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Trillanes’ woes far from over



SEN. Antonio Trillanes IV

SEN. Antonio Trillanes IV

THE legal trouble of Senator An­tonio Trillanes IV is not yet over.

The Makati court’s denial of the Department of Justice’s motion for the arrest of Trillanes on coup charges was just a “pyrrhic vic­tory” for the senator, Malacañang said yesterday.

Presidential Spokesman Salva­dor Panelo said Solicitor General Jose Calida intends to elevate the case of Trillanes before the Court of Appeals to reverse the lower court’s decision.

“I’ve talked with SolGen and he said he will not file a motion for reconsideration but go immedi­ately to the Court of Appeals and appeal to the ruling of the court with respect to the issuance of the warrant of arrest,” Panelo said dur­ing a Palace press briefing.

“There are procedural matters decided by the court which to my mind are erroneous how he looks at evidence despite the fact that they are only secondary evidence so there are questions that can be properly raised in the Court of Ap­peals and subsequently in the Su­preme Court,” he said.

The Makati Regional Trial Court branch 148 recently rejected the DoJ’s petition for an alias arrest warrant against Trillanes in connec­tion with coup charges. The court reportedly found no reason to dis­turb the doctrine of immutability of a final and executory judgment.

The Makati court however up­held President Duterte’s Proclama­tion 572 that revoked the amnesty granted to the senator for past two military uprisings.

Trillanes has welcomed the latest court decision, citing Judge Andres Soriano for upholding the rule of law.

Panelo, however, was amused by the early celebration of the sena­tor. He pointed out that the court’s decision declaring Duterte’s proc­lamation nullifying the amnesty as valid was more important.

“It’s more a pyrrhic victory be­cause if you noticed the court de­cided that the proclamation issued by the President is valid. They are claiming at the time the President does not have to power to void any amnesty. The court says he has,” he said.

Panelo also questioned the court’s refusal to issue an arrest warrant due to the supposed prin­ciple of immutability of judgment.

“I’m wondering why because ef­fectively that would mean it has no jurisdiction over the case. But then again the court took jurisdiction and in fact, the parties submitted their respective position and evi­dence,” he said.

“Because if it has no jurisdiction, the court should have dismissed outright the motion filed and say it has no jurisdiction,” he added.

Asked if they are confident in seeing Trillanes detained, Panelo said the administration would al­ways observe the rule of law and would prosecute those who vio­late the law.

In an earlier radio interview, Panelo claimed that the govern­ment does not consider Trillanes a threat to the administration.

“He never was a political threat,” he said.

But he said the court ruling merely “delayed” his eventual ar­rest. (Genalyn Kabiling)

Panelo, meantime, said the military previously mentioned it would convene the court martial to try Trillanes. He said it was up to the military whether or not to pursue such action.