Duterte admin to bring Trillanes’ case to the Court of Appeals

Marje Pelayo   •   October 23, 2018   •   2706

FILE PHOTO: Sen. Antonio Trillanes


MANILA, Philippines – The Duterte Administration has decided to bring the case of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV to the next level.

Instead of filing a motion for reconsideration on the recent ruling of Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 148, the Office of the Solicitor General acting as the government’s chief legal counsel, is preparing a petition which it intends to submit to the Court of Appeals.

Makati RTC Branch 148 Judge Andres Soriano on Monday (October 22) denied the request of the Department of Justice (DOJ) seeking for the arrest of Trillanes over charges of coup d’etat for his participation in the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny.

The same court dismissed the case in 2011 when former President Benigno Aquino III granted the senator an amnesty.

Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said the SolGen’s petition to the CA will focus on the denied motion for arrest and the local court’s alleged upholding of secondary evidence as well as if whether or not Senator Trillanes submitted appropriate application for amnesty.

“I’ve talked with SOLGEN and he said he will not file motion for reconsideration but go immediately to the Court of Appeals and appeal the ruling of the court with respect to the non-issuance of the warrant of arrest,” Panelo said.

The administration previously expressed its respect to the decision of the lower court. However, Panelo said, the Palace has identified flaws in the ruling of the Makati RTC Branch 148.

If necessary, Panelo added, the government is determined to elevate the case further to the Supreme Court (SC).

What is important to Malacañang and to President Rodrigo Duterte, for now, is that the court upheld Proclamation 572 which acknowledges the President’s power to declare null and void an amnesty declaration granted to an individual.

“There are procedural matters decided by the court which to my mind are erroneous. How it accepted evidence despite the fact that they are all secondary evidence. So there are questions na can be properly raised in the Court of Appeals and subsequently the Supreme Court,” Panelo concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Trillanes refutes Sabio’s allegations against him

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 9, 2019

Former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV

Former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has refuted Atty. Jude Sabio’s claims against him which include the allegation that the former senator is behind the “Ang Totoong Narco List” videos.

Sabio is Trillanes’ former lawyer. He is also the lawyer of self-confessed Davao Death Squad hitman Edgar Matobato.

In an open letter, Trillanes said Sabio had no personal knowledge about him being involved with Peter “Bikoy” Advincula.

“Hinala mo lang na malalim ito kasi sabi mo, kinukuha kita bilang abogado niya [Bikoy] (These are just speculations on your part because you said I was recruiting you to become Bikoy’s lawyer),” he wrote in his letter.

“Sa interview mo mismo ay sinabi mo na ang sabi ko sayo ay may ‘ibang handlers’ si Bikoy na nagpapahanap lang sila ng abogado niya. Hindi ba maliwanag iyon na I’m not directly involved with him? (In your interview you said that I told you Bikoy has ‘other handlers’ and that they are just looking for a lawyer for Bikoy. Isn’t that clear enough that I’m not directly involved with him?)” he added.

Sabio also claimed that Trillanes owed him P700,000 in lawyer’s fees. Trillanes responded he was not the one who requested for a billing.

“Maliwanag mismo sa interview mo na hindi ako ang nagpagawa sa’yo ng billing na iyan at hindi rin ako ang kliyente mo. Si Edgar Matobato ang kliyente mo at maliwanag sa ating lahat na pro bono ang engagement niyo, (It is clear during your interview that I did not request for that billing and I was not your client. Edgar Matobato was your client and it is clear to everyone that your engagement is pro bono) he wrote.

In 2017, Sabio filed a case against President Rodrigo Duterte and other high-ranking government officials before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for allegedly committing crimes against humanity in the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.—AAC

De Lima supporters launch committee for her freedom

Maris Federez   •   August 26, 2019

Supporters of Senator Leila de Lima on Monday launched the Committee for the Freedom of Leila De Lima.

This aims to intensify the public’s awareness on the senator’s condition as a prisoner of conscience.

The lawmaker has been in detention for more than two years for illegal drug-related cases.

“One important characteristic of this committee in what’s happening is were making this a non-partisan issue, of the freedom of Sen. Leila. Any ability to participate as a senator should not be about politics,” Prof. Tony La Viña, one of the conveners, said.

The group is supported by former President Benigno Aquino III who had once been a senator himself, as well as, six former members of the Senate, like senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Rene Saguisag.

The group is appealing for De Lima to be allowed to vote on proposed bills and resolutions, attend Senate sessions and public hearings from her cell at Camp Crame in Quezon City by way of teleconferencing.

The said measure was first proposed by then-Senator Nene Pimentel during President Gloria Magapagal’s term when Senator Trillanes was in detention.

It was not, however, approved by some senators during that time.

“Kaya noong nanalo na si President Aquino nagbago ang ihip ng hangin. Suddenly gumugulong ano, pinayagan. Pero sinesetup pa lang siya noong eventually pinayagan akong makalaya at mabigyan ng amnesty. So hindi na natuloy iyong mga ganoong paraan [So when President Aquino won the elections, the situation had changed. Suddenly it was approved. But they were still setting it up when I was eventually freed and given amnesty. So it did not push through],” Trillanes said.

The former lawmakers have also expressed support for Senate Resolution 51 filed by Senators Panfilo Lacson and Franklin Drilon that seeks to allow De Lima to attend sessions thru teleconferencing.

They said there are important issues that need the opinion of the minority in which De Lima belongs.

The lady senator is facing a case of conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading inside the New Bilibid Prisons while she was still the secretary of the Department of Justice. (from the report of Mai Bermudez) /mbmf

Justice Zalameda takes oath as new SC magistrate

Maris Federez   •   August 6, 2019

New SC Justice Takes Oath. Court of Appeals (CA) Justice Rodil V. Zalameda takes his oath as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court (SC) before Chief Justice Lucas P. Bersamin, while SC Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio looks on, at the SC En Banc Session Hall on August 6, 2019. (Caption by Jay B. Rempillo, Photo by Francisco S. Gutierrez/Supreme Court Website)

Court of Appeals (CA) justice Rodil Zalameda has taken his oath as the new member of the Supreme Court (SC) magistrates.

Zalameda replaced the newly-retired Justice Mariano del Castillo.

He was chosen by President Rodrigo Duterte over 5 other nominees, including Court Administrator Midas Marquez and CA Justice Japar Dimaampao.

He was appointed Court of Appeals associate justice in September 2008 and served as city prosecutor in Mandaluyong City prior to that.

Zalameda obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of the East and earned his law degree in 1987 at the Ateneo Law School.

He passed the bar exams in 1988. (with details from Mai Bermudez) /mbmf

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