Department of Justice Undersecretary Markk L. Perete asserted that there is no ground to impeach President Rodrigo Duterte for nullifying the amnesty granted to Senator Antonio Trillanes.
He noted that Duterte’s proclamation is presumed to be a valid exercise of his presidential power or prerogative and should not be a ground for impeachment.
Parete, who spoke before a diverse audience of legal practitioners, students, members of the press and city hall officials, also opines that double jeopardy does not apply in the case of Trillanes.
“Double jeopardy attached when there is a valid conviction based on a valid information, but in Trillanes’ case, the dismissal of the case was based solely in the grant of an amnesty. It is neither a conviction nor an acquittal. In essence, the court did not rule on Trillanes’ guilt or innocence. For double jeopardy to attach, there must be a final resolution convicting or acquitting him. It does not apply in this case because the amnesty was void from the start,” Parete stressed.
On the question whether Trillanes can be arrested even if he is inside the Senate premises, Parete replied in the affirmative provided that a corresponding warrant shall be issued by the courts.
He also assured that the amnesty granted to Trillanes’ fellow mutineers is currently being evaluated by the government to determine if they also suffer infirmities that will render the amnesty accorded to them null and void.
The DOJ Undersecretary was one of the speakers for the lecture series in line with the 118th Philippine Civil Service Anniversary by the City Government of Dumaguete.