MANILA (UPDATED) - A Makati court has denied the Department of Justice's (DOJ) motion to have Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV arrested for coup d'etat, but upheld President Duterte's proclamation voiding the former rebel soldier's amnesty.
In the decision penned by Judge Andres Soriano, the court cited records that show the coup d'etat case against Trillanes has been dismissed in September 21, 2011, and that the dismissal was "final and executory."
"Well established is the doctrine that a final and executory judgement shall be immutable. The court, in fact, loses jurisdiction over the case when its decision has become final and executory," the decision read.
Trillanes praised Judge Soriano for "singlehandedly upholding justice and rule of law" despite what he called "extreme pressure" from the Duterte administration.
"Nagwagi ang tama. Nagwagi ang hustisya. Nagwagi ang rule of law. Nagwagi ang demokrasya. Isang tao lang ang gumawa niyan. Kaya itong si Judge Soriano, kung mga kagaya lang niya ang nasa hudikatura natin, mapapanatag ang loob ng bawat Filipino," he said.
[Truth and justice prevailed. The rule of law prevailed. Democracy won, thanks to this one person. If only everyone in the judiciary was like Judge Soriano, every Filipino will be at peace].
However, the court upheld Presidential Proclamation No. 572 which voided the Aquino administration's grant of amnesty to Trillanes.
"Given its findings, both on the legality of proclamation no. 572 and its factual bases, the Court finds no reason to disturb the doctrine of immutability of a final and executory judgment," the court said.
"Meanwhile the law is vibrant. Jurisprudence is its lifeblood. Subsequent jurisprudence may forge new horizons in which exceptional immutability of a final and executory judgment may be born," the court added.
Asked about this, Trillanes said the court merely upheld the constitutionality of the President's prerogative to issue such proclamation.
"Ang inuphold niya 'yung constitutionality and prerogative ng executive to issue such proclamation. But doon sa desisyon niya, maliwanag po na ang findings ng korte, ako po ay nag-apply [for amnesty] at ako po ay nag-admit ng guilt," he explained.
Trillanes stressed that the actual legality of Proclamation 572 will be tackled by the Supreme Court where they first filed a motion.
Trillanes was arrested nearly a month ago for rebellion, on orders of the Makati RTC Branch 150 over the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege. He posted bail on the same day.
The 2 cases were revived after Duterte voided his 2011 amnesty for allegedly failing to comply with application requirements.
The Department of Justice earlier asked the 2 Makati courts to order Trillanes' arrest and bar his departure from the country, arguing that the nullification of his amnesty meant that all cases against the senator must be pursued.
The senator has insisted that his amnesty is valid and that he followed procedure.
A former Navy lieutenant, Trillanes won a seat in the Senate in 2007, campaigning from detention, and was reelected in 2013. --report from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News