MANILA, Philippines ? As the coup d?etat charges against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV will be soon submitted for decision, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the prosecution may have limited options when it reviews the case.
De Lima noted that the case will end soon as presentation of evidence has been terminated.
?The case will soon be deemed submitted for the court?s decision?At this stage, the options for the prosecution may be limited. And the courts have absolute discretion in the disposal of a case once it has acquired jurisdiction over it,? De Lima said.
President Benigno Aquino III has ordered De Lima to review the charges against Trillanes, saying the senator may have been a victim of injustice for having been charged with participating in a coup d?etat linked to his role in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny.
The pronouncement drew criticisms from several senators, calling the order tantamount to meddling in the affairs of the judiciary and the Senate.
De Lima vowed to uphold the independence of the judiciary even while receiving orders from the President.
?The President has the absolute prerogative to direct the Secretary of Justice, as an alter ego, to review the case against Senator Trillanes. It is in consonance with his oath to do justice to every man. That is also part of the thrust and mission of the new DoJ,? she said.
?I will, however, exercise care and circumspection under the circumstances given the independence of the judiciary,? she added.
Trillanes has been barred from attending Senate?s sessions since elected in office in 2007.