Military police tasked to arrest Sen. Antonio Trillanes wait outside the Senate building
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) may arrest Sen. Antonio Trillanes any time even without a warrant of arrest.
This is to resume the court martial’s hearing of administrative cases against the senator for violation of Articles of War 96 (Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and a Gentleman) and Articles of War 97 (Conduct Prejudicial to Good Order and Military Discipline) which were suspended by the amnesty in 2011.
Department of National Defense (DND) Internal Audit Service Chief Atty. Ronald Patrick Rubin said the voiding of the amnesty granted to Trillanes authorizes provost marshals of the AFP to arrest him under the military court.
“The acts for which he was charged happened while he was in active service. So although he is a civilian now the jurisdiction of the court martial was acquired while he was an active officer of the armed forces,” said Atty. Rubin.
However, Andolong clarified that out of respect for the Senate, the military police tasked to arrest Trillanes remain outside the premises of the Senate building while higher AFP officials continue to negotiate with Senate President Tito Sotto on voluntarily turning over Trillanes.
“Nirerespeto naman namin ang Senado, we are a civilized people first of all,” he said.
Rubin assured fair treatment from arresting officers when the time comes for the arrest.
“We have an officer present there together with MP’s and we trust that they will exercise good judgement in handling the situation. This organization is a very professional organization,” he said.
The AFP is currently forming a five-member general court martial that will hear the case of Trillanes.
At present, Andolong said Trillanes should prove that he submitted an application for amnesty because DND could not find a copy of it in their records.
“May ceremonial na ginawa dito sa Aguinaldo, nagkapirmahan sila ng form, unfortunately we don’t have a copy of that and of the form; kahit blangko. Eh this was a unique case that was applied to their group,” he said.
Andolong also mentioned the video taken in 2011 that showed Trillanes swearing an oath and presenting a filled out application form.
“I was told that his note of allegiance na pinakita niya doon sa video, yung picture, unfortunately mukhang siya lang ata ang may hawak ng original, dahil we cannot locate it at the moment. Kung he submitted it to the committee o Malacañang, hindi namin alam. Only he can answer that,” he said.
Andolong added that the granting of amnesty was not based on said video as it may have been a photo op only and the documents may not have been submitted at all.
He also said that the senator’s detention facility has been prepared at the AFP Custodial Center inside Camp Aguinaldo and assured that he will not be accorded any special treatment. — Lea Ylagan
Trillanes camp confident Makati court will junk DOJ’s bid for his arrest
Senator Antonio Trillanes
PASAY CITY, Philippines — The camp of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV trusts that Judge Andres Soriano of Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 148 will not grant the motion filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) requesting the court to issue a warrant of arrest against the senator for his non-bailable case of coup d’etat.
“We remain confident that he will do the right thing and the right thing is very obvious here which is to deny the motion of the Department of Justice for the issuance of a warrant of arrest,” said former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay who was tapped to dispute the nullification of the amnesty granted to Trillanes by former President Benigno Aquino III in November 2010.
The voiding of the amnesty through Proclamation No. 572 effectively revives the rebellion and coup cases against the senator.
Judge Soriano, who is handling Trillanes’ coup d’etat case, had previously deferred the latter’s immediate arrest.
Meanwhile, despite their confidence, Hilbay said they are watching closely how things will unfold in the succeeding days.
Trillanes is currently staying inside his office at the Senate as advised by his legal counsels who believe that it is the safest place for him to be in at the moment.
“This is quite outrageous that you have a senator of the public hiding in the office simply because the president has decided to have him arrested even without a warrant and has placed upon the judges the burden of having to validate a patently unconstitutional order,” Hilbay said.
He also advised the embattled senator not to lose hope and to remain calm amid the challenges against him. — Asher Cadapan Jr.
109 undocumented OFWs return home from Dubai
Undocumented OFWs who availed the amnesty program of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Department of Foreign Affairs
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday brought home 109 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Dubai.
The agency has now repatriated a total of 838 OFWs since the amnesty program began in August.
The Office of Migrant Workers Affairs shouldered airline tickets, exit fines and other penalties of the returning OFWs.
Each of the repatriates were given financial assistance of P5,000 as part of the government’s “all-out support” for the returning OFWs.
“Your presence here today demonstrates the kind of care and compassion President Duterte has for our overseas workers,” Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs Sarah Lou Y. Arriola said
She also reminded all Filipinos who are seeking employment overseas to make sure that they go through the proper application process and follow the rules and regulations of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).
Undocumented Filipinos who wish to return to the Philippines under this program will be assisted by the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai and the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi.
Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes encouraged qualified Filipinos to take advantage of the UAE’s amnesty program before the 31 October 2018 deadline, to give the Embassy and the Consulate General ample time to process the necessary documents.
Supreme Court denies Sen. Trillanes’ bid for TRO vs. void amnesty
MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) has denied Senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s plea for a preliminary injunction and the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) against Proclamation 572 voiding his amnesty.
With this development, the High Court leaves the decision to the Makati Regional Trial Court whether or not to issue an alias warrant of arrest and a hold departure order against Trillanes.
“Only a trial court and in certain cases, the Court of Appeals are trier of facts. Hence it is appropriate that the Makati RTC should be given leeway in exercising their concurrent jurisdiction,” read Atty. Maria Victoria Gleoresty Guerra, the SC’s acting Chief PIO.
Trillanes’ camp sought to restrain on Friday the implementation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s revocation of his amnesty granted by former President Benigno Aquino III.
The senator insisted that the nullification was unconstitutional because it proceeded without the approval of Congress which, Trillanes’ claimed, was a clear violation of his right to due process.
However, the SC maintained that the issuance of an alias warrant of arrest should be acted upon by the lower court before proceeding to the arrest.
“The court takes judicial notice of the categorical pronouncement of President Duterte that Senator Trillanes will not be apprehended, detained or taken into custody unless a warrant of arrest has been issued by the trial court and thus there is no extreme and urgent necessity for the court to issue an injunctive relief considering that the respondents have acknowledged Senator Trillanes’ right to due process,” the decision further states.
Meanwhile, the Department of Justice (DOJ) was pleased with the decision and the High Court’s recognition of the Makati Regional Trial Court’s jurisdiction as it has set the trial on the case on September 13 and 14.
“More significantly, the Supreme Court has recognized that the issue the of validity of Proclamation 752 involves factual questions that only the trial courts may properly resolve. In the process, the Supreme Court has also acknowledged the trial courts’ continuing jurisdiction over the coup d’ etat and rebellion cases, notwithstanding the alleged ‘finality’ of the orders of dismissal based on the grant of amnesty to Sen. Trillanes,” said Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra.
Trillanes’ camp welcomes the SC decision.
“We are gratified by the ruling of the Supreme Court. We are happy also that the Supreme Court required the respondents to comment on the petition,” explained Atty. Rey Robles, Trillanes’ legal counsel.
The respondents were given 10 days to comment on the petition. – Mai Bermudez / Marje Pelayo