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Makati RTC junks DOJ’s bid for Trillanes arrest


A Makati judge has junked the bid of the Department of Justice to have Senator Antonio Trillanes IV ordered arrested for coup d'etat charges over the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny, a case that was dismissed seven years ago.

In a 33-page resolution, Judge Andres Soriano denied due course to the DOJ's motion seeking an arrest order and a hold departure order against the opposition senator, finding "no reason to disturb the doctrine of immutability of a final and executory judgment."

 

 

 

The coup d'etat case was dismissed in 2011 after Trillanes availed of and was granted amnesty under the Aquino administration.

"Meanwhile, the law is vibrant. Jurisprudence is its lifeblood. Subsequent jurisprudence  may forge new horizons in which exceptions to the immutability of a final and executory judgment may be born," Soriano's resolution read.

"For now, the Court finds itself powerless to disturb the said doctrine even if it had sustained the factual bases for the issuance of Proclamation No. 572," it added, referring to the presidential directive that voided Trillanes' amnesty more than a month ago.

Contrary to the government's position, moreover, Soriano held that Trillanes filed an application for amnesty and admitted his guilt for his participation in the Oakwood Mutiny, among others, based on the "unrebutted evidence, both preponderant and admissible secondary," presented by the senator.

However, the court said it found "no basis to believe that Proclamation No. 572 has breached any constitutional guaranty or that it has encroached  on the constitutional power of either the judicial or the executive branch."

The constitutionality of the issuance of the controversial proclamation is now pending before the Supreme Court.

Acting Prosecutor General Richard Fadullon was the first to relay the main parts of the development, but reportedly confirmed them before he saw a copy of the resolution.

The initial information did not indicate that the judge found that Trillanes had, after all, complied with the requirements accused the senator of failing to meet.

Rebellion

Soriano's ruling clashed with the order by Judge Elmo Alameda of the Makati RTC’s Branch 150, who ordered Trillanes’ arrest for rebellion - over the 2007 Manila Peninsula Siege - but allowed him to post bail in late September.

The judge released his anticipated decision nearly a month after the DOJ motion was first submitted for resolution. Deferring decision, he initially set the motion for hearing to receive the parties' evidence on October 5.

The DOJ is pursuing criminal cases against Trillanes upon orders from no less than Duterte, who nullified the senator’s amnesty granted by former president Benigno Aquino III.

An unprecedented move, the presidential order was based on Trillanes’ alleged failure to apply for amnesty and to admit his guilt, two “minimum requirements” for the amnesty grant. He has denied and shown proof against the charges.

The senator has also contested the constitutionality of the issuance of Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572, the revoking order, before the Supreme Court.

But the High Court, apart from denying Trillanes the relief of a temporary restraining order against the proclamation, referred the resolution of the factual issues of the case to the Makati trial courts.

These issues were whether or not Trillanes applied for amnesty and admitted his guilt for offenses in connection with the Oakwood Mutiny and the 2007 Manila Peninsula Siege.

In the October 5 hearing before Judge Soriano, Trillanes' legal counsel presented witnesses, two of whom were part of the ad hoc Defense committee that processed amnesty applications, who testified that they saw Trillanes file an application for amnesty, which contained a section on admission of guilt.

On the other hand, government witnesses told the court that there were no records not only of Trillanes' application, but of proceedings in connection with applications pursuant to the 2010 Aquino amnesty grant.

The judge again considered the DOJ motion submitted for resolution last October 11.  —NB, GMA News

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