Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra denied allegations that his department was applying pressure on the Makati judge handling the coup d’etat case against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and said it was his allies who were guilty of that.
“Rep. [Gary] Alejano’s allegations tend to impede the orderly administration of justice, unfairly cast aspersion on the integrity and professionalism of the Department of Justice and its state prosecutors, and contumaciously influence Judge [Andres Bartolome ] Soriano’s decision-making process,” he said, in a text message to reporters.
“The DOJ does not interact with the judge except through the pleadings filed and arguments raised in open court,” the Justice secretary said.
He added that his department has been very careful in observing the sub judice rule on the case while Trillanes’ allies have not.
Guevarra issued the statement after Alejano said he received information that the government was pressuring Soriano to rule against Trillanes.
The judge has conducted hearings and is expected to rule on the plea of the DOJ to issue an arrest warrant and hold departure order against Trillanes in the 2003 coup d’etat case after President Rodrigo Duterte voided the amnesty granted to the senator by the previous administration.
Trillanes on Sunday said he hoped Soriano would do the right thing, despite the pressure.
Soriano is set to rule on the Department of Justice motion for an arrest warrant and a hold-departure-order on Trillanes.
Trillanes, a former navy lieutenant was among those who led the mutiny in Oakwood Premier Hotel in Makati City on July 27, 2003 and the Manila Peninsula seige on Nov. 29, 2007, both aimed at ousting then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Soriano had declared the case as deemed submitted for resolution after receiving evidence from both parties.
Trillanes said they were able to demolish all the evidence presented by the DOJ to the court.
The embattled senator, a constant critic of President Duterte, had branded “defective” all the DOJ evidence. He said the DOJ failed to present any witness who would say that he did not apply for an amnesty.