So, now that they have found the “lost” amnesty papers of senator Antonio Trillanes IV, they’ve resorted to plan B. They’re now saying it’s void from the beginning because it was not signed by then president Benigno Aquino III.
It’s a simple matter and I will not go into quoting the opinion of lawyers, although the reader can check two good explanations in favor of Trillanes in an article by Rappler in tinyurl.com/yca75ebg.
Why do I believe the problem is simple? Because the president today is Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
All Duterte has to do, if he and his team are convinced that something is amiss with the amnesty papers, is to give another amnesty to Trillanes and his companions to correct the apparent mistake.
I’m not saying Aquino made a mistake. Aquino and his defense chief Voltaire Gazmin and Congress processed the amnesty correctly.
But if the president today believes an error was made all he has to do is use an eraser to correct it. Then Trillanes and his colleagues will be happy. As a citizen and senator voted by millions of people, Trillanes deserves fair treatment. Putting him under arrest is kind of over-acting.
Years ago my father told me to sign an affidavit. My birth certificate says my name is Jose Elson T. Elizaga but for some reason this name was never used in school. So, my father requested a lawyer to make an affidavit that says I and Jose Elson T. Elizaga are one. Problem solved.
A teacher also apologized to me because she said she made an error in the computation of the grades of one of my kids. So, instead of putting my kid under arrest she just had the grading card corrected.
There are occasions when mistakes can land people in jail, though, and it’s perfectly understandable. One night, two drunken men grabbed and repeatedly shook the iron gate of our neighbor. They barked: “Hoy! Gawas mo diha! Kung dili mo mugawas pamatyon ta mo!” (Come out! If you don't, we will kill you!)
Apparently, they didn’t know that the owner of the house was a policeman who was so kind and generous that he gave each of the men a handcuff. He even brought them on a joyride to a police station.
Every administration wants to make things easy. That’s why we have the hotlines 8888 and 911. That’s why a driver’s license is good for five years now. That’s why there’s free college education in more than 100 state universities and colleges. That’s why there’s Mental Health Law. All these thanks to Duterte, and the bill sponsors.
So, as we know, Trillanes and company had launched a mutiny but they were given amnesty. Why single him out now? Because he’s accusing Duterte of having millions of pesos in the bank? Because he’s saying Paolo Duterte has a dragon tattoo?
Well, I believe Trillanes is just following Duterte’s challenge in 2016 for all politicians to sign a bank waiver and fight corruption. To prove Trillanes a fool, all Duterte has to do is perform a simple act. Pick up a pen and a sheet of paper.