Trillanes rebuffed

September 12, 2018

THE Supreme Court yesterday denied the motion of opposition Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV for the issuance of a restraining order against his re-arrest and prosecution for cases stemming from  his failed coup d’etat during the Arroyo administration.

SC spokesperson Ma. Victoria Gleoresty Guerra said a majority of the SC justices voted to dismiss the petition of Trillanes which sought to annul Proclamation No. 572 which allegedly violated the 1987 Constitution.

Proclamation No. 572 voided the amnesty given to Trillanes in 2010.

Atty. Guerra stressed that the High Court did not see the urgency to act on Trillanes’ plea as it considered the “categorical pronouncement of President Duterte that Senator Trillanes will not be apprehended, detained or taken into custody unless a warrant of arrest has been issued by the trial court.”

“There is no extreme and urgent necessity for the Court to issue an injunctive relief considering that the respondents have acknowledged Senator Trillanes’ right to due process. In fact, the DoJ has caused the filing of pertinent motions before the Makati regional trial courts,” she pointed out.

Guerra said the SC also cited technical grounds in denying the senator’s plea for TRO.

“Preliminarily, the issues of whether or not Senator Trillanes filed an application for amnesty and whether or not he admitted his guilt for the crimes subject thereof appear to be factual in nature. Only a trial court, and in certain cases, the Court of Appeals, are trier of facts,” she said.

“Hence, it is appropriate that the Makati RTCs should be given leeway in exercising their concurrent jurisdiction to hear and resolve the pleadings/motions filed by the parties as regards the legality of Proclamation No. 572,” Guerra added.

She said the High Court opted to allow the Makati regional trial courts handling the cases against Trillanes in connection with his participation in the Oakwood mutiny in 2003 and Manila Peninsula siege in 2007 to hear the motions filed by the Department of Justice (DoJ) seeking arrest of the senator and reopening of the cases against him after the voiding of his amnesty.

Apart from denying Trillanes’ TRO plea, the High Tribunal ordered the respondents -- Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, Justice Sceretary Mendaro Guevarra, AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. and PNP chief Director Gen. Oscar Albayalde -- to answer the petition and gave them 10 days to submit their comment.

Without the TRO from the SC on Proclamation No. 572, the hearings of Makati RTC Branch 148 on coup d’etat case and Branch 150 on rebellion case of Trillanes scheduled later this week will proceed.