MANILA - The Court of Appeals has required Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV to file his comment to the petition filed by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) questioning a Makati court’s ruling refusing to issue a warrant of arrest against him over his coup d'etat case for leading the 2003 Oakwood mutiny.
In an order dated Feb. 7, the CA 7th Division gave Trillanes 10 days from receipt of notice to comply with the order.
The OSG had in January sought to nullify the Oct. 22, 2018 ruling of Makati City Regional Trial Court Branch 148 Judge Andres Soriano, which declared that Trillanes had promptly applied for amnesty and denied the Department of Justice's motion to have the senator arrested.
The former Navy officer's court cases had been revived after President Rodrigo Duterte nullified his 2011 amnesty for leading uprisings against government in 2003 and 2007. The opposition senator is among the President's most vocal critics.
In the same ruling, Soriano said Trillanes' coup d'etat case had long been closed and could no longer be reopened.
Soriano stood by his ruling in rejecting the DOJ's motion for reconsideration on Nov. 22, 2018.
In its petition, the OSG, representing the DOJ, insisted that the grant of amnesty on Trillanes was not valid as it was then Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin who granted Trillanes amnesty and not the president.
It also claimed Trillanes did not admit to the crimes he was charged with, as required for an amnesty grant.
But Trillanes' camp insisted it was former President Benigno Aquino III who granted Trillanes' amnesty through Proclamation No. 75 and it was only the defense department that was tasked to process the applications for amnesty.
It also said the application form already contained a generic admission to all crimes committed.
The DOJ had filed motions before Makati RTC branches 148 and 150 for the issuance of warrants of arrest against Trillanes following President Duterte’s issuance of Proclamation No. 572 in August last year voiding Trillanes' amnesty.
Soriano of Branch 148 refused to issue an arrest warrant and a hold departure order against Trillanes despite finding that Proclamation No. 572 was validly issued. This is now the subject of the DOJ’s petition to the CA and Trillanes’ appeal to the Supreme Court.
Makati RTC Branch 150’s Judge Elmo Alameda, who is handling the the rebellion case against Trillanes over the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege, meanwhile ordered the senator's arrest in September. Trillanes posted bail on the same day,
Alameda has set the continuation of proceedings on the rebellion case on March 20 for presentation of prosecution evidence.
Trillanes is also facing libel and inciting to sedition cases in the Pasay City and Davao City courts.