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Palace defers to DOJ, SolGen on Trillanes case
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said while the Duterte administration respects the court's ruling, the Justice department and the Office of the Solicitor General would look into possible remedies.
Geremy Pintolo, file

Palace defers to DOJ, SolGen on Trillanes case

Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - October 22, 2018 - 8:45pm

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang is studying its legal options after Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 148 denied the Justice department's motion for the arrest of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said while the Duterte administration respects the court's ruling, the Justice department and the Office of the Solicitor General would look into possible remedies with regard to the senator's case. 

"The Palace respects the constitutional independence of the Judiciary and it will continue to do so. As we have said, the Executive Branch has and will always bow down to the majesty of the law, and it will not think twice in doing the same for this particular case," Panelo said in a statement. 

"The Office of the President will not preempt the Department of Justice or the Office of the Solicitor General from deciding which legal course it deems necessary to undertake relative to the case," he said.

"Accordingly, we will leave it to these offices to evaluate the available remedies, as well as to determine which steps may be endeavored, before the appropriate courts of law," he added. 

Makati RTC Branch 148 resolution

On Monday afternoon, Judge Andres Soriano issued a resolution denying the DOJ's plea for warrant for Trillanes' arrest, saying the court had already dismissed the case in 2011 and "the court finds no reason to disturb the doctrine of immutability of a final and executory judgment."

The judge also said 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.”

The resolution also upheld the validity of Proclamation 572, saying it was within President Rodrigo Duterte's prerogative to issue it.

A separate court, Makati RTC Branch 150, in September, approved a similar DOJ motion and ordered the senator arrested for a rebellion case over the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege. Trillanes was arrested, booked and posted bail on September 25.

Panelo: 'First jeopardy not fully terminated'

Panelo said the ruling of the court suggests that Trillanes' case is unique. He claimed that the first jeopardy has not yet been validly terminated since the dismissal of the case for coup d'etat was based on a void executive grant. 

"Therefore, existing legal remedies under the law may be availed of, considering especially the said court’s confirmation that Presidential Proclamation No. 572 (s. 2018) is legal," the presidential spokesman said. 

Panelo, also the president's chief legal counsel, said the affirmation of the validity of the president's proclamation signifies that the Duterte administration is "not engaged in the political persecution of its critics but is only enforcing the law against anyone who goes against its command."

"Compared to those personalities in the opposition, we will not unfairly appeal to the pity of the public but will address this matter head on in the proper forum," Panelo said. 

ANTONIO TRILLANES IV MAKATI REGIONAL TRIAL COURT SALVADOR PANELO
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