VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Imee changes tune on Trillanes’ amnesty

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From saying that Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and his fellow mutineers have already “paid their dues,” Ilocos Norte governor Imee Marcos now thinks he needs to be detained and face rebellion charges.


In a Sept. 27 interview with CNN Philippines, Marcos and ex-senator Jinggoy Estrada were asked if they thought Trillanes’ arrest ordered by Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) branch 150 was “right or wrong.”

While Estrada deferred judgment, Marcos said:

“Yeah, it’s legal. It’s legal. I’m a little tired of it. I think we should focus on really important issues like inflation.”

Source: CNN Philippines, On the Record: Senatorial Survey: Who’s in, who’s out, Sept. 27, 2018, watch from 23:53-24:01.

The Makati RTC 150 granted the petition of the Department of Justice to issue Trillanes’ arrest warrant for rebellion, finding legal basis in President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to void the senator’s amnesty.


In 2010, Marcos asserted that Trillanes’ more than seven years of incarceration had been punishment enough.

In a joint statement, she and 83 other prominent personalities said:

“These soldiers have already suffered the consequences of their actions. They have paid their dues. We believe it is the time for them to rebuild their lives, and in the process, contribute to rebuilding this nation.”

Source: Senate of the Philippines, A Time to Heal All Wounds: Towards Genuine National Reconciliation, Dec. 7, 2010.

The statement, published Sept. 16, 2010, in the Philippine Daily Inquirer and reposted on the Senate’s official website, urged then President Benigno Aquino III to grant amnesty to the soldiers involved in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny, 2006 Fort Bonifacio Marine standoff, and 2007 Peninsula Manila siege.

Trillanes was detained in 2003 for his participation in the Oakwood mutiny and remained in prison after being charged again with rebellion for the 2007 siege, before finally being granted amnesty in 2010 through Aquino’s Proclamation No. 75.

On Aug. 31, Duterte issued Proclamation 572, voiding Trillanes’ amnesty and ordering his “immediate arrest,” due to the senator’s alleged “failure to apply for amnesty and refusal to admit his guilt” (See VERA Files Fact Sheet: Duterte voiding Trillanes amnesty explained).

He was arrested on Sept. 25 but posted bail for P200,000 the same day.

Aside from Marcos, another notable signatory of the joint statement was Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, then representing the Concerned Citizen Movement, who now backs Trillanes’ arrest.


CNN Philippines, On the Record: Senatorial Survey: Who’s in, who’s out, Sept. 27, 2018., FULL TEXT: Copy of Makati RTC arrest order vs Trillanes, Sept. 25, 2018.

Official Gazette, Revised Penal Code.

Senate of the Philippines, A Time to Heal All Wounds: Towards Genuine National Reconciliation, Dec. 7, 2010.

Official Gazette, Proclamation No. 75, s. 2010.

Official Gazette, Proclamation No. 572, s. 2018., Makati court orders Trillanes’ arrest for rebellion case, Sept. 25, 2018.

CNN Philippines, Trillanes free for now after posting P200,000 bail, Sept. 25, 2018.

ABS-CBN News Online, Palace maintains Trillanes failed to apply for amnesty, Oct. 2, 2018., Roque backs ‘learned judge’ over AFP chief on lost Trillanes amnesty papers, Oct. 2, 2018., Roque on Trillanes amnesty: Why take word of AFP chief over ‘learned judge’?, Oct. 2, 2018

(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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Founded in March 2008, VERA Files is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

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