By Benjamin Pulta

Former senator Antonio F. Trillanes IV (PNA file photo)

MANILA – The Supreme Court has affirmed the amnesty granted by the government to former senator Antonio F. Trillanes IV, and ruled that its revocation through Proclamation No. 527 by former President Rodrigo Duterterte “unconstitutional.”

In its ruling issued on Wednesday, the SC said a sitting Chief Executive cannot revoke a grant of amnesty without concurrence from Congress.

It also underscored the primacy of the Bill of Rights, affirming that “neither the Government nor any of its officials, including the President, are above the law.”

The SC added that the revocation of Trillanes’ amnesty long after it became final and without prior notice violated his constitutional right to due process.

Duterte’s proclamation, which sought the revival of the criminal cases against Trillanes after they had been dismissed with finality, violated the former lawmaker’s constitutional rights against ex post facto laws and double jeopardy, the SC said.

The Court added that there was convincing evidence that Trillanes did file his amnesty application.

“In balancing the exercise of presidential prerogatives and the protection of the citizens’ rights, the Constitution and the laws remain as the Court’s anchor and rudder,” the SC said. (PNA)