Palace respects court order denying DOJ plea for Trillanes arrest
By Azer Parrocha
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — Malacañang on Monday said it “respects” the decision of the Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) that denied the petition of the Department of Justice (DOJ) for a warrant of arrest against Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV over the coup d’etat case filed against him.
Makati RTC Branch 148 Judge Andres Soriano denied the DOJ motion but affirmed the validity of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572, which declared the amnesty granted to the senator as void ab initio (from the beginning).
Panelo noted that the Office of the President has yet to receive a copy of the ruling issued by the Makati court.
He also welcomed the court’s affirmation of the validity of the proclamation issued by the President.
“It signifies that this administration is not engaged in the political persecution of its critics but is only enforcing the law against anyone who goes against its command,” Panelo said.
Panelo, meanwhile, reiterated that Malacañang respects the constitutional independence of the judiciary and it will continue to do so.
“The Executive Branch has and will always bow down to the majesty of the law, and it will not think twice in doing the same for this particular case,” Panelo said, noting that it will not “unfairly appeal” to the pity of the public such as personalities in the opposition and will instead address the matter in the proper forum.
Panelo pointed out that the first jeopardy has not yet been validly terminated since the dismissal of the case for coup d’etat was based on a void executive grant, describing Trillanes’ case as “unique.”
“Existing legal remedies under the law may be availed of, considering especially the said court’s confirmation that Presidential Proclamation No. 572 (s. 2018) is legal,” Panelo said.
He also assured that the Office of the President will not preempt the Department of Justice or the Office of the Solicitor General from deciding which legal course it will take relative to the case.
“We will leave it to these offices to evaluate the available remedies, as well as to determine which steps may be endeavored, before the appropriate courts of law,” Panelo said.
Earlier, the DOJ asked two Makati courts to issue arrest warrant and hold departure order against Trillanes in the coup d’etat case over the 2003 Oakwood mutiny and the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege after Duterte voided the amnesty granted to the senator by the previous administration.
Trillanes, a former Navy officer, has repeatedly insisted that he has complied with all amnesty requirements and was granted amnesty under Proclamation No. 75 and that a certificate of amnesty was issued to him. (PNA)