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No arrest warrant for Trillanes; PNP defends deployment in Senate

 

By JEL SANTOS AND MARTIN SADONGDONG

 

Senator Antonio Trillanes speaks to the media at the Senate in Pasay City Senate, September 10,2018. (Czar Dancel)

SENATOR Antonio Trillanes IV speaks to the media at the Senate in Pasay Cit. (Czar Dancel)

THE Makati Regional Trial (RTC) Branch 150 yesterday did not issue an arrest warrant and hold-departure order (HDO) against Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV despite the “very urgent” ex-parte omnibus motion filed by the Department of Justice (DoJ) last week.

Instead, Judge Elmo Alameda, of the Makati RTC Branch 150, set a hearing for Sept. 14.

“Prudence dictates that the Omnibus Motion should be set for hearing on Sept. 14, 2018 at 9 a.m.,” the three-page order read.

The order stated: “The court is not persuaded with the argument of the prosecution that its omnibus motion should not be set for hearing and should be acted by this court ex-parte. While the motion has been denominated as ex-parte, the court after thoroughly considering the grounds and arguments raised therein, is of the view that acting on the motion without setting it for hearing would definitely prejudice the right of the accused to due process.

“Obviously, the motion cannot be called a non-litigable or non-litigated motion, such that it can be acted upon by this court ex-parte without prejudicing the right of the accused to be heard,” it added.

On Friday, the DoJ filed the ex-parte omnibus motion before RTC Branch 150 asking the court to issue an arrest warrant and HDO against Trillanes whose amnesty had been voided by Presidential Proclamation No. 572since the senator supposedly failed to comply with two requirements – application for amnesty and admission of guilt.

On Sept. 7, 2011, Alameda dismissed rebellion charges against Trillianes after he was granted amnesty by former president Benigno Aquino III.

The DoJ earlier filed a motion before Makati RTC Branch 148 seeking to secure an alias warrant of arrest and HDO against Sen. Trillanes following Proclamation 572. But

Judge Andres Bartolome Soriano instead set a hearing on September 13, and gave Trillanesfive days to comment on the motion of the DoJ. (Jel Santos)

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) defended yesterday the deployment of cops within the Senate compound following the revocation of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s amnesty, saying it was just a “proactive action.”

PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said that since it was President Duterte who ordered Trillanes’s arrest after his amnesty was deemed void ab initio or invalid from the beginning, they have to ensure that all lawful means must be done to follow the Chief Executive’s order.

This, according to Albayalde, includes the deployment of members of Crime Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) – the PNP’s primary investigating unit – to secure the Senate compound and ensure that no one will “take advantage of the situation.”

“That is just for proactive action sa amin. Hindi na tayo dapat utusan pa. We should be ready for any order or kung ano pa ang susunod na kautusan. Even until now, may dineploy pa na CIDG doon not only for security of Senator Trillanes but also mga employees na nasa Office of the Senate,” Albayalde reasoned out.

Last August 31, President Duterte signed Proclamation 572 which revoked Trillanes’ amnesty. He then ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and PNP to arrest Trillanes.

The proclamation was published on Sept. 4 in a daily broadsheet.

Right then and there, members of CIDG, armed with a “document,” were deployed to Senate compound.

It was later revealed that the document they brought was the Proclamation itself since the court has yet to release a warrant of arrest, earning ire from the public and fears for a warrantless arrest for Trillanes.

CIDG Director Roel Obusan admitted that the President’s proclamation was “not enough” to arrest Trillanes.

However, he echoed Albayalde’s reasoning and claimed that the CIDG cops were deployed not to arrest Trillanes but to fortify the security in the Senate.

Obusan said the debate as to whether President Duterte’s proclamations can be used as a substitute for an arrest warrant remains a legal question.

“That is a legal question until now. That’s why it’s being heard now by the courts. To answer now, hindi ko magagawa ‘yun,” he said.

“Nagde-detail kami doon not to arrest, maliwanag naman kay Presidente: we will wait for the warrant. Meaning, walang arrest,” he added.

“We cannot question the proclamation and we will abide by the constitution. We will not arrest without a warrant pero sino ang susunod kay Presidente kung kukwestyunin namin ang utos niya?” Obusan concluded. (Martin A. Sadongdong)

 

 

 

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