Supreme Court denies Sen. Trillanes’ bid for TRO vs. void amnesty

Marje Pelayo   •   September 11, 2018   •   4058

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) has denied Senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s plea for a preliminary injunction and the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) against Proclamation 572 voiding his amnesty.

With this development, the High Court leaves the decision to the Makati Regional Trial Court whether or not to issue an alias warrant of arrest and a hold departure order against Trillanes.

“Only a trial court and in certain cases, the Court of Appeals are trier of facts. Hence it is appropriate that the Makati RTC should be given leeway in exercising their concurrent jurisdiction,” read Atty. Maria Victoria Gleoresty Guerra, the SC’s acting Chief PIO.

Trillanes’ camp sought to restrain on Friday the implementation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s revocation of his amnesty granted by former President Benigno Aquino III.

The senator insisted that the nullification was unconstitutional because it proceeded without the approval of Congress which, Trillanes’ claimed, was a clear violation of his right to due process.

However, the SC maintained that the issuance of an alias warrant of arrest should be acted upon by the lower court before proceeding to the arrest.

“The court takes judicial notice of the categorical pronouncement of President Duterte that Senator Trillanes will not be apprehended, detained or taken into custody unless a warrant of arrest has been issued by the trial court and thus there is no extreme and urgent necessity for the court to issue an injunctive relief considering that the respondents have acknowledged Senator Trillanes’ right to due process,” the decision further states.

Meanwhile, the Department of Justice (DOJ) was pleased with the decision and the High Court’s recognition of the Makati Regional Trial Court’s jurisdiction as it has set the trial on the case on September 13 and 14.

“More significantly, the Supreme Court has recognized that the issue the of validity of Proclamation 752 involves factual questions that only the trial courts may properly resolve. In the process, the Supreme Court has also acknowledged the trial courts’ continuing jurisdiction over the coup d’ etat and rebellion cases, notwithstanding the alleged ‘finality’ of the orders of dismissal based on the grant of amnesty to Sen. Trillanes,” said Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra.

Trillanes’ camp welcomes the SC decision.

“We are gratified by the ruling of the Supreme Court. We are happy also that the Supreme Court required the respondents to comment on the petition,” explained Atty. Rey Robles, Trillanes’ legal counsel.

The respondents were given 10 days to comment on the petition. – Mai Bermudez / Marje Pelayo

Malacañang said it will respect SC ruling on Marcos electoral protest

Marje Pelayo   •   October 15, 2019

(L-R) Vice President Leni Robredo and former senator Bongbong Marcos

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang said it will abide by whatever the decision of the Supreme Court (SC) regarding the electoral protest filed by former Senator Bongbong Marcos against Vice President Leni Robredo.

“Whatever the decision of the court, we should abide by it,” noted Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

In 2016, Marcos accused Robredo of “massive cheating” in the 2016 elections.

He lost to Robredo by some 260,000 votes, but Robredo’s camp said her lead over Marcos grew by 15,000 votes after the initial recount.

On Tuesday (October 14), the PET ordered the release of a report on the initial recount of votes.

“Hayaan ninyo na sila (Let them be). We’ll just wait and let the parties argue their case in court and PET will have to render its decision,” he added. – MNP (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

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