By RUDY D. LIPORADA
Should former New People’s Army rebel Victor Corpuz and EDSA poster rebel Gringo Honasan be concerned if, by any political magic maneuvering, the Political Electoral Tribunal (PET) backslides to declare Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. the duly elected vice-president in the 2016 Philippine elections, where if President Rodrigo ‘Digong’ Duterte resigns or dies, Bongbong becomes president? If not through the PET but through the use of a massive campaign chest and battalions of trolls, Bongbong runs for the presidency and wins in 2022, should the former rebels still be concerned? That is if President Rodrigo ‘Digong’ Duterte succeeds in silencing his fiercest critic, Senator Antonio ‘Sonny’ Trillanes IV.
I pose this question in light of Digong’s revoking Trillanes’s amnesty – Initially because Trillanes apparently did not file an application of amnesty and did not admit guilt in his coup’s d’état attempt during President Gloria Arroyo’s regime. With documents and videos to show, with pronouncements also from those directly involved, that Trillanes indeed filed required documents with inherent admittance of guilt, Digong is now saying that former President Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III had not signed the amnesty himself and could not delegate signing to an underling. Digong further asserts that former defense secretary Voltaire Gazmin, the underling, usurped authority in signing the amnesty of Trillanes. With all the above, Digong slaps the legalese Latin phrase ‘void ab initio’ to say that the amnesty granted was void from the beginning and Trillanes should be slammed back to jail.
Holding off from his direct order to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippines National Police (PNP) to arrest Trillanes, Digong is now just waiting for Makati courts to issue a warrant of arrest to make his order legal. With the pronouncements of the AFP gods that they are united in following the constitution, Digong should now be praying that the Makati courts issue such warrant and provide a legal semblance to the constitutionality of his arrest order which the AFP and the PNP should follow.
Going back to our question: should political maneuvering turn the tide against Trillanes and is slammed back to jail because his amnesty is ‘void ab initio,’ should Corpuz and Honasan be worried if Bongbong ever becomes president?
Now a retired brigadier general, then Lt. Victor Corpuz raided the armory of the Philippine Military Academy in 1970 and went underground with the New People’s Army (NPA) of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) where he became a member of the central committee. He was imprisoned after surrendering in 1976 and was released 10 years later by President Corazon Aquino after the 1986 EDSA Revolution. He was reinstated with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and retired as a Brigadier General and head of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. During his belligerency, it is presumed that he had killed government soldiers while helping to build the New People’s Army. His book, Silent War, presents how to defeat the NPA based on his deep knowledge of the NPA’s strategic prolonged guerilla warfare through tactical maneuvers and organization of the masses in the countrysides.
Senator Gregorio Ballesteros Honasan II, better known as Gringo Honasan, is a retired Philippine Army officer who also led unsuccessful coups d’état against President Corazon Aquino. He is more known, however, as the leader of the military force that supported Juan Ponce Enrile and Fidel Ramos that hastened the toppling of then President Ferdinand Marcos. During his coups against Corazon Aquino, there were fighting in the streets where dozens were killed and injured to include civilians. He would then escape, be captured, and escape and be captured again only to be granted amnesty later by former President Fidel Ramos.
So, during the belligerency of Corpuz and rebellion of Honasan, their main antagonism was directed towards the ironman, Ferdinand Marcos. If Bongbong becomes president and by mere vengeance for his father’s ousting from Malacañang, would Bongbong look for filed amnesty forms and ask to prove that Corpuz and Honasan admitted guilt? Would Bongbong say that Corazon Aquino and Ramos are the only ones who should have signed their amnesty papers if there are any and should not have delegated the amnesty administration to any underling?
I believe Bongbong could do that if Trillanes is slammed back to jail by Digong, establishing a precedent. It would be legal by then for ‘void ab initio’ would be commonly slapped on any amnestied military dissenter. That is if Corpuz and Honasan will decide to question the return of the Marcoses in power.
Of course not, if both Corpuz and Honasan would no longer care for what they fought for during their glory days – fight a tyrannical dictator who they believed to have stolen billions from the Philippines coffers and have driven the Philippines into debt that the Filipinos are still paying up to now; and whose regime had tortured and incarcerated thousands apart from 3000 killed and vanished.
Of course not, if Corpuz and Honasan will no longer have the guts like Trillanes to question obvious anomalies in the current situation of the Philippines: runaway inflation, steep dive of the peso, skyrocketing prices of the goods and services – even the absence of affordable rice, even those with ‘bukbuk;’ EJK and graft and corruption.
Pray tell that these theoretical questions never have to be answered with Bongbong not being able to step into Malacañang anymore. # nordis.net