Government presses Trillanes arrest

November 26, 2018
Antonio Trillanes IV

THE government will elevate to the Court of Appeals (CA) the decision of a Makati City court not to issue an arrest warrant against opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV for a long-dismissed coup d’etat case.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Office of the Solicitor General will be in charge of the appeal by the Department of Justice which failed to convince Judge Andres Soriano of the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 148 to reconsider his October 22 decision.

“We are very confident we are going to win this case. Even hostile members of the court cannot dispute evidence that will be presented to them,” Panelo told reporters. “Courts will always rule on the basis of evidence. We feel that our evidence is very strong.”

Panelo is also President Rodrigo Duterte’s chief legal counsel.

Apart from the DoJ motion, Soriano had also dismissed Trillanes’ appeal to reverse the part of the decision that upheld the legality of Proclamation 572, the presidential directive that revoked the lawmaker’s amnesty.

The prosecutors disagreed with Soriano’s finding that Trillanes complied with the requirements for amnesty, contradicting the government’s basis for the unprecedented Duterte move.

However, Soriano said both motions were a “mere rehash of the issues and arguments which have already been exhaustively threshed out, passed upon and discussed in the assailed order.”

Duterte on August 31 voided the amnesty granted to Trillanes by the previous administration on the grounds that the former Navy officer never applied for an amnesty and that he never admitted guilt over his involvement in the Oakwood Mutiny in 2003 and Manila Peninsula Siege in 2007 against then President and now Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The President also said the Aquino administration erred in granting Trillanes an amnesty because it was then Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin instead of President Benigno Aquino III who signed the document.

The senator, currently out on bail for his rebellion case in connection with Manila Peninsula Siege, insisted that he had complied with the requirements for the amnesty.