Lawyer Reynaldo Robles argued with Judge Elmo Alameda during the hearing that the “best evidence” in the case of the embattled Senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s evidence that he indeed applied for the amnesty is not the form that the judge wanted to see which would put an end to his case if the Senator’s camp can present it.
But Trillanes’ lawyer stressed that the argument does not apply to Trillanes’ case. Robles insisted that the “best evidence rule” only applies if the case is focused on the “contents of the document.”
“If they are discussing the contents of the document, wouldn’t the best evidence be the document itself?” Robles said.
The lawyer explained, “What we are talking about is whether he filed or not: The act of physical filing. So, all evidence should be admitted. In fact, testimonial evidence would be the best evidence.”
He also added that the contents of the form would only come in second. “We have the form, we know what is in the document, and we have testimonies that it was complete and an admission of guilt is in the document.”
In his ruling on September 25, Judge Almeda pointed out: “Evidently, he failed to present the original hard copy, duplicate copy, or even a photocopy showing that he personally accomplished and filed with the DND Amnesty Committee his Official Amnesty Application Form duly acknowledged and stamp marked received by said office.”
However, Trillanes’ camp challenged the said ruling and said that it was “premature” and lack factual basis. Hence, they also asked for a testimonial trial for the motion hearing.
Alameda conducted a hearing on Friday, October 12, where the DOJ opposed their plea for hearing. But Almeda allowed Robles to file their reply to the comment within five days.