By Genalyn Kabiling
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV should be thrown back in jail to face accountability for his past offenses, Malacañang said Thursday after the President nullified the amnesty granted to the former rebel soldier.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque, however, dispelled allegations Trillanes was a victim of political oppression, saying he was merely being held liable for involvement in past two failed military uprisings.
“Because he failed to meet the conditions for a legal amnesty, it means he was not given the amnesty. So we are not revoking anything. What we’re saying is it did not take effect so Trillanes must return to jail,” Roque said in Filipino during an interview posted on Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Margaux Uson’s Facebook page.
“No matter who you are, even if you’re powerful or influential, if you committed a wrongdoing, there will be a time you will be made accountable. I think that’s happening to Senator Trillanes,” he said. ”We cannot allow a person to get away with committing a crime,” he added.
The President recently declared the amnesty given to Trillanes as “void ab initio” after he failed to submit an amnesty application and admit guilt for the crimes he committed. He said authorities must pursue the charges against Trillanes and detain him to stand trial in connection with the 2003 Oakwood mutiny and the 2007 Peninsula Manila hotel siege.
Trillanes, however, lashed out at the amnesty recall as a form of political persecution, insisting he met the requirements for amnesty program during the Aquino administration.
Roque denied Trillanes’ allegations that the amnesty revocation was motivated by politics.
“What political oppression are they talking about? He has constantly attacked the President. He is proof that democracy works in the country,” he said.
Uson asked if the government wants to see Trillanes in jail, Roque said: “That’s what the government wants to happen.”