VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Calida wrongly claims Trillanes was involved in 2006 Marines standoff

Read this fact check in Filipino

Solicitor General Jose Calida, speaking about Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV’s recently revoked amnesty, wrongly implicated the senator in a mutiny he was not part of.


In a press release issued by the Office of the Solicitor General on Sept. 29, Calida said President Rodrigo Duterte was merely “implementing the law” when he issued Proclamation No. 572, which voids the amnesty the previous administration granted Trillanes.

The statement read:

“The court issued the arrest order after Duterte signed on August 31, 2018 Proclamation No. 572, revoking the amnesty granted to Trillianes (sic) under Proclamation No. 75 for his involvement in the July 27, 2003 Oakwood mutiny, the February 2006 marine standoff, and November 29, 2007 Peninsula Manila Hotel siege.”

Source: Office of the Solicitor General, Calida: President Duterte merely performed the law in revoking Triallianes' (sic) amnesty, Sept. 29, 2018

Calida was also quoted saying,

"There is no document or record evincing his admission of guilt or narrating the facts of his involvement or participation in the July 27, 2003, February 2006, or November 29, 2007 incidents.”

Source: Office of the Solicitor General, Calida: President Duterte merely performed the law in revoking Triallianes' (sic) amnesty, Sept. 29, 2018

The statement repeatedly misspelled Trillanes as “Trillianes.”

President Duterte said Calida did the research on and discovered the flaws in Trillanes' amnesty.


Trillanes, a former Navy officer, was not part of the Feb. 26, 2006, Marine standoff.

He was in detention at the time, since surrendering to the authorities after staging the July 27, 2003, Oakwood mutiny in Makati. Trillanes was among the 10 junior officers then-Armed Forces chief Gen. Narciso Abaya ordered July 31 to be detained at the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP), and later transferred to a Marine detention center at Fort Bonifacio on June 14, 2006.

During prosecution proceedings for the Oakwood mutiny, on Nov. 29, 2007, Trillanes and about 30 other soldiers walked out of their hearing, proceeded to the Peninsula Manila hotel, also in Makati, and called for the ouster of then-president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Trillanes was in detention for about seven-and-a-half years. He was freed in 2010 through a presidential amnesty granted by former president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

Proclamation No. 75, which Aquino signed Nov. 4, 2010, granted amnesty to soldiers and their supporters who participated in the 2003, 2006 and 2007 failed coups against Aquino’s predecessor, Macapagal-Arroyo.

At least two other government documents also indicated that Trillanes was only involved in two of the three rebellions during Arroyo’s presidency.

A copy of DND Ad Hoc Resolution No. 2 – a document that was also mentioned in Calida’s statement – shows the name “Ex-LTSG ANTONIO F TRILLANES IV O-11797 PN” was only ticked for the columns indicating participation in the Oakwood mutiny and Peninsula Manila Hotel siege. The box for the Philippine Marines standoff was left blank. The document endorsed the application for amnesty of Trillanes and 38 other mutineers to Aquino.

The Certificate of Amnesty, which the Department of National Defense (DND) issued the senator in January 2011, stated:

“This is to certify Senator Antonio F. Trillanes IV was granted amnesty on January 21, 2011 for his participation/involvement in the July 27, 2003 Oakwood Mutiny and November 29, 2007 Peninsula Manila Hotel Siege in Makati City, pursuant to the provisions of Presidential Proclamation Nr. 75 issued on November 24, 2010 by His Excellency, President Benigno S. Aquino III.”

Source: ABS-CBN News online, Sept. 5, 2018; Rappler, Sept. 24, 2018

On Aug. 31, 2018, Duterte issued Proclamation No. 572 declaring the grant of amnesty to Trillanes “void ab initio" because Trillanes did not file for amnesty. Malacanang said the DND “holds no available copy of his application for amnesty in the records,” and the senator did not admit guilt to his crimes.

Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 on Sept. 25 deemed Duterte’s proclamation as having “factual and legal basis,” maintaining status quo and holding Trillanes still under trial for charges of rebellion.

Trillanes had posted a P200,000 bail in July 2010 when the case first went forward, and had to do so again after being arrested last Sept. 25, following the voiding of his amnesty. He is set to face a second court hearing Friday, Oct. 5, at Makati RTC 148, for coup d’état charges.

Trillanes is the second opposition senator to be arrested under the Duterte administration, after Sen. Leila De Lima, who has been detained in Camp Crame since February 2017 for alleged involvement in illegal drugs.


ABS-CBN News online, LOOK: Amnesty documents of Trillanes, Sept. 5, 2018

CNN International, Philippine marines end protest, Feb. 27, 2006

GMA News Online, DND document certifies Trillanes applied for amnesty, Sept. 5, 2018, Court documents show cases vs Trillanes, et al. dismissed in 2011, Sept. 4, 2018

Department of National Defense, DND Ad Hoc Resolution No. 2

Official Gazette, Proclamation No. 572, s. 2018.

Official Gazette, Proclamation No. 75, s. 2010., Magdalo leaders transferred to Marine jail, June 15, 2006

Rappler, DOCUMENTS: DND confirms Trillanes applied for amnesty, Sept. 5, 2018

Rappler, Ex-DND panel chair, official tell courts: Trillanes applied for amnesty in 2011, Sept. 24, 2018

Supreme Court of the Philippines, Alejano v Cabuay, Aug. 25, 2005

(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)


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