Friday, June 27, 2008

SC junks Trillanes' petition to perform Senate duties

What do we expect from Gloria Arroyo’s Supreme Court? Majority of the magistrates are GMA’s appointees. They have to protect their queen at all cost. The rule of law is prostituted under the corrupt Arroyo Regime.

SC junks Trillanes' petition to perform Senate duties

The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday junked Senator Antonio Trillanes' petition seeking that he be allowed to perform his duties as a Senator while still under detention.

In a 16-page decision written by Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales, the SC dismissed for lack of merit Trillanes' petition, which seeks that he be allowed to attend Senate hearings and functions, set up office and be allowed to accept visitors in his detention cell.

The SC reminded Trillanes that "election to office does not obliterate a criminal charge", and that his electoral victory only signifies that when voters elected him, they were already fully aware of his limitations.

The high court did not find merit in Trillanes' position that his case is different from former representative Romeo Jalosjos, who also sought similar privileges before when he served as Zamboanga del Norte congressman even while in detention.

Quoting parts of the decision on Jalosjos, the court said that "allowing accused-appellant to attend congressional sessions and committe meetings five days or more a week will virtually make him a free man… Such an aberrant situation not only elevates accused appellant's status to that of a special class, it would be a mockery of the purposes of the correction system."

The SC also did not buy Trillanes' argument that he be given the same liberal treatment accorded to certain detention prisoners charged with non-bailable offenses, like former President Joseph Estrada and former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) governor Nur Misuari, saying these emergency or temporary leaves are under the discretion of the authorities or the courts handling them.

The SC reminded Trillanes that he also benefited from these "temporary leaves" given by the courts when he was allowed to file his candidacy and attend his oath-taking as a senator before.

The SC also believes that there is a "slight risk" that Trillanes would escape once he is given the privileges he is asking, citing the Peninsula Manila incident last November.

Trillanes also failed to tell the court his new guards or handlers after the Peninsula incident.

Trillanes filed the petition back in 2007 when he was still under military custody in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig. -- Marieton Pacheco, ABS-CBN News

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