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)