MANILA, Philippines – While the Supreme Court (SC) had thumbed down the request of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV for a temporary restraining order (TRO), the opposition lawmaker's political party said it considered the ruling a "victory" as it would give him the chance to argue his side in court.
Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano gave the party's statement on Wednesday, September 12, a day after the High Court denied Trillanes' request for a TRO against President Rodrigo Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572 that voided his amnesty.
“We view the ruling of the Supreme Court as a victory at this point for Senator Trillanes,” said Alejano. (READ: EXPLAINER: What the Supreme Court TRO denial means for Trillanes)
“The Supreme Court deemed the case as factual in nature which the lower courts could already handle. This will give Senator Trillanes a chance for his side to be heard. It is also important to note that the lower court, in this case the regional trial court, have already dismissed all the cases of Senator Trillanes,” he added.
The SC ruling was primarily based on Duterte’s categorical pronouncement that no arrest will be made without a warrant issued by the trial courts. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana also ruled out any possibility of a warrantless arrest against the embattled senator.
Following the Court's decision, the ball is now in the Makati Regional Trial Court Branches 148 and 150, which will hear the justice department’s motions to issue an arrest warrant against Trillanes on Thursday, September 13, and Friday, September 14, respectively.
“This legal premise no longer needs to be proven. Because of this commitment, there is no need for a temporary restraining order,” said Alejano.
SC showed ‘independence’
The former mutineer said the SC has “shown independence” in its latest ruling.
“The recent decision is a welcome development especially given the situation in the Supreme Court…. Although it is a face-saving act for the Supreme Court not to contradict outright the President over Proclamation 572, it is a positive disposition that it held on the statements of the President and the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) regarding the arrest,” said Alejano.
“The Supreme Court is telling the President that an arrest cannot be ordered and made without a warrant from the court,” he added.
Alejano echoed the sentiments of Trillanes himself, who was “grateful” to the High Court for recognizing his rights. Trillanes continued to be holed up at the Senate for now.
Trillanes and Alejano were among the soldiers that led the 2003 Oakwood mutiny and the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege.
Then-president Benigno Aquino III signed Proclamation 75 in November 2010, granting amnesty to mutineers in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny, the 2006 Marines standoff, and the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege. It was concurred in by both chambers of Congress in December 2010.
Trillanes and Alejano applied for amnesty in January 2011 and were in the list of officers and soldiers granted amnesty that same month. – Rappler.com
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