CA decides in favor of Trillanes over revival of his rebellion case

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 2) — The Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV after reversing a Makati court ruling that revived his rebellion case.

In a decision dated March 1 and released on Tuesday, the CA Sixth Division said “the assailed orders of 25 September 2018, and 18 December 2018, having been issued by the respondent court that no longer had jurisdiction on a dismissed criminal action and that acted with grave abuse of discretion, are set aside and vacated.”

This is reversing the order of the Makati Regional Trial Court that revived his rebellion charges, which were already dismissed in 2011, over “revocation’ of the amnesty granted to the known critic of the administration.

In a statement, Trillanes thanked the CA for coming up with such ruling.

“Today, the rule of law prevailed,” he said. “Sana all ng judges and justices ay may ganitong sense of justice to check the prevailing authoritarianism in the country.”

[Translation: I hope all judges and justices have this kind of sense of justice to check the prevailing authoritarianism in the country.]

In 2011, former President Benigno Aquino III granted amnesty to Trillanes and other mutineers who were involved in the incident that happened in Oakwood Hotel in Makati City in 2003 and the Manila Peninsula Hotel in 2007.

However, President Rodrigo Duterte then issued Proclamation No. 572 in 2018 that declared such amnesty as void after the former lawmaker failed to comply with the requirements needed to qualify.

The Department of Justice then filed the motion to revive his rebellion case at Makati RTC Branch 150 and coup d’etat case at Branch 148

Makati RTC Branch 148 Judge Andres Soriano dismissed the motion, citing lack of factual basis.

On the other hand, Makati RTC Branch 150 Judge Elmo Alameda, who was the same judge who dismissed the rebellion case, decided to reopen the case and issued a warrant of arrest against Trillanes in September 2018 after it found “factual and legal bases” for the proclamation, which was later recalled after he posted bail.

In December of the same year, Alameda also denied Trillanes’ plea to reverse it earlier ruling upholding the legality of Duterte’s proclamation that voided the amnesty granted to him.

For his part, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said he will leave it to the solicitor general for a possible legal remedy.

“I will leave it to the office of the solicitor general, as counsel for the government, to determine the appropriate legal remedy, which may include a motion for reconsideration with the Court of Appeals or a petition for review with the Supreme Court,” he said.