DOJ submits opposition to Trillanes appeal in rebellion case

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By Vann Marlo M. Villegas

THE Department of Justice (DoJ) opposed an appeal by Sen. Antonio F. Trillanes IV to reverse the order of Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 150 for his arrest and travel ban and the reception of evidence.

In another development, Makati RTC Branch 148 has set for resolution the DoJ’s urgent motion for Mr. Trillanes’s arrest and travel ban in connection with his coup d’etat case.

In its comment/opposition before Branch 150, the DoJ said the Court has already sided with the prosecution’s urgent motion seeking the warrant of arrest and hold departure order against Sen. Trillanes in connection with his rebellion case from his involvement in the 2007 Manila Peninsula Siege.

“Thus, there is no basis for the accused request to set the case for reception of evidence on the factual issues referred by the Supreme Court because this Honorable Court already ruled in favor of the Proclamation No. 572 dated August 31, 2018 after both parties were able to present evidence,” the comment stated.

It also claimed the existence of a Certificate of Amnesty does not prove that the Senator complied with the requirements for amnesty. According to President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s proclamation, Mr. Trillanes did not comply with the requirements for amnesty.

Judge Elmo M. Alameda of Makati RTC Branch 150 granted the request of Mr. Trillanes’s legal counsel Reynaldo B. Robles to submit his reply in five days and also gave the prosecution the same period to file its rejoinder if necessary.

Mr. Robles, in an interview with reporters after the hearing, said Branch 150 did not consider their testimonies through affidavit forms, and also noted that Mr. Alameda invoked the best-evidence rule in his order.

He pointed out that the application of the best-evidence rule should not be applicable to Mr. Trillanes’s case as the Court is dealing with “factual issues.”

Mr. Robles said: “Hindi naman applicable dito ‘yun e….Ang pinaguusapan ang laman ng dokumento, ang best evidence ay yung best dokumento, hindi ba? Ang pinaguusapan dito, nag-file ba o hindi, yung act of physical filing.” (It is not applicable in this case….If what is in question is the content of the document, the best evidence is the best document, right? What is tackled here is whether he physically filed his or not.)

Branch 148, under Judge Andres B. Soriano, has admitted the evidence submitted by Mr. Trillanes except the printouts of the Facebook page of the Department of National Defense and printouts of throwback pictures of the senator as they were “not duly authenticated, presented and identified by any witness in the Court.”

The DOJ on Oct. 10 filed its comment comment/opposition to Mr. Trillanes’s formal offer of documentary evidence.

The coup d’etat charge against Mr. Trillanes in this court is non-bailable.

Mr. Trillanes’s rebellion and coup d’etat cases were dismissed in 2011 following the granting of his amnesty that year by President Benigno S.C. Aquino III. Mr. Duterte’s proclamation, however, declared as void from the beginning the amnesty of Mr. Trillanes.