Litigation & Court Procedure

Makati Court stands by Rebellion Raps vs Trillanes

Date: 07 January 2019; Type: Legal News; Source: Philippines News Agency

MANILA, Jan 7 (PNA) - Lawyers of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV failed to persuade the Makati court to reconsider its earlier ruling to pursue the rebellion charges against the lawmaker.

In an order dated Dec. 18, 2018 which was released to the media Monday, Judge Elmo Alameda denied the motion for reconsideration filed by defense counsels, ruling that Trillanes failed to provide sufficient basis to reverse the earlier ruling of the Makati court.

"Essentially, the issues raised by Senator Trillanes through counsel in his Omnibus Motion are not novel. In fact, the matters raised therein have been thoroughly and exhaustively passed upon by this court in its assailed order," the order read.

Alameda reiterated that contrary to Trillanes' insistence, the so-called "best evidence" rule applies in the case.

The legal principle means that in case the contents of a document is part of a legal controversy, which in Trillanes' case was questions on whether he filled up forms seeking amnesty, the original document would be the superior evidence.

"Unfortunately, Senator Trillanes failed to prove that the original of the alleged application form exists. Senator Trillanes even failed to explain his failure to locate or find the copy of thereof. He also failed to prove the contents of his application. Since the existence of the duly accomplished application form for amnesty has been established nor the fact of his admission of guilt of the crime he committed, the substitutionary evidence presented by Senator Trillanes is considered hearsay and cannot be admitted as evidence to prove compliance with the minimum requirements set forth in Proclamation No. 75," Alameda said.

Last September, the Makati regional trial court issued an alias warrant of arrest and Hold Departure Order (HDO) against Trillanes in connection with his rebellion case and other Magdalo soldiers over the Manila Peninsula siege in 2007.

Alameda said the burden of proving compliance with the minimum requirements to be entitled to amnesty under Proclamation No. 75 issued by the previous administration rests on Trillanes.

Trillanes, the judge said, failed to convince the court that he complied with the minimum requirement to personally fill-up and file the official amnesty application form as required in Section 5, 6, and 11 of Department of National Defense Amnesty Committee Circular dated Dec. 21, 2010.

The Makati court noted that Trillanes failed to present the original hard copy, a duplicate copy, or even a photocopy to substantiate his claim that he personally accomplished and filed his official amnesty application form.

The court also gave weight to the online news report published on Jan. 5, 2011 which was presented by the prosecution to prove that Trillanes failed to expressly admit his guilt for the crimes committed during the Oakwood Mutiny and Manila Peninsula.

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