AMMAN, Jordan – President Rodrigo Duterte will abide by the rule of law and will await the issuance of a warrant of arrest if there is one to be issued against Senator Antonio Trillanes.
President Duterte made the declaration during a late night meeting with members of the Cabinet, who are with him in his official visits to Israel and Jordan, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Friday.
“He (President) will allow the judicial process to proceed and he will await the issuance of the appropriate warrant of arrest if there is indeed one to be issued before Senator Trillanes is arrested,” Roque said during a press briefing here.
Roque brushed aside speculations of a crisis as to the inclusion of the embattled senator’s case in the Cabinet discussions, saying it was to ensure that the government’s side is heard on the issue.
Roque said he has seen the documents filed by Trillanes before the Supreme Court and noted that these do not include a copy of his application for amnesty.
He said Trillanes should follow the rules of evidence to prove the existence of an application for amnesty, and that the same document was duly received by the pertinent authority.
Roque said he was surprised the senator does not appear to possess the document in question considering that the crime involves a capital offense.
“According to the best evidence rule, if you want to prove something, show the existence of a document and in this case, because he (Trillanes) went to the court, the best evidence is the duly received application form,” Roque said in Filipino.
Given that there is no warrant of arrest, Roque said he was baffled why Trillanes has confined himself in the Senate.
He said the President will wait for the decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) on the case of Trillanes, a recipient of an amnesty granted in 2010 by former President Benigno Aquino III but was voided by the President through Proclamation 572 this week.
Proclamation No. 572 argued that Trillanes has no pending application for amnesty granted to all active and former personnel of the AFP and supporters who joined the Oakwood Mutiny on July 27, 2003 Oakwood Mutiny, the Marines stand-off on February 2006 and the Manila Peninsula incident on November 29, 2007.
Trillanes has since filed a petition for Certiorari, Prohibition and Injunction with a prayer for the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) before the High Court. Lilian Mellejor/PNA-northboundasia.com