MANILA - The Duterte administration has the burden to prove before the courts that he had failed to formally apply for amnesty, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said Wednesday as he faced arrest for uprisings he led as a Navy officer more than a decade ago.
Trillanes, whose 2011 amnesty Duterte has voided, said his certification of amnesty is proof enough that his application went through the process.
"Mayroon akong certificate, 'yung amnesty certificate. 'Yun ang katibayan na dumaan sako sa proseso at ito ay inaprubahan ng mga kinauuklan," he told reporters.
(I have a certificate, the amnesty certificate. That is proof that I went through the process and it was approved by authorities.)
Through a proclamation, Duterte had voided the amnesty granted Trillanes, among his most vocal critics, citing his alleged failure to admit guilt for leading uprisings against government in 2003 and 2007.
Trillanes and several other junior officers from the Magdalo band of soldiers had faced coup d'etat and rebellion charges for their acts.
Duterte's proclamation invalidated the amnesty upon issuance "as if it never existed," said Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra. It also ordered the military and police to arrest Trillanes.
The senator earlier showed a video of him formally applying for amnesty. He also showed documents revealing that the coup d'etat and rebellion cases against him were already dismissed.
A certification from the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines said "there is no available copy of his application for amnesty in the records."
Officials of the Department of Defense, meanwhile, said they are still searching for the documents. A military official said it was Solicitor General Jose Calida who made an inquiry about the records.
"Sinasabi nila I have to show proof? Hindi. I have already presented proof na binigay ko sa inyo ang application form," Trillanes said.
(They are saying I have to show proof? No. I have already presented proof that I gave you an application form.)
"Ngayon 'pag sinasabi ninyong nawala ninyo, paano niyo ngayon nasasabi na hindi ko nagawa 'yung kailangan kong gawin?" the senator added.
(Now if you're saying you lost it, how can you say that I was not able to do what was required of me?)
A Makati court has set a hearing on the Department of Justice's motion seeking an arrest order against Trillanes. The former rebel said he would be filing a comment within the prescribed period.
Trillanes was among soldiers who led uprisings in 2003 and 2007 to protest alleged corruption under then President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.