Dean Agabin, Prof. Hilbay: Effect of voiding amnesty on the rule of law

Legal lesson 2: Effect of voiding amnesty on the  rule of law and teaching of the Constitution

Heavyweights in  Constitutional Law, Dean Pacifico Agabin and Professor Florin Hilbay, express alarm with the reasoning of a Makati Trial Court judge in upholding Presidential Proclamation 572. The proclamation voids an amnesty granted seven years ago to Senator Antonio Trillanes.

In an in-depth interview on ANC’s Early Edition program, Dr. Agabin explains in clear terms the object of amnesty, the principle of res judicata, the need to “first thresh out” if the proclamation was valid, where lies the onus of proof that Senator Trillanes did not file an application for amnesty, and finally the ruling on the secondary evidence  “being barren of probative weight.” "That is a surprise to me because the same court presided over by the same judge has already dismissed the case on the basis of the same documents presented initially seven years before," said the Dean.

On the other hand, in an interview with One News’ Rush Hour of Channel 5, past Solicitor General  and Law teacher Professor Florin Hilbay also expressed concern over what it implies for the teaching of Constitutional Law. He said that:  “I have to change what I teach because you have a solicitor general who has quite successfully, in fact, been able to change a lot of the standard understandings of what constitutional law [is and] what our Constitution is all about.”

The interview with Dean Agabin can be accessed at: https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/09/27/18/duterte-order-vs-trillanes-violates-separation-of-powers-ex-law-dean. The fuller report on Hilbay interview may be accessed at: http://news.tv5.com.ph/breaking/unreasonable-limits-solgen-calida-have-changed-standard-of-consti-law-hilbay.