Malacañang on Saturday defended the legality of President Rodrigo Duterte’s issuance of Proclamation No. 572, saying it did not violate Senator Antonio. Trillanes’ constitutional right to due process in response to the senator’s lawyers claim that the order was illegal and unconstitutional.
“We stand with the decision of Makati RTC Branch 148, in so far as it upheld the legality of Presidential Proclamation No. 572 (s. 2018),” Palace Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
Trillanes has filed a motion before the Makati Regional Trial branch 148 to reconsider its decision upholding the validity of President Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572 that revoked his amnesty last September.
The lawmaker’s camp raised a number of arguments including the claim that such proclamation violated his right to due process and equal protection when it was used by authorities in trying to arrest him.
However, Panelo claimed that the proclamation was “a valid exercise of executive power.”
He said the President has the constitutional mandate to ensure the enforcement of all laws, including the lawful prosecution of those who violate such laws.
“The proclamation is by no means an intrusion or usurpation into the powers of the other independent branches of government” Panelo said, saying it was Trillanes who continues to violate the concept of amnesty and seeks to subvert it.
Trillanes’ lawyer Reynaldo Robles continue to insist that the proclamation no 572 is “illegal and unconstitutional,” because it arrogates the President to have the power to nullify previous court decisions, which even the Supreme Court does not have.
“As correctly stated by the Makati court, the President’s proclamation does not trample upon the Congressional prerogative to concur with the grant of amnesties since it is not the amnesty proclamation that was declared void, but its implementation,” Panelo’s statement said.
Panelo also explained that Proclamation No. 572 is not an invasion upon the prerogative of the Judiciary since it merely seeks to correct an error upon which the dismissal of the charges against Senator Trillanes was based, adding that the court still has the prerogative whether or not to have Trillanes prosecuted.
“Proclamation No. 572 cannot also be considered as a bill of attainder or an ex post facto law precisely because it is an executive exercise of power and not a legislative one,” the Palace spokesman said.
Panelo said the the principle of immutability of final court decisions or rulings may not be used as a shield to perpetuate illegality.
“An act of fraud can never stop the government from enforcing the law in the interest of protecting the people,” he said.