Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Failure of Gringo, The Promise of Trillanes and Cleaning Up the Philippine MIlitary

SONNY TRILLANES should go down in Philippine Senate history as being the first to get there, at least in part, on the strength of a Friendster blog account which has been on the Blog Roll since heput it up from detention and through which many of us in bloggerdom were able to watch, live and online, the borning of a democratic miracle. Among bloggers, perhaps his strongest support has come from Ellen Tordesillas.

But the beauty of Sonny Trillanes' blog is that it presents the substantial aspects of his candidacy, for example the UP Master's Thesis that became famous online in 2003: Corruption in the Philippine Navy Procurement System.

Although he is yet to be proclaimed Sonny Trillanes will be going to the Senate.

Another winner of the 2007 Midterm election is Gringo Honasan who was proclaimed yesterday among ten new Senators. But Erap is mad at Gringo. Hmm... I wonder why?
Sharp contrast with Sonny Trillanes' inclusion in the official GO slate.

Christian Monsod's prediction last year that the 2007 Midterm Elections could turn out to be an indirect referendum on President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has come true not only in the general rebuke delivered by an apparent 8-2-2 GO-TU-IND score, but in the particular election of these two MILITARY MUTINEERS.

The last time Trillanes was in the august halls of the Philippine Senate was in 2003, he testifying before a Senate Select Committee about the circumstances that led him, and the creme de la creme of the Philippine Military officer corps to that still mysterious and unresolved event called the Oakwood Mutiny.

I think the Filipino People want Sonny Trillanes to go back to the Senate to finish telling the whole story behind Oakwood. I hope he will tell the story of that Midnight Rendezvous at the Palace with the President, just days before the Oakwood Mutiny, and what that was all about. Why did that figure so prominently in his own narrative testimony to the Senate? Did something in that argument with Gloria trigger Oakwood?

I think the Filipino People want Sonny Trillanes to go back to the Senate as a Senator of the realm, to help clean up the Philippine Military, to professionalize its fighting forces and officers corps, to finally modernize that institution and rescue it from the clutches of the politicians and operators.

Of course his electoral victory is already being claimed by many. Rumors have been flying that Jamby Madrigal and the Left were instrumental in his campaign.

I hope Sonny Trillanes won't become a Leftist version of Gringo Honasan and lose sight of what is truly important. He has a golden opportunity to make history because the people have given him a particle of their sovereignty to right the wrongs and make our Military something to be proud of, something to rely on, not something to distrust and fight against, an attitude the Left has assiduously promoted. The easy road for him will be to now pander to his loudest supporters and give in to easy access that Media will grant him.

Will Trillanes become another Gringo? I hope not. Dean Raul Pangalangan had some thoughts on this same topic


Punzi said...

Personally, I think Gringo and Trillanes are "two dirty fingers" pointed directly at the President, with Trillanes as the bigger finger of the two.

This will haunt her for the rest of her term.

DJB Rizalist said...

both guys were in detention. talk about trial by election! I think the fact that Oakwook has festered for four years means to me that it has now been resolved at the polls since the voters surely could not fail to be aware of their status, and that of the cases.

Nicholas Kister said...

I share your eagerness for Trillanes to go back to the Senate and start out his term explaining the Oakwood Mutiny.

I also share your hope that he doesn't turn into another Gringo.

Gringo, for far too long, has played the citizens and the politicians. Like a grown up version of my nephew. Making his playground, the entire Philippines.

I despise Gringo's lack of respect for any institution except that of his own selfish ideals.


Never been a fan of Trillanes but I do accept that his running for office is the best gauge of people's support for him or their refusal of the Arroyo reign.

My beef against him is the manner in which he wanted his grievances known, by planting bombs and explosives in a purely civilian area and techincally against civilian concerns. Overall, military dogma dictates that military missions are either to wage battle against the enemy, to defeat them as well as to protect the citizens of the republic against those enemies or Oakwood and Rustan's and the surrounding buildings of those places were densely populated by civilians who cannot/couldn't have been mistaken for his enemies. But that is all past and I believe he did the right thing by running for office - at the end of the day, it's the people who decide whether what he had tried to do, even if he failed in his calling, was acceptable to them or forgievable.

He's spent 4 years in jail without being properly convicted. I suppose that should be enough prison term served. With Philippine justice having failed to convict him for good, a 4 year imprisonment, I reckon should be long enough to satisfy any punishment requirement. He should now be allowed to go to Congress and serve under his elected term; he's been duly elected and what else is more powerful than the voice of the people.


While I accept Trillanes as a suitable person to represent the people, I do not approve of Honasan. His military record is far from excellent. Gringo, a real mercenary has always played to the gallery.

Between the two, Trillanes exudes military decency which is absent in Gringo.

blackshama said...

I agree with most of you. Gringo has been a disappointment. Like any of the EDSA 1986 characters that include Enrile, Ramos and Corazon Aquino, Gringo has been a major letdown. In fact he has betrayed EDSA 1986 together with the characters earlier mentioned. These characters betrayed EDSA since they put their personal and family interest before the interest of the nation.

Let's see what Trillanes can do in the Senate. Trillanes is free of the dashed hopes of EDSA 1986 and we hope would be more pragmatic and as the match of Gloria. It would be interesting to see that Gloria Macapagal Arroyo would have her nemesis in the Senate.

cvj said...

If it's any comfort to you, i don't think Trillanes subscribes to the Left's ideology, at least from what i can tell listening to Manolo's interview with him.

I definitely think he can become our version of Hugo Chavez, that is, a populist without the Socialist elements. That's probably the reason why the Left did not publicly endorse him.

Manila Bay Watch said...


I did not hear manolo's interview with him but knowing a little about the Philippine military, its PMAers, its corps officers, I can very well believe that Trillanes is no way a leftist.

First of all, if ever, a military patterned after the Western military of which the AFP is, is more inclined to be fascist and imperialist rather than inclined to be of the hardline left wing NPA variety, far from the likes of the slipper donning communist guerilla type.

Obviously, sometimes you have black sheep in the likes of Victor Corpuz, but even him failed to totally embrace Communist dogma completely. In the end, he went back to the fold because he was disillusioned - the western military calling was stronger.

Dean's suspicion of Trillanes may have emanated from his dislike of Jamby Madrigal who has been having a "love affair" with Satur Ocampo - so Dean ain't being quite judicious there.

Manila Bay Watch said...

Oh yeah, I forgot this: Secondly, wasn't Trillanes a confirmed follower and fan of Honasan? Or the latter isn't remotely, by gum, not an iota of being leftwing in that mercenary there!

DJB Rizalist said...

I don't really think there is much love lost between Trillanes and HOnasan, whatever their relationship may have been before the Oakwood Mutiny. But the persistent rumors are that Gringo somehow doublecrossed the Magdalo during the event. The wildest of these rumors claims that he stole the money Erap had sent to help the Magdalo and bought a yacht with it instead of providing the needed "civilian component" for what was in effect a public demonstration cum press conference against graft and corruption in the military. The rumor comes from someone who claims to have been on that yacht!

What Oakwood certainly was NOT was coup attempt in the classic sense. These military officers were seasoned combat veterans. How were they supposedly going to seize power by capturing one floor of an executive apartment hotel building in Makati??

What it WAS is something the people have put Trillanes into the Senate to find out!