MANILA, Philippines – Former president Benigno Aquino III questioned the “confused decision” of Makati City Regional Trial Court Branch 150 Judge Elmo Alameda on the arrest of opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.
“Instead of settling the issue, this confused decision will just exacerbate the problem caused by the faulty proclamation,” Aquino told Rappler in an interview, referring to President Rodrigo Duterte’s Proclamation 572 ordering the revocation of the senator’s amnesty.
Aquino, who granted the amnesty to Trillanes in 2011, said the decision violates the rule against double jeopardy.
The former president said Alameda himself dismissed rebellion charges against Trillanes following the amnesty grant in 2011. No one appealed the decision.
But now, Aquino said Alameda is contradicting his own ruling. The judge, he added, should have considered the issue’s serious and wide repercussions. (EXPLAINER: Why Judge Alameda disregarded affidavits in Trillanes case)
“Mag-ingat naman nang kaunti sa desisyon... Ang gusto ko lang sabihin: Ah judge gusto ko lang po maintindihan. Nag-desisyon po ba kayo dati o hindi? Kung nag-desisyon kayo dati, wala namang nag-appeal, hindi naman kayo inoverturn ng kung anumang higher court, so it stands. If it stands at natapos na kayo dun, ano itong ginagawa niyo ngayon?” Aquino said.
(Please be careful with decisions you make... All I want to say: Judge I just want to understand. Didn’t you already decide on the case? If you already made the decision, no one appealed it and no high court overturned it, so it stands. If it stands and you’re already done with it, what is this thing you’re doing now?)
“Hindi puwedeng ipagpatuloy dahil tapos na. Kung bago naman, anong base nito? (This should not be reopened because it’s done. If this is new, then what is the basis?) There were acts then that led to rebellion charges, which you decided on and dismissed. How do you reopen it now without violating the double jeopardy rule? This seems like a classic example of double jeopardy,” he said.
Disregard for proof, documents
On Tuesday, Alameda ordered the arrest of Trillanes citing his failure to submit hus application form. The warrant came after Trillanes submitted on Monday sworn affidavits of thr chairman and the secretariat of the former panel that processed and backed the amnesty.
The former president criticized this and said there was clear disregard of official documents, which were the further confirmed by the affidavits.
“May pruweba before, after [the amnesty] at lahat yan official documents. Ni-reiterate pa ng mga affidavits ng mga concerned people. Biglang binalewala yung ganun,” he said.
(There are proof before and after the amnesty and all those evidence were official documents. They were even reiterated in the affidavits of the concerned people. But now, these are being disregarded.)
Trillanes immediately posted bail after police served the warrant. He, however, faces a tougher time at the Makati RTC Branch 148, where he is facing the non-bailable charge of coup d’etat. – Rappler.com