Justice Department appeals Makati RTC decision not to arrest Trillanes

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 26) — The Department of Justice (DOJ) said Friday it has filed a motion for partial reconsideration of a Makati Regional Trial Court's decision against arresting opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra confirmed in a text message to CNN Philippines that the motion was filed late Thursday and it would be heard on October 30.

Makati RTC Branch 148, helmed by Judge Andres Soriano, rejected the DOJ's petition to arrest Trillanes, a vocal critic of President Rodrigo Duterte. The government has expressed determination to seek a reversal of the decision.

In the 10-page motion, Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon and company argued that because the presidential proclamation was considered valid, there was enough basis to believe Trillanes did not file for amnesty at all. It said the RTC "contradicted itself" when it did not grant the DOJ petition.

"Proclamation No. 572, series of 2018, is valid, thus the factual bases for its issuance are also valid," it said.

It asked that the hold depature order and warrant of arrest be granted.

Duterte first released a presidential proclamation that voided the amnesty granted to Trillanes, who was involved in military uprisings against former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's administration. The government subsequently argued that Trillanes did not meet the requirements for amnesty — such as filing an application and admitting guilt — although the senator's camp maintained otherwise.

The government first sought his arrest for rebellion charges. Trillanes posted bail when Makati RTC Branch 150 issued a warrant. The coup d'etat charge which Soriano decided on was a non-bailable offense.

While Soriano ruled in Trillanes' favor, he also said Trillanes failed to prove the presidential proclamation was unconstitutional — causing confusion as to what this could mean for the senator. The constitutionality of the proclamation has also been forwarded to the Supreme Court.

The move to arrest Trillanes is seen by Duterte's critics as one of the administration's ways of shutting down dissent. If the DOJ succeeds in procuring a warrant, Trillanes would be the second sitting senator after Leila De Lima to be arrested after criticizing Duterte.

CNN Philippines Correspondent Anjo Alimario contributed to this story.

This is a developing story. Refresh the page for more updates.