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May kaso pa rin! DOJ insists court’s dismissal of Trillanes’ coup charges ain’t valid

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The Makati court’s dismissal of the coup d’etat case against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV over his involvement in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny is not valid.

This is what Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors stressed in their reply submitted Thursday (Sept. 13) before the Makati City regional trial court (RTC) Branch 148 which is handling the coup d’etat case concerning the Oakwood mutiny.

The RTC had issued a Sept. 21, 2011 order which dismissed the case by virtue of the amnesty given by then President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to Trillanes concerning the senator’s involvement in the Oakwood mutiny as well as the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege.

The DOJ informed the RTC that President Rodrigo Duterte issued Proclamation No. 572 which voided the amnesty given to Trillanes.

“Since the September 21, 2011 Order dismissing the case against Trillanes was based solely on the amnesty was erroneously granted to him, the dismissal has no leg to stand on, i.e. a void judgment,” read the DOJ’s reply singed by Acting Prosecutor General Richard Anthony Fadullon, Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera and Assistant State Prosecutor Mary Jane Sytat.

“All proceedings founded on the void judgment are themselves regarded as invalid. In other words, avoid judgment is regarded as a nullity, and the situation is the same as it would be if there were no judgment. It, accordingly, leave the parties litigants in the same position they were in before the trial,” it explained.

The DOJ reminded the RTC that coup d’etat is a public offense punishable by reclusion perpetua.

“Social and public interest demand the punishment of the offender, hence, criminal actions for public offenses cannot be waived or condoned, much less barred by the rules of estoppels,” the DOJ stressed.

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