I welcome with guarded optimism the order of RTC Makati Judge Andres Soriano denying the government’s motion for the arrest of Sen. Sonny Trillanes.
Nowadays, it is difficult for the judiciary to defy the wishes of the government, especially if pressure is coming directly from Duterte’s personal interest to have Trillanes arrested and silenced. This act of independence from pressure exerted by Malacañang is thus a breath of fresh air coming from the judiciary.
I consider this development as a positive act of independence of the judiciary. We must recognize small victories against Duterte’s tyranny, and this is definitely one of them.
Having said this, I would still caution against letting our guard down. While Judge Soriano’s ruling kept Sen. Trillanes a free man, the portion which upheld the power of the President to nullify a grant of amnesty and affirmed the constitutionality of Proclamation 572 needs re-examination. Any proposition supportive of the power of the President to unilaterally revoke an amnesty granted by a previous president would be dangerous.
We must continue to be vigilant to ensure that the decision of the Makati RTC is not reversed on appeal. The efforts of Duterte and the DOJ to put Sen. Trillanes behind bars do not end here. They will continue to move heaven and earth to get what Duterte wants, even if this means doubling their efforts to pressure the judiciary all the way up to the Supreme Court. ###