Drilon claims revocation of Trillanes amnesty dangerous for Mindanao

Published September 29, 2018, 8:57 PM

by Roel Tibay

By Mario Casayuran

Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon warned this weekend that peace in strife-torn, Muslim-dominated Mindanao will be shaky after the President’s voiding of the amnesty granted by the Aquino administration to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

Senator Frank Drilon speaks during the Committees of public order and dangerous drugs and justice and human rights at Senate in Pasay city, July 26,2017. (Czar Dancel / MANILA BULLETIN)
Senator Frank Drilon

Drilon said he is sure that one of the documents that would be given out by Malacañang to the officials and armed component of the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) would be an amnesty.

The grant of amnesty to the MILF is a given after the proposed Bangasamoro Organic Law (BOL) is approved through a plebiscite to be held in January.

The MILF has thousands of heavily-armed fighters.

Thousands of soldiers, secessionist fighters and civilians have died since the secessionist movement flared up in the 1970s.

“Ngayon kung ang amnesty pwede pala buwagin ng susunod na pangulo paano mo sasabihin na tapos na ang gulo sa Midnanao kung pwede mong buksan uli? (Now that an amnesty could be revoked by a succeeding President, how can we say there will be peace in Mindanao?)” Drilon, a former Justice secretary, asked during a radio interview Saturday
He said he found the President’s revocation of Trillanes’ amnesty given seven years ago as “disturbing” and does not lead to stability in the country.

Drilon expressed belief that the President was given or relied on wrong advice that Trillanes’ amnesty could be revoked because the former mutineer’s amnesty application papers could not be found.

He said it is the duty of government personnel to keep documents secured and their loss would open them up to charges of infidelity in the custody of government documents.

He, thus, expressed hope that the Supreme Court (SC) rule very soon on the suit lodged by Trillanes questioning the validity of the President’s decision to void Trillanes’ amnesty.