By Vann Marlo M. Villegas
JUSTICE Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra disputed the allegation of Magdalo Party-list Rep. Gary C. Alejano that Makati Trial Court (RTC) Branch 148 Judge Andres B. Soriano is being pressured to rule against Senator Antonio F. Trillanes IV.
Mr. Guevarra told reporters in a text message that the Department of Justice (DOJ) “takes very strong exception” to Mr. Alejano’s allegation that the government is pressuring Mr. Soriano.
“The DOJ does not interact with the Judge except through the pleadings filed and arguments raised in open court,” he said.
“Rep. Alejano’s allegations tend to impede the orderly administration of justice, unfairly cast aspersion on the integrity and professionalism of the Department of Justice and its state prosecutors, and contumaciously influence Judge Soriano’s decision-making process,” he added.
Mr. Alejano in a forum on Oct. 13 said he has information that Mr. Soriano is being pressured.
A motion by the DOJ seeking the issuance of an arrest warrant and hold departure order against Mr. Trillanes over his coup d’etat case for his involvement in the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny is now up for resolution at Branch 148.
Mr. Soriano has admitted most of the evidence submitted by Mr. Trillanes.
The motion against Mr. Trillanes was filed following President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572 which declared the Senator’s amnesty void from the beginning, alleging that he did not comply with the requirements for amnesty such as the filing of an application form and admission of guilt.
Mr. Trillanes, along with Mr. Alejano and other mutineers, were granted amnesty by then president Benigno S.C. Aquino III for their involvement in the Oakwood Mutiny, the 2006 Marine Standoff, and the 2007 Manila Peninsula Siege.
Meanwhile, Makati RTC Branch 150 has granted the motion of the DOJ and issued a warrant of arrest and travel ban on Mr. Trillanes last Sept. 25 in connection with the 2007 Manila Peninsula Siege. The senator posted bail worth P200,000 on the same day.