Palace assures no meddling in Trillanes’ case

Senator Antonio Trillanes

Senator Antonio TrillanesBy Catherine J. Teves

MANILA, July 19 (PNA) — Malacanang has assured it would not interfere with the judicial process involving detained Senator Antonio Trillanes III’s case which President Benigno Simeon Aquino III ordered reviewed.

“We’re not going to interfere with the judiciary’s work,” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said during a media briefing on Monday.

He said this is Malacanang’s stand as President Aquino believes Trillanes’ case must be left to the court.

Lacierda gave this assurance after some senators criticized the Chief Executive for ordering a review of the case, saying such a move encroaches on the judiciary’s work and independence.

Trillanes has been under detention for seven years already as the government charged him for involvement in the failed 2003 Oakwood uprising.

Lacierda clarified the President directed his order to the Department of Justice (DOJ) so Malacanang can be updated about the status of the case.

“The DOJ secretary will undertake this review,” he said.

He noted there is nothing irregular about President Aquino’s order since DOJ is among the agencies under the executive branch.

DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima agrees. “It’s within the President’s power to order a review by DOJ,” she said.

She also assured DOJ would not meddle in Trillanes’ case as the court is already looking into this matter.

“The basic rule is everything concerning the case is within the court’s discretion once it assumes jurisdiction over this,” she said.

Trillanes’ lawyer Reynaldo Robles likewise finds nothing irregular about President Aquino’s order for DOJ’s review of the detained lawmaker’s case.

“It’s still within the executive branch,” he said.

He recalled Mr. Aquino already spoke four times about the need to review Trillanes’ case.

He spoke about it in September 2009 when he announced his presidential bid, Robles said. (PNA)

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