A Philippine court has rejected a government petition to order the arrest of an opposition senator and key critic of President Rodrigo Duterte for leading a failed mutiny in 2003, saying that the case had already been dismissed.
The charges of rebellion for leading a coup attempt levelled against Senator Antonio Trillanes were dismissed by the Makati regional court in September 2011 after the accused was granted amnesty for the crime, said Judge Andres Soriano.
‘The dismissal, it appears, has become final and executory,’ he said Monday in his 33-page decision, adding that such a judgment cannot be reversed under current legal doctrines.
The Department of Justice sought Trillanes' arrest after President Rodrigo Duterte revoked the amnesty granted to him for the 2003 mutiny and a 2007 failed coup against former president Gloria Arroyo.
In a proclamation on August 31, Duterte said the amnesty to Trillanes was void because he ‘did not comply with the minimum requirements to qualify,’ alleging that the senator did not apply for amnesty.
Soriano upheld the legality of Duterte's proclamation, but contradicted his basis for voiding the amnesty.
He noted in his decision that based on evidence given by Trillanes, he found that the senator ‘did file his amnesty application in the prescribed form in which he also admitted guilt for his participation’ in the mutiny, among others.
‘The court finds no reason to disturb the doctrine of immutability of a final and executory judgment,’ the judge said.
Trillanes hailed the decision and praised Soriano for not succumbing to ‘extreme pressure coming from the Duterte regime.’
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