March 03, 2021 at 10:40 pm
Rey E. Requejo
It is still too early for former Senator AntonioTrillanes IV to celebrate his legal victory before the Court of Appeals over a bid to revive the rebellion case against him, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said.
Guevarra said while the appellate court may have sided with Trillanes in overturning the decision of a Makati City over his role in the 2007 Peninsula siege, the same CA ruling upheld the proclamation of President Rodrigo Duterte revoking the amnesty granted to the former senator.
“I have not received a copy of the decision. I have neither discussed the government’s move with the Solicitor General but based on what has been reported in the media, the same decision of the CA upheld the validity of the proclamation revoking the amnesty granted to Senator Trillanes,” Guevarra said in a text message to reporters.
“If this is so, it opens a number of legal options to the government, and if I may say, the battle is certainly far from over,” he added.
In setting aside the order of the Makati RTC, the CA said the Justice department failed to comply with the procedural rules in assailing the validity of the dismissal of the rebellion case.
In the 59-page decision, the CA’s Sixth Division, through Associate Justice Apolinario Bruselas Jr., sustained the validity of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572, which revoked the grant of amnesty to Trillanes by former President Aquino.
The proclamation was what paved the way for the lower court’s granting of the motion of the Department of Justice for the reopening of the rebellion case and the issuance of an arrest warrant and hold departure order against the former senator.
The lower court ruled the former senator failed to prove that he actually applied to be granted amnesty and that he expressly admitted his guilt to the crimes committed pertaining to the Manila Peninsula takeover.
Prior to the grant of amnesty, Trillanes and several members of the Magdalo group were charged with coup d’etat for the Oakwood mutiny in 2003 and with rebellion for the Manila Peninsula siege.