Calida lectures IBP prexy over double jeopardy in Trillanes case

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Solicitor General Jose C. Calida on Friday said Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) president Abdiel Fajardo was wrong on the issue of double jeopardy in the criminal cases against Sen. Antonio Trillanes for his role in attempts to former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo during her term.

“Atty. Fajardo should review his criminal law. He should know there is no double jeopardy in this case,” Calida said.

According to Calida, for there to be double jeopardy in the rebellion case against Trillanes pending before Branch 150 of the Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC), three elements must be present: (1) a first jeopardy must have attached prior to the second; (2) the first jeopardy must have been validly terminated; and (3) the second jeopardy must be for the same offense as that in the first.

Furthermore, legal jeopardy attaches only (a) upon a valid indictment; (b) before a competent court; (c) after the accused has been arraigned; (d) the accused having entered a valid plea; and (e) the case was dismissed or terminated without the express consent of the accused.

“In the case of Trillanes, the last element for legal jeopardy to attach is obviously lacking. The rebellion case was dismissed by the RTC Makati Branch 150 in 2011 because Trillanes himself filed a Motion to Dismiss. Obviously, by filing the motion, he categorically demonstrated that the dismissal of the case against him was with his express consent,” Calida said. “No legal jeopardy attached to the first dismissal of the case against him. Hence, the reopening of the case is proper.”

Calida also said that the dismissal of the rebellion case in 2011 was predicated on an amnesty granted to Trillanes. Since the amnesty was later declared void by Proclamation No. 572, it has no legal effect. It cannot prevent the RTC Makati Branch 150 from proceeding with the case.

The solicitor general also questioned Fajardo’s authority to speak for all the lawyers in the country just because he is the IBP president.

“Atty. Fajardo is making it appear that all or a majority of lawyers in the Philippines are siding with him. He should clarify that his press statements consist of his personal opinions only,” Calida said.

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