“We are looking at our first case of political necrophilia, because this administration seems to be hell-bent on messing around with a rotting corpse of an issue,” former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada said when asked for his thoughts on the issuance of the warrant of arrest by a Makati court against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

Yesterday, Branch 150 of the Makati Regional Trial Court ruled in favor of the State Prosecutors of the Department of Justice and issued a Warrant of Arrest and Hold Departure Order against Sen. Trillanes, whose amnesty under Proclamation No. 75 Series of 2010 had been voided by President Duterte through Proclamation No. 572 Series of 2018.

Tañada said that “apart from legal considerations, the issue of whether or not Sen. Trillanes had betrayed the national interest by participating in the Oakwood Mutiny and related incidents is long dead.”

“Of course,” Tañada continued, “it is obvious that singling out Sen. Trillanes is just the latest in a series of thinly-veiled attempts by the administration to silence all opposition by any means necessary. But it is unfortunate that this particular tactic is adopted, because it misuses an act of compassion as a tool for vindication.”

“Let us remember what amnesty is about: it is an act of mercy by the state—a burying of the hatchet if you will—meant to unify the people by bringing in dissident factions. The ultimate goal of the grant of clemency is of course so that the country can move on and progress as one. Compassion, unification, progression—these are the principles at work with amnesty, and they are what we lose when we insist on reviving zombified issues.

“Antics such as this by the current administration are especially foul when there are live issues breathing down the necks of the Filipino masses. I can think of ten other concerns that are more pressing and relevant to the day-to-day lives of the Filipino right now to which the administration should be giving full attention—the skyrocketing inflation and prices of basic commodities to name just one. With this useless resurrection of dead things, nothing will get done; we will just be a nation that literally can never rest in peace. See, that is the problem with political necrophilia—you open up a can of worms and then expect the nation to eat it.”