DOJ asks Makati judge to reconsider ruling on Trillanes case

By Benjamin Pulta

October 26, 2018, 5:22 pm

MANILA--- Government lawyers have filed a motion for partial reconsideration before the Makati Regional Trial court Branch 148 in connection with the criminal charges against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

"This motion for partial reconsideration is set for hearing (by the Makati court) on Tuesday, October 30," Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra told reporters in Boracay Island on Friday.

Guevarra said a motion for reconsideration and a ruling on the matter by Makati Judge Andres Soriano is required before the parties can elevate the controversy to the Court of Appeals (CA)

Guevarra earlier said they intend to ask Soriano to take a second look at the magistrate's order, particularly his finding that Trillanes "had sufficiently shown that he filed his certificate of amnesty, and that therefore it follows that he also admitted his guilt for the offense of coup d’ etat and recanted all statements inconsistent with such admission of guilt."

In his order, Soriano said he no longer had jurisdiction over the case against Trillanes under the legal doctrine of immutability of a final judgment, so he cannot validly order his arrest as sought by prosecutors or issue a hold departure order.

In the same order, however, Soriano said there is "no basis to believe that Proclamation 572 has breached any constitutional guaranty or that it has encroached on the constitutional power of either the judicial and executive branch".

Soriano said while he may no longer order Trillanes' arrest, a future situation may be more favorable to the government's cause.

"Meanwhile, the law is vibrant. Jurisprudence is its lifeblood. Subsequent jurisprudence may forge new horizons in which exceptions to the immutability of a final and executory judgment may be born," Soriano said in the same order.

Soriano said in voiding the grant of amnesty to Trillanes, Proclamation 572 "merely sought to correct what the executive branch perceives to be an erroneous grant of amnesty to Trillanes, who allegedly did not apply for amnesty and who failed to admit guilt and/or participation and involvement in, among others, the Oakwood Mutiny, and/or otherwise failed to recant previous statements contrary to such admissions."

Proclamation 572, signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on Aug. 31, declared Trillanes' amnesty void ab initio (from the beginning). (PNA)