SENATOR Antonio F. Trillanes IV announced on Friday he will leave the Senate premises and return home Saturday morning after a Makati court deferred its resolution on the Department of Justice’s (DoJ) warrant of arrest plea against the senator in connection with his amnesty revocation.
“It’s a big relief not only for me but more importantly for the whole justice system, the democratic institutions that Judge Soriano upheld what is right and proper despite all the pressures. He followed the process,” he told reporters outside his Senate office, referring to Judge Andres B. Soriano of Makati City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 148.
Makati RTC Branch 150 issued an arrest warrant and hold-departure order against Mr. Trillanes on Sept. 25, in connection with his rebellion case over the 2007 Manila Peninsula Siege. But Mr. Trillanes posted bail.
On the other hand, the coup d’etat charge facing him at Branch 148, in connection with the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny, is nonbailable.
Branch 148 on Friday deferred the issuance of the arrest warrant and hold-departure order against Mr. Trillanes.
Judge Soriano said in the order that, “without necessarily reopening the case and/or giving due course to the prosecution’s Urgent Ex-Parte Omnibus Motion” a hearing will be set on Oct. 5 to accept evidence by both Mr. Trillanes and state prosecutors.
Asked why the reception of evidence took long, Clerk of Court Maria Rhodora Malabag-Peralta told reporters: “It’s the discretion of the judge.”
“Although this Court is not a party to the petition pending before the Supreme Court, it takes judicial note of the Supreme Court en banc Resolution dated September 11, 2018 giving this Court leeway to resolve the factual issues cited therein,” the order also read.
Makati City Branch 148 has long dismissed the coup d’etat case on Sept. 21, 2011 following the grant of amnesty to Mr. Trillanes by then president Benigno S.C. Aquino III.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte through Proclamation No. 572 on Aug. 31 declared as void from the beginning the amnesty granted to Mr. Trillanes, claiming that he did not comply with the requirements for amnesty, such as his formal filing and his admission of guilt in the said incidents
At the Senate, Mr. Trillanes said, “Between now and the hearings and up to time that it has been submitted for resolution, we do not foresee any basis for the issuance of warrant of arrest.”
His lawyer Reynaldo B. Robles added that there would be no basis for Mr. Trillanes’s arrest for now.
Mr. Trillanes has remained in the Senate since Sept. 4 following the presidential proclamation voiding his 2011 amnesty.
Also on Friday, former senator Rene A.V. Saguisag visited Mr. Trillanes’s office. “I have come here because we were together during the Oakwood trial….This development with the President intervening with the judicial process is very disturbing to anybody who believes in the rule of law,” he told reporters.
“I hope that with this development, we will still have separation of powers and the President will not intervene,” the former senator, a veteran human-rights lawyer, also said. — Camille A. Aguinaldo and Vann Marlo M. Villegas