MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed on Friday, September 7, its 2nd motion for an alias warrant of arrest against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV at the Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 150.
There were two separate cases against Trillanes, both of which had been dismissed:
the 2003 Oakwood mutiny case with Makati RTC branch 148
the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege with Makati RTC branch 150
Branch 150 headed by Judge Elmo Alameda previously handled the rebellion charges against Trillanes over the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege.
On September 7, 2011, Alameda dismissed the charges against Trillanes pursuant to the amnesty granted to him by former president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.
Branch 148, then under Judge Oscar Pimentel, handled the coup d’etat charges against Trillanes over the earlier 2003 Oakwood mutiny. Pimentel’s successor Judge Ma. Rita Bascos Sarabia dismissed the charges on September 21, 2011, pursuant to the amnesty.
The DOJ believes that because President Rodrigo Duterte voided Trillanes’ amnesty, it has basis to ask both courts to reopen the cases and issue alias warrants. An alias warrant is a reissued warrant without the need for a new determination of probable cause.
Trillanes and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines believe that both Makati courts have long lost the right to reopen the cases because the dismissals are final and executory.
Branch 148’s Judge Soriano set for hearing on September 13 the motion for warrant, denying the DOJ’s request for an instant issuance.
No action came from Branch 150’s Judge Alameda on Friday.
Asked why the DOJ belatedly filed the motion at Branch 150, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said “wala naman (no reason).”
On Friday afternoon, the Department of Defense as well as the Palace changed their tone: from saying Trillanes can be arrested by the military, both agencies are now saying the civilian courts must be respected. – Rappler.com
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