MANILA — A Makati City court on Friday gave more time to both state prosecutors and defense lawyers to prepare to bolster their arguments in connection with the hold departure order (HDO) and an alias arrest warrant on Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.
Consequently, Makati City Regional Trial Court Branch 150 Judge Elmo Alameda has yet to issue any order regarding the case.
The Makati court was hearing the rebellion case against Trillanes and other Magdalo soldiers over the Manila Peninsula siege in 2007.
The case, however, was dismissed after former president Benigno Aquino IV issued an amnesty to the mutineers.
President Rodrigo Duterte recently voided the amnesty given to Trillanes.
Present during Friday’s hearing were Trillanes’ counsel Reynaldo Robles, acting Prosecutor General Richard Anthony Fadullon, and Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera.
During the hearing, Fadullon told the court that with Duterte’s Proclamation 572, revoking the amnesty given to Trillanes, “we revert to the situation prior to the dismissal.”
He said because Aquino’s amnesty grant under Proclamation 75 has been superseded by Duterte’s issuance, the lower court’s dismissal becomes void.
Robles, however, argued Proclamation 75 is also valid “until judicially annulled.”
The court allowed both parties to present evidence to support their arguments, with Fadullon presenting a certificate signed by Lt. Col. Thea Joan Andrade, Chief of Discipline Law and Order Division, which states that Trillanes’ records in applying for the amnesty could not be found.
Robles, meanwhile, presented a video showing Trillanes filing an application that was received by a certain Col. Josefa Berbigal.
But the judge pointed out that the video has yet to be authenticated.
“The court needs actual application form,” the judge also said, adding that this would be the primary evidence in the case.
Robles said they could not locate the form, noting that the certificate submitted by state prosecutors “does not prove that my client did not apply.”
“Records of the Department of National Defense (DND) will show that he applied,” Robles said.
He added that they have circumstantial evidence that would prove that his client did apply for amnesty, such as the amnesty certificate, photos of Trillanes holding a copy of his application form published in a newspaper and memorandum to the DND Ad Hoc Committee.
As for the authentication of the video, Robles said they will try to secure an affidavit from Berbigal.
Fadullon said they will attach more evidence to their reply to Trillanes’ opposition.
The judge ordered the prosecution to submit its reply within five days to the comment/opposition filed by Trillanes on the motion of the Department of Justice (DOJ), asking the court to issue a warrant and an HDO against him.
In his comment/opposition, Trillanes insisted that the case against him has been dismissed seven years ago and can no longer be revived by a mere Proclamation and a motion by the DOJ.
Aside from the reply and rejoinder, both parties have been required to submit their evidence to support their claims.
After the submission of all the pleadings, the court said the case is deemed submitted for resolution.
“Thereafter, the incidents shall be deemed submitted for resolution,” the Makati court’s order read. PNA-northboundasia.com