Revocation of Trillanes' amnesty is 'rape of justice'- De Lima


Senator Leila de Lima on Saturday branded as a "rape of justice" President Rodrigo Duterte's revocation of the amnesty granted to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV by the previous administration.

"It is nothing less than an assault on the law and the rape of justice," De Lima said of Duterte's Proclamation No. 572.

"No army of lawyers large enough, and stupid enough, can defend it. No amount of legal verbosity and pedantry can justify it," she said in a statement sent from her detention cell, adding that the proclamation was an illegal act.

“And just like women, who are raped not because they are beautiful but because there are rapists, justice is raped in the case of Senator Trillanes, not because justice deserves to be raped, but because there is a rapist out there. His name is Rodrigo Roa Duterte, and he wants to be first in line in the gang-rape of justice by this government,” De Lima said.

Duterte signed Proclamation No. 572 on August 31, revoking the amnesty granted in 2011 to Trillanes for his involvement in unsuccessful attempts to overthrow the Arroyo administration when he was still a Navy officer.

The proclamation said the amnesty extended to Trillanes was void from the start because he did not comply with the "minimum requirements to qualify under the amnesty proclamation." It ordered the senator's arrest.

Trillanes, however, in a privilege speech presented video footage of when he sought the amnesty, news articles including that of GMA News Online, a picture of his application form, the certificate of amnesty, and decisions of court dismissing the rebellion and coup d’etat cases filed against him.

"The effects of amnesty, the principle of double jeopardy, and the judicial nature of arrest warrants have long been established in our legal system. We did not expect that it will take only one strongman to demolish the legal system and all its fundamental principles in one fell swoop,” De Lima said.

"This is what Duterte has achieved in ordering the arrest of Senator Trillanes without any judicial warrant, despite a case dismissal that has become final and executory, and with the illegal goal of putting him in double jeopardy,” she said.

“The criminal case of Sen. Trillanes for the crime of coup d’ etat has been closed years ago. It has long been dead and buried and, because of the amnesty granted to him, long forgotten. Amnesty, like death, extinguishes all criminal liability. There is neither a crime nor a criminal case to speak of. Not even the court that tried Trillanes’s case can bring it back from the dead," De Lima said.

Trillanes has remained at the Senate premises since Tuesday when news of the proclamation broke. Senate President Vicente Sotto III has placed Trillanes under Senate custody to preserve the law-making body's dignity.
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