After days of waiting and hours of anticipation, the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 148 on October 22 denied the Department of Justice's plea for a warrant against Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.
The STAR/Mong Pintolo
Makati RTC Branch 148 judge upheld rule of law, opposition solons say
Kristine Joy Patag ( - October 23, 2018 - 10:55am

MANILA, Philippines — The colleagues of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said Makati judge Andres Soriano restored the stability of courts when he junked the government’s plea for a warrant of arrest against the senator.

Trillanes was visibly relieved and elated when, after weeks of anticipation, Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 148 threw out the government’s plea for a warrant against him on Monday.

He called the ruling as a “ victory for justice, rule of law and democracy for the country.”

His colleagues at the Senate, who threw support at him early on, also hailed the ruling penned by Soriano.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said the ruling “reinforces our belief that at the end of the day, the rule of law will prevail and no amount of underhanded legal maneuvering will be rewarded by an independent judiciary.”

The ruling, Drilon added, would “help restore the perception of stability in our courts.”

For Sen. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino, Soriano’s ruling was not only a victory for Triillnaes but also a win “for the rule of law in the country.”

Aquino said that the Makati judge has sided with the truth and has shown courage, even amid “seemingly insurmountable pressure.”

Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan noted that Soriano “refused to embrace tyranny and chose to uphold the rule of law.”

Meanwhile, Liberal Party senatorial aspirant Erin Tañada said that Soriano “should be commended for his allegiance to the letter and the spirit of the law that final decisions should not be disturbed.”

“If he had ruled otherwise, too many of the most sacred doctrines underpinning our legal system will be thrown into shadow, foremost of which is the principle of immutability of judgments,” Tañada added.

Trillanes amnesty ruling far from over

But Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said that Soriano’s ruling does not mean the end of the issue on Trillanes’ amnesty, but is just a start.

Facing reporters on Monday after the ruling was made public, the Justice chief noted that while Soriano’s ruling junked the government’s plea for a warrant, it also upheld the constitutionality of Proclamation 572 which voided the amnesty.

He also pointed out that Soriano’s ruling made factual findings that contradicted with Makati RTC Branch 150’s Judge Elmo Alameda who handed down a ruling that Proclamation 572 has a factual basis.

“This is just the beginning, this is not the end. Nobody has to claim total victory here. Umpisa pa lang ito, marami pang pupuntahan itong kasong ito,” Guevarra also said.

The Justice chief said that they could take the issue to the Supreme Court.

Trillanes had earlier sought the intervention of the high court, but he failed to receive immediate relief to halt the implementation of Proclamation 572.

The case challenging the constitutionality of Proclamation 572 remains pending before the high court.

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