Rush for TRO: Trillanes speeds up Supreme Court proceedings

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The camp of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV will file on Friday, September 7, a motion for a special raffle to speed up proceedings at the Supreme Court (SC). They had requested for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against the proclamation that voided his amnesty.

Trillanes' lawyer Rey Robles confirmed in a text message to Rappler early Friday morning that they will file the motion.

Under the internal rules of the SC, the justice in charge can make a recommendation as early as Friday. The rush comes amid rumors that the military will conduct a warrantless arrest against Trillanes anytime from Friday to Sunday, September 9.

"We are still verifying reports, but supporters on scene assess that Senator Trillanes is highly vulnerable to an illegal arrest tonight until Sunday, when the Senate is not in session and very few people are there," the camp of Senator Leila de Lima told reporters late Thursday night, September 6.

Without the motion, the SC could raffle the petition only on Monday, September 10, and wait for the en banc session on Tuesday, September 11. 

What can the SC do? Once Robles files the motion for a special raffle, the raffle will be conducted immediately with the authority of the chief justice or substitute senior member.

The petition will be raffled off to a justice, who will be the member-in-charge.

The member-in-charge can recommend an action to Supreme Court Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro, who will have to decide on whether or not to act on it.

But if the recommendation is to issue a TRO, and De Castro issues one, it will take effect Friday, subject to the ratification of the en banc on Tuesday.

The petition for certiorari with a prayer for a TRO filed on Thursday could have already come with the motion for a special raffle. However, the Trillanes camp has to make do with a belated motion.

Military arrest? Senate President Tito Sotto III said that no millitary personnel can enter the Senate premises to arrest Trillanes.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) still has not been able to secure a warrant of arrest from the Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC), the only arrest that Trillanes would heed, the senator said.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said they will seek a warrant from another branch of the Makati RTC but that he believes a military arrest "will be faster."

Robles slammed the military arrest as blatantly illegal, even adding that the court martial proceedings against Trillanes will only be for conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman, the maximum penalty of which is dismissal from service.

Trillanes is no longer a soldier.

"Parang niloloko lang nila ang sarili nila. Ibabalik ka namin para tanggalin ka namin, wala na sa lugar talaga 'yan. Tahasan nang pambababoy sa ating mga batas," said Robles.

(It's like they're fooling themselves. We will bring you back into the service just so we can remove you again. That is so out of place. That is blatant disrespect of our laws.)

Trillanes said during a late night press conference Thursday that he trusts the Armed Forces of the Philippines will not heed an illegal order. Rappler.com

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.

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