MANILA

Magdalo Group: 'Duterte is spreading lies'

THE Magdalo group refuted the claims of the administration that Senator Antonio Trillanes IV failed to file an application for amnesty to the Department of National Defense (DND) and refused to admit his guilt to the crimes he has committed against the government.

“Time and again, President Duterte is spreading lies. Contrary to the lies about the reasons for the revocation of the amnesty granted to Senator Trillanes, there was an application form filed at the Department of National Defense (DND), and there was an admission of guilt,” said Magdalo vice chairman Manuel Cabochan in a statement.

The group, to which Trillanes and Representative Gary Alejano belong, is composed of former dissident soldiers who staged the Oakwood Mutiny in July 2003, the Marine standoff in February 2006, and the Manila Peninsula Siege in November 2007 against the administration of then President, now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Cabochan said there was a video taken in 2011 which showed that Trillanes filed for an application for amnesty.

Magdalo said the video also recorded Trillanes admitting the crimes he had committed and saying, “We are man enough to admit that we committed mistakes... We faced the consequences... It was easy for us to do that.”

“Members of Magdalo who were also present at that time could attest to this,” Cabochan said.

The Magdalo group said that what the President is doing right now is “nothing but a cowardly act.”

They said: “no presidential proclamation can nullify an amnesty that has an effect of an existing law as concurred by Congress.”

Instead of signing a highly questionable and unlawful presidential proclamation the Magdalo has urged President Rodrigo Duterte to sign a bank secrecy waiver to belie allegations that he has billions of pesos of ill-gotten wealth.

“If the President wants it so bad to send Senator Trillanes to jail, Duterte could easily sign a waiver to show that he does not have two billion worth of bank transactions in his BPI Julia Vargas account and prove that Senator Trillanes is wrong. Hindi na kailangan ng Presidente lumabas na duwag at sinungaling!” said Cabochan.

According to Proclamation 572 signed by the President on August 31, Trillanes never expressed his guilt for the crimes that were committed in connection with the uprisings against the Arroyo administration.

Proclamation 572 declared the amnesty granted to Trillanes as void ab initio and ordered his arrest as well as the filing of criminal and administrative charges against the former Navy officer. (SunStar Philippines)


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