Trillanes asks Court of Appeals to stop reopened rebellion trial
MANILA, Philippines – Opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has asked the Court of Appeals (CA) to stop his trial on reopened rebellion charges, which is set to start at a Makati court on Wednesday, March 20.
Trillanes filed a petition for certiorari at the CA on March 7 requesting an injunction and/or a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against the scheduled trial at the Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 150.
Trillanes filed the petition against Branch 150 Judge Elmo Alameda and Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra.
Alameda had reopened a long-dismissed rebellion case against Trillanes after President Rodrigo Duterte signed Proclamation No. 572 that attempted to void the amnesty given to the opposition senator in 2010.
“Petitioner is being needlessly and unduly exposed to the hardship and difficulties not to mention the physical and psychological rigors as well as the anxiety and great expenses involved in a baseless, extended and public trial,” said Trillanes’ 66-page petition.
Alameda’s neighbor judge, Andres Soriano of Branch 148, dismissed the motion to reopen the coup charges at his court citing two reasons: 1.) one cannot reopen a dismissed case because it’s double jeopardy 2.) the lack of a copy of Trillanes’ application form for amnesty does not mean he did not apply.
Duterte voided the amnesty of his chief critic because the military could not allegedly locate the copy of his application form, rendering the entire amnesty void ab initio – or void from the start.
“Petitioner's constitutional rights, particularly, his right to travel and to free movement, in his personal capacity and in the performance of his duties as an elected Senator of the Republic, are being unduly and needlessly restricted by the baseless Hold Departure Order (HDD) issued by Respondent Honorable Presiding Judge,” said Trillanes.
Trillanes has a separate petition pending before the Supreme Court asking to declare Duterte’s proclamation unconstitutional.
Trillanes is out on bail. He faces more complaints and charges before the Pasig and Davao courts for inciting to sedition, grave threat, and libel – all filed under the Duterte administration. – Rappler.com