Press Release
September 26, 2018

Dispatch from Crame No. 387:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima's Statement on the RTC's Issuance of Arrest Warrant vs. Sen. Trillanes


In ordinary times, the decision of the Makati Regional Trial Court resurrecting the rebellion case of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV would be unusual, extremely unusual. But these are not ordinary times.

Although we were still hoping that the judicial system would stand up to Malacañang even just for once, this time in the case of Sen. Trillanes, it just wasn't going to happen. The power of intimidation and persuasion of this President is not leaving any institution standing to check its abuses.

In ordinary times, bringing back to life dead cases would be unheard of. The legal principles of finality of judgments, res judicata, and - in the case of criminal cases - double jeopardy, are supposed to make sure of that. No judge can change a judgment once it becomes final. As a general principle, old cases are never resurrected and brought back to life.

But this is what the Makati RTC just did in ordering the arrest of Sen. Trillanes based on a dead case. Settled legal principles which lawyers learn early in law school are fast becoming useless and irrelevant even in our courts. At the rate things are going, by the end of this Administration, lawyers will no longer know the legal system, and the judiciary will no longer recognize itself for what it has become under this Administration.

Amnesties, once granted, can no longer be nullified. This is the very essence of a grant of amnesty. This is the very reason behind the legal concept of amnesty. The nullification of a grant of amnesty does not revoke that one grant alone; it obliterates the whole concept of amnesty itself.

This is not the law. This is not a justice system by any means. This is the strong arm of the State falling heavily upon those who still dare to raise a critical voice.

Verily, this is tyranny. This is unacceptable!

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