DND, AFP can’t find Trillanes’ amnesty application

MANILAThe Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Tuesday revealed that their respective internal investigation on the supposedly missing amnesty application of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has turned up nothing.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana bared the results of the DND inquiry after Trillanes prodded him during a Senate hearing over his missing amnesty application.

Gusto ko lang sir malaman, kasi alam nyo na naman sir 'yung totoo e. Nag apply ba ako sir ng (I just want to know, because you know the truth. Did I apply for) amnesty as far as your investigation is concerned sir? Trillanes asked.

Lorenzana first clarified that he was not knowledgeable about the senator's application as it happened before his time.

He added that last August 16, he received a call from Solicitor General Jose Calida asking him if they could help produce the amnesty records.

He was not asking for your amnesty application, simply the amnesty records of Trillanes et al, Lorenzana said.

He said he referred Calida's staff to his staff and their initial foray turned up nothing.

But when they dug up the records at DND, they were able to produce Proclamation No. 75 issued by then-President Benigno S. Aquino III, as well as the amnesty document that was signed by then-Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Lorenzana said.

The Defense chief said those were the only documents given by the DND to Calida.

Later on, he wrote General Headquarters (GHQ) to ask for some other records like your amnesty application, which one staff of J1 (personnel directorate) certified that your amnesty application could not be found or 'non-existent' at the GHQ, Lorenzana told Trillanes.

Those are the three documents that SolGen Calida got from DND and GHQ, he added.

When Trillanes asked if the DND has conducted its own internal investigation to ascertain if he really applied for amnesty, Lorenzana answered in the positive.

We did, we did senator. And in fact, we dug up, wala namang makita (we couldn't find any), he said.

So we reached out to the members of the ad hoc committee on amnesty, and wala pa silang sagot eh (they have yet to reply). They are not forthcoming sa mga sagot nila (in their answers). Anyway, we have invited them also at the DND HQ to shed light on this missing document, Lorenzana said.

It was at this point that Senator Panfilo Lacson briefly reminded Trillanes that they may be veering away from the budget deliberation, which is the purpose of the hearing.

Lacson chairs Subcimittee "E" of the Senate Finance Committee hearing the DND budget deliberations.

He allowed Trillanes to continue but only for brief time.

Upon resumption, AFP Chief of Staff, Carlito Galvez Jr., told Trillanes that the general headquarters could not find any records of Trillanes' amnesty application.

The AFP chief surmised that there could be some lapses committed in the handling of documents.

Si Col. Josefa Berbigal is the one who administered your oath. Apparently, there are some lapses, na lahat ng (that all of the) documentshindi naibaba sa (not forwarded to) J1, which is basically the repository of all documents, Galvez said. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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