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Palace: Trillanes not yet off the hook, faces court martial

 

By GENALYN KABILING

 

SEN. Antonio F. Trillanes IV (MB/Czar Dancel)

SEN. Antonio F. Trillanes IV (MB/Czar Dancel)

SENATOR Antonio F. Trillanes IV is not yet off the hook from his past military of­fenses despite his reported resignation from the Armed Forces of the Philip­pines.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the court martial proceed­ings against Trillanes would continue after his amnesty was nullified, adding that his resignation does “not undo” his violations of the Articles of War.

“Proclamation No. 572 declares the amnesty given to Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV void ab initio, or not valid from the very beginning. This means that his status now will be his status before the granting of amnesty,” Roque said.

“As to the fact that Sen. Trillanes resigned from military service, the act of resignation does not undo the vio­lations of the Articles of War that he committed while he was in military service,” he added.

The President earlier withdrew the amnesty granted to Trillanes for in­volvement in past two coup attempts after falling short of meeting its re­quirements, including admission of guilt. Concerned authorities have been directed to pursue charges and appre­hend Trillanes, a former naval officer, so he can stand trial.

Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo ear­lier said the amnesty revocation meant Trillanes would revert to his former status as military personnel. He said Trillanes would be subject to military regulation including Articles of War.

Trillanes, however, argued that he should no longer be subject to military jurisdiction since he was already a civil­ian when the amnesty was granted to him. He claimed to have resigned from the military in 2007.

But Roque maintained that Tril­lanes could still face a military trial for his previous involvement in two failed uprisings against the Arroyo adminis­tration.

“The Armed Forces of the Philip­pines has stated that the court martial proceedings against Sen. Trillanes will continue,” he said.

“As some of you may recall, he was charged both for offenses tried before civilian courts and service-related of­fenses that are punished under the Articles of War. The Court Martial has continuing jurisdiction over violations of the Articles of War. Violations of the Articles of War cannot be tried by civil­ian courts,” he said.

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