Senator Trillanes remains a free man after a Makati court turned down the government’s request for an arrest order against him.
In a 33-page ruling today (Monday, October 22), Judge Andres Soriano denied the petition of the Department of Justice (DOJ) but affirmed the validity of President Duterte’s Proclamation No. 572, which stripped the former mutineer of his amnesty.
At the same time, the lower court denied the DOJ’s motion for a hold departure order against the opposition senator.
The coup d’état case against the senator was dismissed in 2011 after President Aquino granted him an amnesty for his role in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny.
“Well established is the doctrine that a final and executory judgment shall be immutable. The Court, in fact, loses jurisdiction over the case when its decision has become final and executory,” the court said in its ruling released this afternoon.
The court noted that while it affirmed the validity of Proclamation No. 572, “the court finds itself powerless to disturb the [Doctrine of Immutability].”
Doctrine of Immutability means that a decision that has acquired finality becomes absolute and unchangeable, and may no longer be modified in any respect, even if the modification is meant to correct erroneous conclusions of fact and law.
In August, however, President Duterte issued Proclamation No. 572, revoking the amnesty on the grounds that Trillanes failed to file an application for it and admit his guilt.
The DOJ used had used this proclamation as its basis to ask the Makati court to issue an arrest warrant and hold departure order against the senator, and so effectively re-open the coup d’état case.
The Philippine National Police has today said that it respects the decision of the court.
“The PNP as a law enforcement agency will always respect and uphold whatever is the decision of any judicial authority,” PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Benigno Durana told the Inquirer.