Makati court defers DOJ motion amid Trillanes arrest

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV (Philstar.com photo)

THE Makati City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 150 on Monday, September 10 has scheduled a hearing later this week, declining the omnibus motion of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to issue an arrest warrant against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV without litigation.

The hearing has been slated for Friday, September 14, at 9 a.m.

“The court is not persuaded with the argument of the prosecution that its omnibus motion should not be set for hearing and should be acted by this court ex-parte,” the order stated.

Presiding Judge Elmo Alameda signed the order that explained that the issuance of an arrest warrant and travel ban without any hearing would compromise the right of the accused to due process.   

Clerk of Court Diosfa Valencia clarified that the RTC must respect the petition of the accused opposition senator before the high court, as reported by The Philippine Star.

“The court has to observe judicial courtesy because there is a pending motion filed by Sen. Trillanes before the Supreme Court,” Valencia explained.

She also noted that they will await the decision of the SC on whether to pursue any court proceedings.

“If the Supreme Court ruled that there would be no proceedings at all before lower courts, then we will abide,” Valencia noted.

The same court held the trial on the rebellion case filed against the Magdalo mutineer in relation to the siege at The Peninsula Hotel in Makati City in 2007.

Trillanes responded the same day and said that President Rodrigo Duterte plans on tricking him. He promised that he would not fall into the trap that Duterte has in store.

“Probably, they’re trying to trick me into that trap but I won’t fall for that,” Trillanes told reporters.

The staunch critic claimed that Duterte has “deniability” even though the president promised to wait for the court’s decision regarding the revocation of the amnesty granted by Aquino. Trillanes alleged that the leader frequently lies to the public when cornered regarding matters of national importance.

The senator also dismissed allegations that he was planning to oust the president and that he is recruiting rebels in the military. He also said that his sources in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have a standing warrant of arrest for him.

The senator has not left his office for a week now since the proclamation came out.

IBP and church stands by Trillanes

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) led by National President Abdiel Dan Elijah Fajardo said that Proclamation 572 is unconstitutional.

“Arresting and incarcerating Senator Trillanes for offenses dismissed by amnesty runs roughshod over the constitutional guarantee against double jeopardy that no person shall be held to answer twice for the same criminal offense,” the IBP board of governors said.

The institution with 50,000 members explained that the cases filed against the senator were no longer valid due to the amnesty grant.

“It is also a matter of public record that the criminal cases for which Senator Trillanes stood trial have been dismissed with finality by our courts precisely on the basis of amnesty,” the IBP explained.

The IBP also urged the courts “to resist collateral attacks against its judgments and creeping incursions on its independence,”

“An independent and impartial judiciary remains the most powerful bastion that protects our cherished constitutional rights against excesses of political power,” it added.

Caloocan Bishop Emeritus Deogracias Iñiguez Jr. also encouraged the Catholic congregation to pray and stand for the truth amid the abuses in the Duterte administration.

“Neutrality is wickedness. To be Christian is to stand for and speak the truth,” Iñiguez said.

Iñiguez backed Trillanes and criticized Duterte’s “attempt to strike a final death blow to dissent, democracy and to our nation’s moral fiber.”

“Before us today is our Red Sea, made by the blood of the innocents and Lady Liberty. If we are made in the image and likeness of God, then we must inspire courage among each other, and with faith hold out our staff and part this sea of wickedness,” he said.

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