PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — LAKAS stalwarts yesterday said there should be no VIP treatment for Senator-elect Antonio Trillanes IV who is facing rebellion charges in connection with the botched Oakwood mutiny.
Baguio Rep. Mauricio Domogan and Davao del Sur’s Douglas Cagas said Trillanes’ victory in the senatorial election does not entitle him to special privileges like temporary liberty.
Giving Trillanes special treatment will set a bad precedent for other notorious personality to seek similar treatment, Domogan said. “They can just get public sympathy by fighting the government and running for public office as a way of evading legal troubles.”
Domogan, a law graduate, warned other lawmakers against supporting Trillanes’ call for liberty to be able to attend legislative sessions while his case remains pending. “Otherwise, that would show to the whole world what kind of justice system we have in the Philippines,” said Domogan. Rebellion is a non-bailable offense.
Another legal expert in the House, Cagas, said the court should keep Trillanes in jail and reject his transfer to other people’s custody so as to uphold the integrity of the country’s justice system.
Reacting to the letter sent by Armed Forces Chief Hermogenes Esperon to Makati City Regional Trial Court Branch 148 Presiding Judge Oscar Pimentel seeking a clarification on whether or not the Armed Forces should keep custody of Trillanes, the lawmakers asked for the speedy resolution of Trillanes’ case in both the civilian and military courts.
They cited the lapse of four years since the Oakwood mutiny was committed.
Cagas said the court-martial and court proceedings should hasten resolution of Trillanes’ case to resolve this problem.
“He has to face his case first if we are to uphold the rule of law. We believe it’s about time the court rules on his case. It seems the case is moving rather slowly because there is still no court resolution four years after the Oakwood mutiny was perpetrated.”
He echoed Domogan’s call to forego of any preferential treatment for Trillanes just because he was elected into office.
“Releasing him from jail would discriminate against those with similar non-bailable offenses. He is facing a grave offense that is coup d’etat, which is a capital offense, hence he has to remain in jail.”