DUMAGUETE CITY – When our judges are in dilemma how to decide a certain case, their last resort is to ask: What is the intention of this law? When it was passed, what was really in the minds of its framers? On which side is the public’s interest?
Despite the obvious Duterte-sympathetic supreme court by virtue of his recent appointments to the highest tribunal, the wheels of justice at least for this week that passed, has turned a positive olive leaf of political peace when the Makati regional trial court denied the plea of the Department of Justice (DOJ) for the RTC to issue a warrant of arrest on Sen. Antonio Trillanes. This was regarding the issue of Trillanes’ old coup d’etat case infamously known as the Oakwood Mutiny which happened during Arroyo’s administration.
Branch 148 of the RTC in Makati thru Judge Andres Soriano said that the mutiny case spurred by the attempted but failed coup d’etat is already a closed case being a decided penal case even at the lower court so that it can no longer be revived under the pain of double jeopardy. Judge Andres Soriano said that if due given course, it will open the floodgates of other dismissed cases in the lower courts for revival. So Trillanes is now a free man temporarily saying that the circumstances surrounding his amnesty is valid after all. But it can still be assailed in an appeal. Trillanes thanked the citizens for their vigilance and the lawyers who were ready to defend the side of truth. Failure to resolve the issue could have compromised the political stability of the country.
Going to extremes, it is still possible that certain palace officials cautioned itself ex cathedra that its adverse decision could have far reaching political consequences especially on the forthcoming mid-term elections. An adverse decision could result in an anti-administration vote on May 13. And the palace cannot afford that to happen.
Yet the political woes of Trillanes are not yet over. There is still that appeal about the constitutionality of the Duterte proclamation 572. If granted favorably, it could mean the scrapping of the effects of an amnesty that may be validly abolished by the president but that is still pending before the court of appeals. We believe its resolution also needs timing and relevance.
Co-senator Bam Aquino said this is not only a personal victory of Sen. Trillanes but a victory for the rule of law in the country. The people laud Judge Soriano for siding with the truth, and for his courage amidst seemingly insurmountable pressure.
In our history, we have learned that the courage of one man to do the right thing can inspire others to do and even be the same. Trillanes could have succumbed and danced with the music but he stood pat and won his case in court. His courage should be an inspiration to every Filipino.
So we salute all sides of the issue between the palace and the ex mutineer-senator for bringing to the fore, the resolve of the Makati court to uphold the peace and harmony of the country as primordial and far more important in the minds of jurors and policy makers, — over and above the nitty gritty of the controversial laws of the land which, at the end of the day, should still bow to the interest of political stability and the national interest.