By NITZ ARANCON
THE Supreme Court’s ruling on Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV’s petition to stop the implementation of President Duterte’s order that voided his amnesty, was a display of credibility, lawyer and former vice mayor Antonio Soriano said yesterday. He also said the decision resulted in a “draw.”
On Tuesday, the SC denied the petition of Trillanes for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injuction against Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572 that declared the amnesty granted to the senator as void ab initio.
Soriano said the SC ruling was neither in favor nor against Trillanes or Malacañang.
“Kon sa basketball pa ni, draw,” said Soriano.
Part of the SC decision reads: “The Court resolved to deny petitioner Senator Trillanes’ prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order.”
SC spokesperson Maria Victoria Gleoresty Guerra said the high court saw no need to issue a TRO because of Duterte has publicly assured that Trillanes would not be arrested unless a court issues a warrant.
“Thus, there is no extreme and urgent necessity for the Court to issue an injunctive relief, considering that the respondents have acknowledged Senator Trillanes’ right to due process,” stated the SC, adding that it is up to the lower courts to determine the facts of the cases against Trillanes.
The SC said the lower courts should be given leeway in exercising their concurrent jurisdiction to hear and resolve the pleadings and motions filed by the parties as regards the legality of Proclamation 572.
Soriano said there were legal issues in the Trillanes case that need to be resolved by the Makati Regional Trial Court like whether or not the President can delegate the powers of granting amnesty to the defense secretary.
He said the regional court would also need to decide on whether or not Trillanes should have signed a sworn statement, admitting guilt in his participation in the Oakwood mutiny.
He noted that there is a SC decision that shows that an affidavit of guilt is not required of amnesty applicants.
“Pero kini nga decision gi-usab sa Supreme court sa ilang decision niadtong 1963 nga kinahanglan mag-execute gyud ug affidavit of guilt ang usa ka applicant sa amnesty,” Soriano said.
Trillanes, a former Navy captain, is facing charges, including coup d’état, for leading uprisings against the government. These are the mutiny at the Oakwood Premiere Hotel in Makati on July 27, 2003 and the Manila Peninsula siege on Nov. 29, 2007.
The Department of Justice has filed separate motions before the 148th and 150th branches of the Makati regional court, asking that arrest warrants and hold departure orders be issued against Trillanes.
Branch 148 is handling the coup d’état case against Trillanes concerning the Oakwood mutiny, while Branch 150 is handling the rebellion case against the senator over the Manila Peninsula siege.
The coup d’état case that was filed against the senator is a non-bailable offense and has a penalty of life imprisonment.
Judge Andres Soriano and Judge Elmo Alameda have set separate hearings on the DOJ’s motion today and tomorrow, respectively.
Meanwhile, the High Court ordered the respondents, through Solicitor General Jose Calida, to submit a comment within 10 days.
Based on the Aug. 31 proclamation of Duterte, Trillanes has no pending application for amnesty granted to all active and former personnel of the Armed Forces and supporters who joined the July 2003 Oakwood Mutiny, the February 2006 Marines stand-off and the November 2007 Manila Peninsula incident.
Malacañang said this, in effect, voided the amnesty extended to Trillanes by former president Benigno Aquino III through Proclamation 75 issued in 2010.
In a 36-page petition for certiorari prohibition and injunction, Trillanes questioned the legality of the proclamation, which invalidated his amnesty.
Named as respondents in the petition were Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Carlito G. Galvez, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, Philippine National Police Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde, and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Chief Police Director Roel Obusan. (with reports from PNA)