Panelo: Motion for Trillanes warrant can be elevated to Supreme Court

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 6) — Should the regional trial court (RTC) not issue a warrant of arrest against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, the government would bring the issue to the Supreme Court, Chief Presidential Legal Adviser Sal Panelo said Thursday.

Panelo told CNN Philippines' On the Record they could go to the Supreme Court and ask "for the reversal of the decision of the RTC denying the motion."

Panelo spoke before unverified reports came out that Trillanes may be arrested Thursday evening or early Friday using a warrant from a court-martial. Senate President Tito Sotto, addressing the rumors, said they will block Trillanes' arrest within the Senate premises.

Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 148 is set to hold a hearing on the DOJ request on September 13, 9 a.m.

Another case would not be filed in another court to get an arrest warrant against Trillanes as that would be "forum shopping" according to Panelo.

When asked if Trillanes could be arrested on the strength of Proclamation Order No. 572, Panelo merely said, "That's precisely why we filed a motion in court for the issuance of an alias warrant of arrest."

Panelo said they have a "very strong case" against the Senator.

"As far as we know, the proclamation granting amnesty to Sen. Trillanes is null and void. If the argument is the case has been dismissed, the dismissal was anchored on a void proclamation, hence I do not think the dismissal will be valid," he said.

He went on to say there was no bona fide intention of the part of Trillanes to apply for amnesty.

Panelo also debunked Trillanes' claim that what was being done to him was de facto martial law, adding the fact that they filed a motion in court for the issuance of an alias warrant of arrest was proof the claim was false.

Panelo said he wants to see who signed the documents on Trillanes' amnesty. If signatory was only then-Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, that could mean another ground for nullity, he added.

However, Panelo said the President has not made any comment on the issues surrounding Trillanes, as he was busy with more pressing concerns during his official visits to Israel and Jordan.

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