Makati court denies DOJ plea for Trillanes arrest
Last October 5, the Department of Justice and the camp of Trillanes, represented by his lawyer Reynaldo Robles, presented witnesses and evidence to support their respective arguments.
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Makati court denies DOJ plea for Trillanes arrest
Kristine Joy Patag ( - October 22, 2018 - 4:32pm

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 5:38 p.m.) — After days of waiting and hours of anticipation,  Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 148 on Monday denied the Department of Justice's plea for a warrant against Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

Judge Andres Soriano denied the DOJ motion while also upholding the validity of Proclamation 572, the proclamation that President Rodrigo Duterte issued to void Trillanes' amnesty.

Soriano held that Proclamation 572 is a “purely executive act” and is well within the power of the president.

The judge said that while Trillanes assailed the constitutionality of the proclamation, the court did not find basis “to believe that Proclamation 572 has breached any unconstitutional power of either the judicial or the executive branch.”

Court: Trillanes filed amnesty application

The proclamation declared that the amnesty granted to Trillanes is “void from the beginning” because the senator failed to comply with the requirements for amnesty: He did not file for amnesty and he did not admit guilt.

But Soriano said that the court “finds and so holds that Trillanes did file his amnesty application in the prescribed form in which he also admitted guilt for his participation in the Oakwood Mutiny, among others, and in which he further recanted all previous statements that he may have made contrary to said admission.”

Soriano also noted that the court has long dismissed the case—seven years ago—by virtue of Proclamation 75 that granted the amnesty to Trillanes, but it went on to review the legality of Proclamation 572 pursuant to the Supreme Court order.

But the judge stressed that “the court finds no reason to disturb the doctrine of immutability of a final and executory judgment.”

October 5 hearing

Last October 5, the Department of Justice and the camp of Trillanes, represented by his lawyer Reynaldo Robles,  presented witnesses and evidence to support their respective arguments.

Among the witnesses who took the stand in the hearing were Lt. Col. Thea Joan Andrade, Department of National Defense Legal Affairs chief Norman Daanoy, journalist Mark Merueñas, Col. Josefa Berbigal and former DND undersecretary Honorio Azcueta.

Andrade signed the certification stating that there is no available copy of Trillanes’ application for amnesty in their records. But during the hearing, she stressed that she did not mean to say that the senator did not apply.

“[It was] never your intention to certify that Trillanes did not apply?” Trillanes lawyer Reynaldo Robles said.

Andrade answered: “Not my intention.”

She also said that she has “no personal knowledge if he (Trillanes) applied.”

Meanwhile, Berbigal and Azcueta both attested that they received and processed Trillanes’ amnesty application. They also stated that the senator attached the narration of facts indicating his involvement in the crimes he was being charged with, as required.

Makati RTC Branch 150

The DOJ also sought a warrant and hold departure order against the senator frrom Makati RTC Branch 150, where Trillanes has been facing rebellion charges.

Makati RTC Branch 150 Judge Elmo Alameda granted DOJ’s plea on September 25. Trillanes was arrested, booked and posted bail on the same afternoon.

The rebellion case was dismissed in 2011 pursuant to the amnesty granted by former President Benigno Aquino.

But President Rodrigo Duterte declared the amnesty “void from the beginning” through Proclamation 572.

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