Lacson’s advisers said the opposition senator is amenable to sponsoring a bill granting amnesty to those accused of political crimes but they said they would have to be careful about its coverage including the cut-off date. They said JDV and Lacson may not have the same definition of “political crimes”.
The amnesty proposal is supposed to solve the political tension that has bedeviled the Arroyo administration since its start in 2001. Amnesty is an instrument of reconciliation as it erases the political crime of the accused even before conviction. It differs from pardon, which can be granted only after conviction.
Logically, those who would likely be included would be former President Estrada, son Sen. Jinggoy Estrada and lawyer Edward Serapio who are awaiting the Sandiganbayan decision on their plunder cases; the Magdalo soldiers who staged the so-called “Oakwood Mutiny” in July 2003 that includes Trillanes; and the 28 officers led by Maj. Gen. Renato Miranda involved in the alleged aborted withdrawal of support from Arroyo in February 2006.
De Venecia has not spelled out details of his amnesty proposal but sources told us the cut-off date, presumably at the time of the filing, would in effect protect Arroyo and her associates from being charged with plunder and other crimes once she is out of office. That means she would be automatically absolved of the crime of betrayal of public trust for cheating in the 2004 elections and for diverting millions and millions of pesos for the people to her election fund. Same thing will happen to her accomplices like former Agriculture Secretary Jocelyn “Joc-Joc” Bolante.
Sources said the amnesty proposal is actually designed for Arroyo. Estrada, Miranda and Trillanes et. al. would just be collateral beneficiaries.
I don't care if JDV wants to offer "amnesty" to erap, the oakwood boys and GMA. I don't care if erap gets "amnesty." But you'd never live it down if you put your signature on that proposal. You'd be known as the guy who let Arroyo and Garci off the hook.
But if Villar, Mar Roxas, or Loren wants to co-sponsor this "amnesty" for erap, GMA et al, go ahead boys and girls.