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DOJ opposes Trillanes’ proof he applied for amnesty
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DOJ opposes Trillanes’ proof he applied for amnesty

October 11 ------ The Department of Justice (DOJ) has formally opposed Senator Antonio Trillanes IV's evidence supporting his claim that he applied for amnesty in 2011. State prosecutors on Wednesday submitted their comment/opposition to Trillanes' formal offer of documentary evidence at the Makati Regional Trial Court's Branch 148, where the opposition senator faced now-dismissed coup d'etat charges. In a bid to block the court's admission of Trillanes' evidence, the prosecutors manifested their objections to the documents the senator's lawyer submitted to the court on Tuesday.

This is the latest development in the aftermath of President Rodrigo Duterte’s revocation of his staunch critic's amnesty, which the latter received in 2011 for his involvement in failed Arroyo-time military uprisings. In a whole-day hearing last October 5, Trillanes' lawyer Reynaldo Robles presented, among others, the chair of the Department of Defense committee that processed amnesty applications and the head of secretariat of the same panel.

Colonel Josefa Berbigal, the head of secretariat, testified that she personally administered the oath to Trillanes when he filed his application for amnesty. For his part, former Defense undersecretary Honorio Azcueta, chair of the committee, said he remains convinced that the former Navy officer complied with the requirements for the presidential grant. Robles also submitted documents including the certificate of amnesty issued to his client, but the DOJ objected to its admission as evidence, saying it was never identified by any of the defense witnesses during the October 5 hearing.

Trillanes' formal offer of documentary evidence is now deemed submitted for resolution, only after which the motion itself of the Department of Justice seeking Trillanes' arrest will, in turn, be up for decision. Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the judge may rule on the two matters in one order, or in two successive directives.