Not yet over: Calida to seek reversal of decision on Trillanes' arrest

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 22) — The game is not yet over.

The administration is not giving up its case against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV just yet, as it will go to the Court of Appeals (CA) to seek the reversal of a Makati court's decision junking a petition for the lawmaker's arrest.

"I just talked with the SolGen, he will be going to the Court of Appeals to make a reversal of that decision," Salvador Panelo, President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesperson and chief legal counsel, told CNN Philippines Monday. He was referring to Solicitor General Jose Calida.

Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 148 rejected the Justice Department's petition for an alias arrest warrant and travel ban against Trillanes. However, it upheld Duterte's Proclamation 572 that revoked the amnesty granted to the senator by former President Benigno Aquino III over two failed coup attempts in 2003 and 2007.

READ: Court rejects DOJ petition to arrest Trillanes

Panelo said Trillanes should not celebrate as the decision is just good for an "empty victory" and "only delayed the case from going to its ultimate end."


He is confident that the CA will side with the government.

"Precisely, the court said the proclamation voiding his amnesty is valid. What will be the legal basis for Trillanes to be shouting with joy?" he said.

Panelo said the court decision declaring Duterte's proclamation as valid is "more important and paramount," as it proves that the administration is not persecuting its enemies, contrary to Trillanes' claim.

In the decision, Makati RTC Branch 148 Presiding Judge Andres Soriano asserted that the lawmaker applied for an amnesty and admitted his guilt over the incidents.

"The court finds and so holds that Trillanes did file his amnesty application in the prescribed form in which he also admitted guilt for his participation in the Oakwood Mutiny, among others, and in which he further recanted all previous statements that he may have made contrary to said admission," the decision reads.

Panelo, however, maintained that this is questionable.

"Even if he did apply for an amnesty, he did not comply with the requirements imposed by law," he said.

Meanwhile, acting prosecutor general Richard Fadullon said the DOJ and the Office of the Solicitor General are studying their next move.

"It's more on the aspect na hindi pagbukas ng coup d'etat case kasi kung titignan po natin yung order ni Judge Soriano, I would say na it's neither here nor there. You're saying the proclamation 572 is valid and subsisting, but at the same time saying I cannot do anything because it is final and immutable already executory. Ang punto namin, if it emanates from a judgment which was not able to comply with certain requirements, then naturally the decision would be void. And that being the case, he can never attain finality. 'Yun po ang bagay na gusto nating iakyat sa Supreme Court," he told CNN Philippines on Tuesday.