The Court of Appeals today ruled in favor of former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, junking the rebellion case that a Makati court revived against him.
Judge Elmo Alameda of the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 reinstated the rebellion case against the former lawmaker in 2018 upon the request of the Department of Justice. The Justice Department filed an omnibus motion to reinstate the rebellion charge after President Rodrigo Duterte voided Trillanes’ amnesty. The Court of Appeals said that Alameda committed “grave abuse of discretion” when he revived the charge.
“The respondent court committed grave abuse of discretion when, without taking ample time to pause and ponder, whether or not it retained jurisdiction, summarily and cursorily considered the Omnibus Motion upon a matter involving a criminal action that it has long-ago dismissed. It acted with grave abuse of discretion that amounted to [an] excess of jurisdiction, thus ousting it of jurisdiction, when it shunned testimonial evidence,” the Court of Appeals said in its 59-page decision.
In 2007, Trillanes led a band of soldiers and took over the ballroom of the Manila Peninsula hotel in an act of defiance against then-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Trillanes was jailed for seven years and was freed after he was granted amnesty by then-President Benigno Aquino III.
Alameda decided to reinstate the rebellion charge because Trillanes was allegedly unable to prove that he filed his application for amnesty and that he failed to show that he “expressly admitted his guilt in the application form for the crime he committed.”
Meanwhile, Trillanes, a vocal critic of Duterte, rejoiced over the Court of Appeals’ decision. He thanked the Court’s justices and said that “the rule of law prevailed.”
“I wish all judges and justices have this sense of justice to check the prevailing authoritarianism in the country,” he said.
Today, the rule of law prevailed. Nagpapasalamat ako sa mga CA justices na gumawa ng desisyong ito. Sana all judges and justices ay may ganitong sense of justice to check the prevailing authoritarianism in the country.
— Sonny Trillanes IV (@TrillanesSonny) March 2, 2021