Makati court denies gov’t bid for his arrest

By: Inquirer.net October 22,2018 - 09:08 PM

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is still a free man after Makati City Regional Trial Court Branch 148 turned down the government’s request for an arrest order against the senator on Monday.

In a 33-page ruling, RTC Judge Andres Soriano denied the petition of the Department of Justice (DOJ) but affirmed the validity of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572.

At the same time, the lower court denied DOJ’s motion for a hold departure order (HDO) against Trillanes.

A victory for justice, rule of law, and democracy.

This was how Trillanes described the ruling of Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 148, which junked the motion of the Department of Justice (DOJ) for his arrest over the non-bailable coup d’état charge.

“Tatandaan natin itong araw na ito… Nagwagi ang tama, nagwagi ang hustisya, nagwagi ang rule of law, nagwagi ang demokrasya at isang tao lang ang gumawa nyan,” Trillanes told reporters on Monday, referring to Judge Andres Soriano.

While he thanked the people who prayed for the truth to prevail, the senator was also all praise for Soriano, who penned the decision.

Malacañang on Monday said it respects the decision of Makati RTC to deny the government’s request for an arrest order against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV over his previously dismissed coup d’etat charges.

“While the Office of the President has yet to receive a copy of the ruling issued by the Regional Trial Court of Makati and conduct a thorough study thereof, we respect its denial on the motion submitted by the Department of Justice (DOJ) for the arrest of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV in relation to his criminal charge for coup d’etat,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

Panelo noted that the Palace also welcomes the court’s “affirmation of the validity of the proclamation issued by the President,” saying that it signifies that the administration is not engaged in the political persecution of its critics but is only enforcing the law.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) said that it also respects the decision of the Makati RTC to deny the petition of the justice department for a warrant of arrest and travel ban against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

“We will respect and abide to the court’s decision, and will leave the case of Sen. Trillanes to the court,” PNP Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde told INQUIRER.net in a text message.

Makati RTC Branch 148 dismissed the coup d’état case in 2011 because Trillanes was granted amnesty for his role in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny by then President Benigno S. Aquino III.

“Well established is the doctrine that a final and executory judgment shall be immutable. The Court, in fact, loses jurisdiction over the case when its decision has become final and executory,” the court said in its ruling released Monday afternoon.

The court noted that while it affirmed the validity of Proclamation No. 572, “the court finds itself powerless to disturb the [Doctrine of Immutability].”

Doctrine of Immutability means that a decision that has acquired finality becomes absolute and unchangeable, and may no longer be modified in any respect, even if the modification is meant to correct erroneous conclusions of fact and law.

Last August, however, President Rodrigo Duterte issued Proclamation No. 572, revoking Trillanes’ amnesty. The presidential directive said Trillanes’ amnesty is void ab initio because he failed to file an application for it and admit his guilt over two failed uprisings against the Arroyo adminis-tration.

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TAGS: arrest, bid, court, denies, Gov’t, Makati
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