Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Oakwood Mutiny Reignites After FVR Was Shoved

ALACANANG PALACE IS ON RED ALERT after the escape last night (PDI) of four more Oakwood mutineers, the group of elite Armed Forces officers who have been under detention since July, 2003. "First Lieutenants Lawrence San Juan, Sonny Sarmiento, Nathaniel Rabonza and Patricio Bumindang piled up chairs inside their detention cell at Fort Bonifacio and sneaked out of the windows at around 9 p.m., intelligence reports said." Executive Secretary Ed Ermita, Army Commanding General Hermogenes Esperson and Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye had a full house of reporters descend on them with questions about this and the related escape last month of one Capt. Nicanor Faeldon, whose website features photographs and video of him at various military camps including AFP HQ in Manila, apparently to demonstrat the utter lack of security at such military installations (considering a nationwide manhunt has been launched for his capture) , and to mock the authorities. Just yesterday, the leader of the Oakwood Mutiny, Navy Lt. Sg. Antonio Trillanes spoke to media (Ces Drilon of ANC-TV)
"Time will come [a time] when every Filipino must decide which side he is on, GMA [Arroyo] or change," Navy Lieutenant Senior Grade Antonio Trillanes IV said in a statement read to media after attending a hearing at the Makati regional trial court where he has been charged with staging a coup d'etat. "When that time comes, we need to take a stand for the sake of our future. Don't fear, whatever side the public takes, the AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] will be there," Trillanes said.
SEEING HOW FIDEL RAMOS was treated so shabbily--some would say treacherously by GMA and JDV--it is quite possible that the Oakwood Mutineers have decided there is no more room within the system to reform the corruption over which they have all risked lives, careers and reputations. Lest anyone doubt their sincerity, each is a seasoned combat officer, and most are rated EXCELLENT by their commanding officers (including Gen. Senga who said so about Lt. San Juan, who was apparently under his command fighting the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan. Most are graduates of the Philippine Military Academy, and though they were apparently used by scoundrels like Gringo Honasan in 2003, they appear more and more to be ... patriots in their own right.

ERMITA THINKS THERE'S NO NATIONAL SECURITY THREAT: I was going to ridicule the amazingly cavalier attitutde of the Palace towards the incident. Executive Sec. Ed Ermita just told reporters "there is no national security threat, just several escapees." Of course the last time these guys decided to protest corruption in the military, the administration was shakent to its roots, the Defense and Intelligence heads lost their jobs, and the whole rotten core of corruption at the top of the AFP was exposed. Nothing's changed. Well, I guess the threat isn't to NATIONAL SECURITY as such, just to the current tenant of the Palace who really doesn't really care about national security and has led in the prositution of the Military to dishonorable and partisan political purposes.


One of the things that Lt. Trillanes said to Media yesterday sticks: He said it had become a matter of life and death for the Officers of the AFP, especially those fighting Communist insurgents and Islamist terrorists, that corruption goes unchecked in the Military. It was their old complaint. If anything two years being sat on and patronized by Gloria Macapagal Arroyo seems to have confirmed his convictions and steeled his resolve. There seems to be more control to him to too. Perhaps wisdom will lead to better strategy and tactics. And stay away from Ping and Erap you guys. Course, I don't have to tell you that after what happened last time, do I?

Newspaper MALAYA reports on an interview with Lt. Trillanes.


Bernardo F. Ronquillo said...

Did they escape on their own? Or made to escape as a trojan horse to find faeldon?

If it was a genuine escape, it could not have been done without the assistance of other soldiers.

In a day or two we will find out.

Rizalist said...

I was kind of surprised at Gen. Esperon PRAISING one of the four escapees, who was apparently his batallion commander in Basilan. (I couldn't help imagining that even Esperon admires that officer). But I don't think they had to escape to find Faeldon. They could just have given the information needed. I think it's a genuine escape. But I've been wrong before...