No arrest warrant, hold order vs Trillanes; Makati court defers to Supreme Court

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 10) — A Makati court will not issue an arrest warrant nor a hold departure order against Senator Antonio Trillanes as it deferred to a pending Supreme Court case on the presidential proclamation that voided the former Navy officer's amnesty.

The Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150, which handled Trillanes' rebellion case, on Monday said it deferred action on the Department of Justice's motion. Instead, it will wait for the high court's decision on the petition filed by Trillanes to nullify President Rodrigo Duterte's order. The case was dismissed on account of Trillanes' amnesty given by the Aquino administration.

"The court has to observe judicial courtesy because there is a pending petition filed by Senator Trillanes before the Supreme Court... The court will not issue any hold departure order or warrant of arrest as of this moment,"  Branch 150 Clerk of Court Atty Diosfa Valencia said in a media briefing.

She added if Supreme Court rules in favor of Trillanes by an issuance of a temporary restraining order, the hearing before Branch 150 could be stopped.

"Nakadepende din kami sa order ng Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court will order that there would be no proceedings at all before the lower courts, then we would abide by their rules," Valencia said.

Despite the lower court's decision to defer to Supreme Court, Makati RTC Branch 150 Judge Elmo Alameda still set a hearing date on September 14 to hear the senator's side. Valencia said this will be done to "observe due process."

The Armed Forces has also deferred its court martial procedure pending the Supreme Court ruling.

Aside from Branch 150, DOJ also filed a motion at Makati RTC Branch 148, asking it to issue alias warrants and a hold departure order against Trillanes. It will hear the motion on September 13. Branch 148 dismissed a separate coup d' etat case against the senator also on account of the amnesty.

Branch 150 Judge Elmo Alameda said in his order; "There is also the constitutional issue raised before the Supreme Court by the accused on the validity or legality of the revocation of Proclamation No. 75 which may be a ground for this court to wait for the ruling of the Honorable Supreme Court because of the presence of strong probability that the issues raised therein would be rendered moot if this court would proceed to act on the Omnibus Motion."

Duterte on August 31 voided Trillanes' amnesty for alleged failure to comply with the minimum requirements to qualify under the Amnesty Program. It said Trillanes never admitted guilt for the coup attempts and failed to formally apply for amnesty. Duterte also ordered his staunch critic's arrest.