MANY people have learned that nothing is definite under this regime save for the continuous rise in inflation and the unpredictability of the President’s statements and actions.

Today’s high cost of living has quite affected every person, especially the poor. Prices of commodities are skyrocketing. President Duterte, on the other hand, carries on with issuing offending statements about rape and other topics which his spokesperson would later classify as jokes.

Then, Duterte came up with Proclamation 572 revoking the amnesty granted to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV in 2011 by then President Noynoy Aquino and his Congress. The amnesty was allegedly void since the beginning and does not need the concurrence of our lawmakers to revoke it.

To many, a presidential amnesty cannot be withdrawn. To them, Duterte was willing to disregard the Constitution in his eagerness to silence a staunch critic who exposed his alleged unexplained bank accounts and reportedly supported whistle-blowers who divulged his involvement in the Davao Death Squad.

Logically, jailing Trillanes would diminish the political noise that the senator generates, the significant role he plays in the opposition, and his influence over the Magdalo movement composed of young military officers.

It would also please former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, now Speaker of the House. She was then president when Trillanes led the 2003 Oakwood mutiny and the 2007 siege on the Manila Peninsula.

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With the Trillanes amnesty revoked, what does fate have in store for his fellow mutineers like Representative Gary Alejano, likewise a critic of Duterte and one of the senatorial candidates of the opposition in next year’s elections?

And what of the other beneficiaries of the amnesty who are now working for the President like Danny Lim of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Jason Aquino of the National Food Authority (NFA), and Nick Faeldon of the Office of Civil Defense? Will they all go to jail and end up as collateral damage?

Apart from this, some quarters suspect that revoking Trillanes’s amnesty is simply an effective way to steal the attention away from the rising inflation.

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SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email firingline@ymail.com or tweet @Side_View.


*The opinion of this author is his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.

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Robert Roque Jr.
Robert B. Roque Jr. is a veteran journalist who started out as a correspondent for Manila Bulletin's tabloid TEMPO in 1983. In 1989, At age 27, he rose to become the youngest associate editor of a newspaper of national circulation. In mid-2000, he took the helm of the paper as its editor until his voluntary retirement in 2012. He currently writes a syndicated column for TEMPO, Remate, and Hataw newspapers, and for this site, Beyond Deadlines. A former journalism lecturer at the Faculty of Arts and Letters of the University of Santo Tomas from 1992 to 2002, Roque is also an active member of the Lions Clubs International, the largest service club organization in the world, having served as head of the Philippine Lions (council chairperson) in Lion Year 2011-2012.

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