DOJ says no need for retrial, coup d'etat case vs Trillanes up for promulgation

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 04 2018 06:41 PM

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MANILA - The coup d'etat case against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV had already been decided when the amnesty was granted him in 2011, the government's chief prosecutor said Tuesday.

And since President Rodrigo Duterte had nullified the amnesty, Prosecutor General Richard Fadullon said the decision on the case is only up for promulgation. 

"If the case will be reopened, it is only for the purposes of asking for the issuance of an alias warrant of arrest, and for asking the court to promulgate the decision," he said in a press briefing.

Trillanes was facing trial for non-bailable coup d'état charges at a Makati court and a separate trial before the military tribunal for leading the mutiny at a luxury hotel in Makati City in 2003, when he was a Navy officer.

Fadullon explained that then Judge Oscar Pimentel of the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 148 was about to promulgate the decision on Trillanes' case when the senator was granted amnesty. 

Pimentel had already retired but Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the new sitting judge in the Makati court does not need to reopen the trial that had already been decided.

"In my opinion, since a full-blown trial has already been conducted, there will be no need to repeat," he said, emphasizing that the amnesty for Trillanes had been nullified "as if it never existed."

Trillanes and his Magdalo band of soldiers occupied the Oakwood Hotel in 2003 and the Manila Peninsula Hotel in 2007 to protest alleged corruption under then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Aside from Trillanes, around 30 others were also facing the same coup d'état charges. Guevarra said he has no personal knowledge if these cases are being reviewed, but added that this is likely. 

"I just surmise that in as much as something like this was reopened, then probably the same thing is also being done in so far as people similarly situated are concerned," he said. 

Trillanes won a seat in the Senate in 2007, campaigning from detention. He was granted amnesty in 2011 under then President Benigno Aquino III, and was reelected in 2013. 

He has vowed to fight Duterte's proclamation invalidating his amnesty and order for his arrest.