Solgen to appeal trial court's ruling junking petition to issue arrest warrant vs Trillanes, Palace says
The Office of the Solicitor General ( OSG) will appeal the ruling of the Makati City court junking the warrant of arrest against opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, Malacanang said on Tuesday.
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that the ruling of Makati RTC 148 was a "pyrrhic victory" for Trillanes.
"If you noticed the court decided that the proclamation issued by the President is valid. They are claiming at the time that the President does not have the power to void any amnesty, and the court said he has. Now, the court is saying that it cannot issue the warrant of arrest because of the principle of immutability of judgment," said Panelo, also the chief presidential legal counsel.
"But I’m wondering why, because effectively that would mean it has no jurisdiction over the case. But then again the court took jurisdiction, and in fact the parties submitted their respective positions and evidence. Because if it has no jurisdiction, then the court should have dismissed outright the motion filed by the court and say that it has no jurisdiction," he added.
With such decision of the trial court, Panelo, quoting Solicitor General Jose Calida Jr, said there would be no motion for reconsideration to be filed.
Instead, the government's lawyer will appeal the ruling before the Court of Appeals.
"I've talked with the SolGen and he said he will not file a motion for reconsideration, but go immediately to the Court of Appeals and appeal the ruling of the court with respect to the issuance?or the non issuance of the warrant of arrest," Panelo said.
"There are procedural matters decided by the court which to my mind are erroneous, how it accepted evidence despite the fact that they are all secondary evidence. So there are questions that can be properly raised in the Court of Appeals and subsequently to the Supreme Court," he added.
Duterte issued Proclamation No. 572 voiding the amnesty granted by former President Benigno Aquino III to Trillanes in late August.
The Department of Justice ( DOJ) had asked two RTC branches in Makati to revive Trillanes' rebellion and coup d'etat cases and issued warrants of arrest against Duterte's staunch critic.
Makati RTC Branch 150 granted the DOJ's motion for a warrant and hold departure order against Trillanes last month for rebellion case. But the senator was allowed to post P200,000 bail.
On Monday, Makati RTC Branch 148 declared constitutional Proclamation No. 572, but said that the coup d'etat case against Trillanes was dismissed in September 2011 with finality, thus, making the court loses its jurisdiction over it.
With the dismissal of the DOJ's petition for the issuance of warrant of arrest against Trillanes, asked if the Armed Forces of the Philippines would convene the court martial to continue Trillanes' trial, Panelo said, "even prior to the issuance of the decision of the Court, the miltiary said it was going to reconvene the court martial."
But further pressed on the reconvening of the military tribunal, the spokesman backpedaled, saying, "we don’t even know if they are going to reconvene or not."
Prior to becoming a senator, Trillanes was a junior Navy officer who led at least two coup attempts to oust then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
He faced rebellion and coup' d'etat charges and was detained. But when Aquino assumed office, he and the other mutineers were granted amnesty. Celerina Monte/DMS