Bailable for now but Trillanes faces tough challenge at 2nd court

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – He was arrested and he paid bail in a matter of hours, but Senator Antonio Trillanes IV faces a tough challenge at the 2nd court that stands to resolve his case next.

At Branch 148, coup d'etat charges will not be bailable if the judge finds the evidence strong.

“We will cross the bridge when we get there,” said Trillanes’ lawyer Rey Robles.

Trillanes said he is ready for an unfavorable decision from the second court. It's like waiting for a miracle, he said.

Asked if he's expecting fair treatment from Branch 148, Trillanes said in a press conference after posting bail: "No. As it is, we are only waiting for a miracle from Branch 148. Let's put it this way, we're slightly more hopeful but we have to expect for the worst."

What's the difference? Branch 150 Judge Elmo Alameda issued a warrant of arrest  against Trillanes on Tuesday, September 25, and set bail at P200,000.

Rebellion is generally non-bailable under the Revised Penal Code if the judge finds the evidence strong, but Trillanes' petition for bail was granted in July 2010 when the case was still ongoing at Branch 150. This was before Alameda dismissed the case in 2011 pursuant to the the amnesty.

“The bail has become final, because it was already granted and we held bail hearings,” said Branch 150 Clerk of Court Diosfa Valencia in Filipino on Tuesday, September 25.

Valencia said the Department of Justice (DOJ) can no longer contest the grant of bail.

Robles, however, said there was no similar grant of bail at Branch 148 which is handling charges of coup d’etat.

Coup d’etat is also non-bailable.

In the event that Branch 148 Judge Andres Soriano issues a warrant of arrest, Trillanes will not be able to post bail.

Robles refused to comment on the possible scenario.

Branch 148 said they are still waiting for additional pleadings, after which the case will be submitted for resolution.

What about Branch 148? The coup d’ etat charges before Branch 148 are connected to the Oakwood mutiny in July 2003. (READ: TIMELINE: Trillanes, from mutiny to amnesty)

Judge Soriano earlier acknowledged the peculiarity of reopening a case that had been dismissed way back in 2011.

Soriano said he needs to study the matter further. – Rappler.com

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.

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