Trillanes, a free man for now: Makati court denies gov’t bid for his arrest
Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV is still a free man after Makati City Regional Trial Court Branch 148 turned down the government’s request for an arrest order against him on Monday.
In a 33-page ruling, Judge Andres Soriano denied the petition of the Department of Justice (DOJ) but affirmed the validity of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572.
At the same time, the lower court denied DOJ’s motion for a hold departure order (HDO) against Trillanes, a staunch critic of the President.
Makati RTC Branch 148 dismissed the coup d’état case in 2011 because then President Benigno Aquino III granted Trillanes amnesty for his role in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny.
“Well established is the doctrine that a final and executory judgment shall be immutable. The Court, in fact, loses jurisdiction over the case when its decision has become final and executory,” the court said in its ruling released Monday afternoon.
The court noted that while it affirmed the validity of Proclamation No. 572, “the court finds itself powerless to disturb the [Doctrine of Immutability].”
Doctrine of immutability means that a decision that has acquired finality becomes absolute and unchangeable, and may no longer be modified in any respect, even if the modification is meant to correct erroneous conclusions of fact and law.
Last August, however, the President issued Proclamation No. 572, revoking Trillanes’ amnesty.
The presidential directive said Trillanes’ amnesty was void ab initio because the senator failed to file an application for it and admit his guilt over two failed uprisings against the Arroyo administration.
The DOJ used Proclamation No. 572 as its basis to ask the Makati RTC to issue an arrest warrant and HDO against Trillanes, and effectively re-open the coup d’état case. /kga
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