MANILA, Philippines — Solicitor General Jose Calida yesterday defended before the Supreme Court (SC) the legality of President Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572 that voided the amnesty granted to Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.
In his 81-page comment, the top government lawyer asked the SC to dismiss for lack of merit the petition filed by Trillanes earlier this month seeking to strike down the proclamation for alleged violation of the 1987 Constitution.
Calida argued that Proclamation No. 572 is valid as it correctly voided the amnesty grant under Proclamation No. 75 issued in January 2011 during the previous administration, which he said violated fundamental law.
He claimed that Proclamation No. 75 violated Article VII, Section 19 of the Constitution, which provides that only the President may grant amnesty, since it was signed only by former defense secretary Voltaire Gazmin and not by former president Benigno Aquino III as required by law.
“The power to grant clemency is a non-delegable power and solely the President’s prerogative, which must be exercised by the President personally and exclusively,” he explained.
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