Trillanes asks appellate court to halt rebellion trial

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Trillanes asks appellate court to halt rebellion trial

Kristine Joy Patag (philstar.com) – March 15, 2019 – 10:33am

MANILA, Philippines — Days before the Makati court is scheduled to resume hearing the revived rebellion case against Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, the lawmaker asked the Court of Appeals to issue a halt order against the lower court’s ruling to proceed.

In a 66-page Petition for Certiorari, Prohibition and/or Injunction filed on March 11 asking the appellate court to issue a temporary restraining order against Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150’s September 25 and December 18, 2018 rulings.

The copy was made public only on Friday.

On Sept. 25, 2018, the Makati court granted the Department of Justice’s plea for an arrest warrant against the senator. This effectively revived the rebellion case against Trillanes over the Manila Peninsula siege in 2007.

Trillanes filed an appeal on the court’s ruling, but Makati Judge Elmo Alameda stood firm on the decision and junked the lawmakers’ motion for reconsideration on Dec. 18, 2018.

‘Long dismissed and dead case’

The senator’s camp argued that Alameda committed grave abuse of discretion in a manner amounting to excess of jurisdiction when the court granted DOJ’s plea for warrant “completely reviving, reopening and/or resurrecting the long dismissed and dead case.”

To recall, Alameda on Sept. 7, 2011 cited the amnesty granted to Trillanes and ordered the dismissal of the rebellion case.

But in issuing a warrant in September last year, Alameda held that President Rodrigo Duterte’s Proclamation 572 declaring Trillanes’ amnesty as void from the beginning has factual basis.

The judge held that when the court dismissed the case in September 2011, there was no Proclamation 572 revoking the amnesty.

“The order dated September 7, 2011 being a void order, it has no legal and binding effect, force or efficacy for any purpose,” the September 2018 ruling read.

EXPLAINER: A duel of documents: DOJ, Trillanes cite different rulings

“With the finality and immutability of the order dated Sept. 7, 2011 dismissing the case, the [Makati court, with all due respect, had already completely lost its jurisdiction thereover and, thus, no longer exercise jurisdiction over herein Petitioner and/or the previous case against him,” the petition read.

“Needless to state, the Honorable Court a quo’s whimsical and arbitrary act of ignoring established jurisprudence particularly concerning the doctrine on the finality and/or immutability of final decisions, as well as the settled legal principles that amnesty obliterates, erases and places the alleged offense in oblivion and totally completely extinguishes the penalty for the said offense clearly amounts to an evasion of a positive duty on its part and to act in contemplation of the law,” Trillanes’ camp added.

Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 is set to resume trial on the case, for the reception of prosecution’s evidence on March 20.

EXPLAINER: Trillanes amnesty: Two courts and two rulings that may meet at SC