Trillanes 'waiting for a miracle' as another court decides non-bailable case

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 25) — Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is holding on to a slim hope that another branch of the Makati Regional Trial Court would rule in his favor on his non-bailable case.  

"As it is, milagro ang hiniihintay natin from Branch 148 (We are waiting for a miracle from Branch 148)," Trillanes told Senate reporters Tuesday.

"We're slightly more hopeful but we have to expect for the worst," the soldier-turned-lawmaker added.

Judge Bartolome Soriano of Branch 148 handled the coup d' etat case against Trillanes and dismissed it in 2011 "pursuant to the amnesty" granted by then President Benigno Aquino III.

Once Soriano orders Trillanes's arrest, the senator could no longer post bail, unlike what happened Tuesday when he paid P200, 000 for his temporary liberty on his rebellion case at Branch 150.

Judge Elmo Alameda of Branch 150 issued a warrant of arrest on Tuesday but set the bail at P200,000 - the same amount granted to Trillanes in 2010. He also barred Trillanes from leaving the country, as he granted a petition of the Justice Department.

Another arrest warrant next week?

It's now up to Soriano whether he would put Trillanes behind bars. While he has not set a date for resolving the case, the Rules of Court state that a judge has up to 30 days to do so.

Acting Prosecutor General Richard Fadullon told CNN Philippines they expect the resolution of Trillanes' coup case next week.

"There are still exchanges of pleadings that are going on," Fadullon said. He refused to comment on whether he thinks Soriano would also issue an arrest warrant against Trillanes.

The embattled senator, meanwhile, is back at the Senate as he and his lawyers decide on their next move.

He has been holed up there since September 4 when President Rodrigo Duterte's Proclamation No. 572, voiding his amnesty, was published on newspapers.

Alameda found "factual and legal bases" for the President's proclamation, thereby junking Trillanes' defense that he, indeed, applied for amnesty and complied with all the requirements, including admitting his guilt.

Trillanes, a former naval officer, was involved in the Oakwood mutiny in July 2003, the Marines standoff in February 2006, and the Manila Peninsula incident in 2007 - which were all against then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Trillanes and fellow Magdalo soldiers were jailed but walked free when they were granted amnesty.

Trillanes dismayed, Roque happy

Trillanes expressed dismay over Alameda's decision, saying the judge was pressured by the Duterte government.

"Talagang nakakadismaya na itong ating hudikatura ay tumiklop sa pressure nitong diktador na si Mr. Duterte," Trillanes said.

[Translation: "I'm really dismayed that our judiciary gave in to the pressure of a dictator, Mr. Duterte."]

Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque told CNN Philippines he is "happy that Senator Trillanes is complying with the processes" when he went through booking procedure, and even had his mug shots taken at the Makati Police Station prior to posting bail.

Roque also said Trillanes' rebellion case should proceed, adding, "He will have his day in court."

Trillanes and his supporters claim the voidance of his amnesty was part of the government's crackdown against its staunch critics.

Malacañang has repeatedly denied going after those who oppose Duterte and his policies, even with the detention of Senator Leila de Lima, another strong critic of the administration. De Lima has said the drug charges against her were trumped up.