Makati court orders Trillanes’ arrest

MANILA — The Makati City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 150 has issued an alias warrant of arrest and hold departure order (HDO) against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV in connection with his rebellion case.

In a 22-page order, Makati RTC Branch 150 Judge Elmo Alameda granted the motion filed by Department of Justice (DOJ) in connection with the rebellion case against Trillanes and other Magdalo soldiers over the Manila Peninsula siege in 2007.

“In a view of the above disquisition, the prosecution’s omnibus motion dated September 7, 2018 for issuance of warrant of arrest and hold departure order against Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV is granted. Bail for temporary liberty of the accused is fixed at P200,000 per order dated February 16, 2010,” the court order read.

Alameda said the burden of proving compliance with the minimum requirements to be entitled to amnesty under Proclamation No. 75 issued by the previous administration rests on Trillanes.

“However, Senator Trillanes through his counsel failed to convince this Court that he indeed complied with the minimum requirement to personally fill-up and file the official amnesty application form as required in Section 5,6, and 11 of DND (Department of National Defense) Amnesty Committee Circular Dated December 21, 2010,” Judge Alameda pointed out.

The trial court noted that Trillanes failed to present the original hard copy, a duplicate copy, or even a photocopy to substantiate his claim that he personally accomplished and filed his official amnesty application form.

The court also gave weight to the online news report published on January 5, 2011, which was presented by the prosecution to prove that Trillanes failed to expressly admit his guilt for the crimes committed during the Oakwood mutiny and manila Peninsula incident.

“Since Senator Trillanes cannot produce the copy of the official application form for amnesty which he purportedly filed with DND Amnesty Committee containing the admission of guilt expressly made, it can be safely stated here that Senator Trillanes failed to comply with the minimum requirement of expressly admitting his guilt for the offenses committed during the Oakwood Mutiny and the Manila Peninsula incident,” Alameda explained.

The trial court said with Trillanes’ amnesty being declared void “ab initio,” it has regained jurisdiction to hear and resolve the case despite its dismissal on September 7, 2011.

Alameda said the September 7, 2011 dismissal of the case can be considered as a void order and has no legal and binding effect considering the issuance of Proclamation No. 572.

“With the revocation of the amnesty granted to Senator Trillanes the resulting consequence is that the order issued on September 7, 2011 dismissing the case of rebellion becomes void ab initio. Proclamation No. 572 was precisely issued to rectify the erroneous grant of amnesty to accused to Trillanes due to his failure to comply with the basis minimum requirements of filing his application and the admission stated in the said application of his guilt of the acts/crimes covered by the amnesty,” the judge said.

Justice Secretary MenardoGuevarra welcomed the order of the Court, saying that the DOJ was confident from the very start that its bid to bring Trillanes back to jail will be granted by the court.

“That is how I construe the deeper meaning of the order granting the issuance of a warrant of arrest,” Guevarra said, when asked whether the order is tantamount to the reopening of the rebellion case and a ruling based on its merit.

On Tuesday afternoon, a police team from the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), headed by the chief of police of Makati, was sent to Senate to serve the arrest warrant against Trillanes.

NCRPO chief Police Director Guillermo Eleazar, fetched Trillanes at the parking lot of the Senate, where he had been holed up since President Rodrigo Duterte nullified his amnesty.

Meanwhile, a similar motion was filed by state prosecutors before the Makati RTC Branch 148, where Trillanes was separately indicted for coup d’état over the 2003 mutiny. The case was also junked on September 21, 2011 on the same ground cited by RTC Branch 150.

The court handles the coup d’état case against Trillanes, whose amnesty was invalidated by President Duterte.

RTC Branch 148 Judge Andres Soriano ordered Trillanes’ camp to file a rejoinder and a supplemental comment on the motion of the DOJ asking the court to issue a warrant and an HDO against him. (With reports from Benjamin Pulta/PNA)

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