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Forum shopping? DOJ files new motion for arrest warrant, HDO vs. Trillanes

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Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said another arrest warrant and hold departure order (HDO) has been sought against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

“We have filed a motion asking for a warrant and HDO,” said Guevarra who disclosed that the motion was filed Friday (Sept. 7) before Makati City regional trial court (RTC) Branch 150.

RTC Branch 150 handled the rebellion case against Trillanes concerning the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege.

“It is clear that this instant case is still pending with this Honorable Court, as the prosecution has yet to present its evidence in chief insofar as accused Trillanes in concerned,” read the DOJ motion.

“Accused Trillanes is an incumbent Senator of the Republic. He has the means and resources to flee to another country in order to escape Philippine criminal jurisdiction. It is therefore imperative that a hold departure order (HDO) be issued directing the Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to prevent him from leaving the Philippines during the pendency of this case,” it added.

The DOJ noted that RTC Branch 150 Judge Elmo Alameda granted the motion of Trillanes to dismiss the case after former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III issued back in 2010 Proclamation No. 75 which gave him amnesty and his co-defendants over their involvement not only in the Manila Peninsula siege but also in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny.

However, the DOJ informed the court that President Rodrigo Duterte issued Proclamation No. 572 which declared as void ab initio the amnesty granted to Trillanes.

Last Sept. 4, the DOJ asked Makati RTC Branch 148 which handled the coup d’etat case concerning to Oakwood mutiny to also issue an arrest warrant and HDO against Trillanes.