Calida defers to DOJ on handling of Trillanes case
MANILA, Philippines – Solicitor General Jose Calida abandoned his plan to go straight to the Court of Appeals (CA) to seek a reversal of the Makati City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 148's decision not to issue an arrest warrant for Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.
According to Malacañang, Calida will defer to the Department of Justice (DOJ) strategy to first file a motion for partial reconsideration with the Makati court.
"He (Calida) will defer to the DOJ secretary move to file an MR before the RTC," Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo told Rappler on Wednesday, October 24.
He said Calida and Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra were already able to discuss the Trillanes case. (READ: EXPLAINER: What Judge Soriano means in saying Duterte's Proclamation No. 572 is 'legal')
"Solicitor General and DOJ are working hand in hand," Panelo added.
The day before, the two officials appeared not to be on the same page. Panelo had announced Calida's decision to go straight to the CA on Tuesday morning, October 23. He even said Calida was already preparing the petition.
Hours later, Guevarra said the DOJ would file a motion for partial reconsideration with Makati City RTC Branch 148 first.
In most cases, an appeal is first filed at the lower court before it is elevated to a higher court in order to respect the judicial hierarchy.
Asked about the contradiction between his statement and Guevarra's, Panelo told Rappler: "I was quoting the SolGen. Both remedies can be availed of. It depends who will file it. MR is the longer route."
Is President Rodrigo Duterte contributing ideas to the government's legal strategy in handling the Makati court's decision?
Panelo said the President is following developments, but has so far not participated in such discussions, to his knowledge.
"He doesn't interfere with the strategies of the government lawyers," said the spokesman. – Rappler.com