

(We urge the administration to recognize the amnesty granted to Senator Trillanes, stop wasting money on pointless feuds, and focus on the needs of Filipinos instead.) – Rappler.com

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

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