Malacanang belittles treason raps vs Aquino, Trillanes-A A +A
Monday, September 24, 2012
MALACANANG laughed off Monday the treason complaint filed by lawyer Oliver Lozano against President Benigno Aquino III and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV before the Office of the Ombudsman.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda belittled the charges of Lozano, saying the lawyer should know that a President enjoys immunity from suit.
"You cannot sue a President while he is sitting. He should know that," said Lacierda, also a lawyer.
The spokesperson added the Palace wondered why Lozano keeps on filing cases against the President even if he knows that it will not prosper.
"I have read his complaints in the past and it is lacking in legal scholarship," he added.
On Friday, Lozano filed a complaint before the Ombudsman suing Aquino and Trillanes for treason in connection with the backchannel negotiations with China over territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea.
"With alleged go-signal of President Aquino, Senator Trillanes surreptitiously negotiated with Chinese officials regarding the Philippines-China sea dispute in order to benefit China to the prejudice of the Philippines amounting to treason," Lozano said in his complaint.
Aquino admitted earlier authorizing Trillanes to do backchanneling talks with Chinese officials as alternative way of resolving issues with the East Asian nation aside from the formal diplomatic channels.
He said backchanneling has helped in easing tensions with China particularly the Scarborough Shoal standoff.
However, Trillanes's role as backroom negotiator has stirred controversy especially when Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile revealed several portions of supposed notes of Philippine Ambassador to China Sonia Brady where the neophyte senator allegedly criticized the way the Foreign Affairs diplomats are handling China row.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte earlier shrugged off Lozano's complaint, saying the President can only be unseated through impeachment initiated in the House of the Representative and not in the Ombudsman.
She also pointed out that treason only applies to war. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)