Palace respects Makati court’s decision on Trillanes case
Malacañang on Friday said it respects the decision of Makati City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 148 to deny the government’s request for an arrest order against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV over his previously dismissed coup d’etat charges.
“While the Office of the President has yet to receive a copy of the ruling issued by the Regional Trial Court of Makati and conduct a thorough study thereof, we respect its denial on the motion submitted by the Department of Justice (DOJ) for the arrest of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV in relation to his criminal charge for coup d’etat,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
Panelo noted that the Palace also welcomes the court’s “affirmation of the validity of the proclamation issued by the President,” saying that it signifies that the administration is not engaged in the political persecution of its critics but is only enforcing the law.
In his ruling which was made public on Monday, Makati RTC Judge Andres Soriano denied the petition of the DOJ to have Trillanes, one of President Duterte’s vocal citics, re-arrested for his role in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny.
It also affirmed the validity of Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572, which declared Trillanes’ amnesty void ab initio or void from the beginning.
The case was dismissed in 2011 after Trillanes and the other Magdalo soldiers were given amnesty by former President Benigno Aquino III.
Unlike those “personalities in the opposition,” Panelo said the Executive Branch “will not unfairly appeal to the pity of the public but will address this matter head on in the proper forum.”
“The ruling of the court already suggests that this case is unique. Insofar as we are concerned, however, the first jeopardy has not yet been validly terminated since the dismissal of the case for coup d’etat was based on a void executive grant,” Panelo said.
“Therefore, existing legal remedies under the law may be availed of, considering especially the said court’s confirmation that Presidential Proclamation No. 572 (s. 2018) is legal,” he added.
Panelo, who is also Duterte’s chief legal counsel, said Malacañang will not preempt the DOJ or the Office of the Solicitor General from deciding which legal course it will undertake in relation to Trillanes’ case.
“Accordingly, we will leave it to these offices to evaluate the available remedies, as well as to determine which steps may be endeavored, before the appropriate courts of law,” he said. /ee
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