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DOJ applying no pressure on court handling Trillanes case - Guevarra.

By Rey Panaligan

Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on Sunday the government has not and will not pressure a Makati City regional trial court (RTC) judge handling the coup d'etat case against Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

In a statement, Guevarra denied the allegation of Magdalo Party-list Rep. Gary Alejano who claimed the government is pressuring Makati RTC Judge Andres Soriano of Branch 148.

Guevarra said it is the camp of Trillanes that appeared to be pressuring the judge "with such insinuation."

"Rep. Alejano's allegations tend to impede the orderly administration of justice, unfairly cast aspersion on the integrity and professionalism of the Department of Justice and its state prosecutors, and contumaciously influence Judge Soriano's decision-making process," he said in a statement.

He pointed out that "the DOJ does not interact with the judge except through the pleadings filed and arguments raised in open court."

He added that the DOJ has been very careful in observing the sub judice rule on Trillanes' case and other cases that government prosecutors are handling.

Under the sub judice rule, a matter that is under judicial or court consideration "may not be an appropriate subject to comment on publicly" and "any such comment may subject the commentator to contempt of court."

Judge Soriano has conducted hearings on Trillanes's case and is expected to rule on the plea of the DOJ for the issuance of an arrest order and a hold departure order against the senator on his involvement in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny in Makati City.

Trillanes has posted bail on his rebellion case filed with another branch of the Makati City RTC in connection with his participation in the Peninsula Hotel siege in 2007.

Earlier, President Duterte had declared null and void the amnesty granted to Trillanes by the previous administration.

But the President had publicly announced that the arrest of Trillanes would depend on the courts to which the cases were lodged.

The nullification of Trillanes' amnesty prompted the DOJ to file motions for his arrest and the issuance of hold departure order.

CAPTION(S):

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra (TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

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Title Annotation:National
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Oct 14, 2018
Words:355
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