MANILA, Philippines – Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 148 Judge Andres Soriano has junked the government plea to have Senator Antonio Trillanes IV arrested, and the opposition lawmaker’s motion to declare Proclamation No. 572 illegal.
With the appeals of both Trillanes and the DOJ denied, Soriano’s original decision on October 22 stands:
- The coup d’etat case against Trillanes is denied with finality
- There will be no arrest warrant against the senator
- Trillanes filed a valid application form
- President Rodrigo Duterte’s issuance of Proclamation No. 572 is legal
“The Court has thoroughly reviewed all the evidence and pleadings presented and submitted by the parties, and it finds no reason to reverse or modify its findings, both factual and legal,” Soriano said in a one-page order dated November 22.
“Premises considered, the motions for partial reconsideration separately filed by the People and Trillanes are denied,” he added.
Trillanes had appealed to Soriano to reverse his ruling that the issuance of Proclamation No. 572 is legal. Duterte’s proclamation attempted to unilaterally void Trillanes’ amnesty because of the alleged failure to file a valid application form.
Law experts earlier said that because the ruling’s coverage is narrow, it does not uphold a president’s power to unilaterally void a Congress-approved amnesty, nor does it risk the amnesty granted to other mutineers.
The DOJ, for its part, wanted Soriano to reverse his factual finding that Trillanes filed a valid amnesty application.
Trillanes now has to face rebellion charges pending before Makati RTC Branch 150, which upheld all of the DOJ’s arguments in the Trillanes amnesty case. Trillanes is out on bail in relation to this case, and will undergo new hearings.
Meanwhile, the senator has a pending petition before the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of Proclamation No. 572. The ruling of the en banc on the petition would set a precedent on the amnesty case. – Rappler.com
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