Court gives Trillanes, admin time for trade of responses

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV (left) attends a session at the Senate. The court gave Trillanes and the Duterte administration at least two more weeks to respond to each other’s arguments over a presidential order voiding the senator’s amnesty. AP

MANILA – No arrest warrant has been issued against Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV a week after President Rodrigo Duterte voided his amnesty and ordered his arrest.

Instead Judge Andres Soriano of the Makati City Regional Trial Court Branch 148 gave Trillanes and the administration at least two more weeks to respond to each other’s arguments.

Trillanes’ camp – represented by legal counsel Reynaldo Robles – was given 10 days to file a supplemental comment or opposition to the Department of Justice’s motion for arrest.

The Justice department has five days to reply to the supplemental filing.

“Due to the immediacy of the situation, Judge Soriano may come out with a resolution faster, but after parties have done submitting their pleadings,” said Clerk of Court Ma. Rhodora Peralta.

Makati City RTC Branch 148 handled the coup case against Trillanes and other mutineers over the 2003 Oakwood Premier Hotel mutiny.

The case was dismissed in 2011, giving way to the amnesty granted by then President Benigno Aquino III.

Duterte signed Proclamation 572 on Aug. 31 revoking the amnesty granted to Trillanes. He claimed the senator has not complied with the “minimum requirements to qualify under the amnesty proclamation.”

He also ordered the arrest of Trillanes “so that he can be recommitted to the detention facility where he had been incarcerated for him to stand trial for crimes he is charged with.”

The Justice department then asked the court to issue a warrant of arrest and a hold departure order against Trillanes but the court refused.


Prosecutors from the Justice department insisted that Proclamation 572 remains valid until annulled.

“[The amnesty] has been annulled by the President,” said Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera. “Now the newest proclamation is valid until annulled, so from Proclamation 572, we go forward.”

Makati RTC Branch 148 must thus take off from where it left off in 2010, when the promulgation of the case was made, the prosecutors said.

Trillanes has a “propensity to hole up” in an enclosed building or establishment – in 2003 at Oakwood, in 2007 at the Manila Peninsula, and now the Senate – Prosecutor General Richard Anthony Fadullon told the court.

“In recent days, once can fairly assume that disruptive behavior is being employed [by] taking refuge in the Senate premises, disrupting its day-to-day operation while evading the processes of the law,” Fadullon said.

“All proceedings founded on the void judgment are themselves regarded as invalid,” he added. “In other words, a void judgment is regarded as a nullity, and the situation is the same as it would be if there was no judgment.”

The Justice department also went to Makati City RTC Branch 50, which handled the Manila Peninsula siege case, for an arrest warrant and hold departure order. The court scheduled a hearing Thursday./PN


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