Friday, June 15, 2007

The Spring Cannot Rise Higher Than The Source

SENATOR-ELECT ANTONIO TRILLANES IV was proclaimed a winner in the 2007 May 14 Midterm Elections by the Comelec this morning. There seems to have been a last-minute attempt to prevent him from attending the proclamation this morning, despite the Makati court's order allowing him to attend his acceptance of over 11 million votes giving him the 11th seat in the 2007 Senate contest. I heard AFP Chief of Staff General Hermogenes Esperon explaining to Ted Failon and Korina Sanchez why he had given verbal orders initially disallowing Sen. Trillanes from leaving the Marine Brig with his lawyers. He said it was merely "a procedural matter" that he wanted to establish. Gen. Esperon said that since there were two courts trying the Magdalo/Oakwook cases, the Makati RTC and a general Court Martial, he did not want a precedent set where "just because" the civilian court decides something that the military court could be "ignored." (Or words to this effect.) To which Senator Trillanes, then still detained at the Marine brig, came back with "civilian supremacy over the military" (or words to that effect) which seemed to hit home. In any case, cooler heads must've prevailed or Gen. Esperon got some better legal advice and backed off, finally allowing Senator-elect Trillanes to get to Intramuros and Comelec in time to even make the noontime news. He spoke with the divine Ms. Pinky Webb in a very relaxed mood for the first time since...the Oakwood Mutiny it seems...his hair tousled, a beard and mustache beginning to grow on his widely-acclaimed to be handsome face.

Armed Forces Spokesmen insist that Senator Trillanes will have to request permission for daily furlough when the Senate is in session and he wants to attend. But I think such braggadocio won't last when they realize what it REALLY means to have been elected Senator by 11 million of your fellow voters in an open, democratic election, and you were in JAIL the whole campaign period. Senator Trillanes was very gallant with Pinky Webb, saying he doesn't even want the Senate to take custody of him as fellow Cavalier Senator Rodolfo Biazon has suggested. He wants to stay with the rest of the Magdalo in detention for the alleged mutiny of July, 2003 for which they are being charged with coup d'etat.

The lesson that must be taught however, if hardheads refuse to learn it is this:

Trillanes and his men have been accused of mutiny and coup d'etat and held for nearly four years since July, 2003 when they uprose to denounce the Armed Forces' Top Brass of graft and corruption and dereliction of duty in running the military and not supporting the fighting men in the field (them!) in the fight against Communist insurgents, Moro separatists and terrorist bandits.

This singular fact was certainly well-known to the Filipino people when Trillanes announced his candidacy for the Philippine Senate and declared his intention to pursue the agenda of Magdalo by being elected to the Senate, even vowing to pursue investigations into military involvement in election frauds, in corrupt schemes and in the spate of extrajudicial murders that have occurred under the regime of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The electorate knew that here was an accused mutineer and coup plotter asking instead for their mandate to pursue his advocacies.

And the People gave Antonio Trillanes that mandate with over 11 million votes cast in his favor, despite having little money and campaigning from the brig.

Such an eventuality cannot be regarded lightly. It is not an ordinary event even in a democracy where the People have so clearly exercised what I like to characterize as a TRIAL BY ELECTION in which the electorate itself has set itself up as a JURY.

This is of course essentially a political or philosophical argument, not a legal one. But I think it will become very important going forward as the conditions of his service as a Senator of the Republic are settled.

It is simply inconceivable to me that Hermogenes Esperon will have his way. There are already 11 million vetos over whatever power he can claim over Trillanes. They've hgad their chance for four long years to prove their charges. Now the people have spoken.

They will not be able to ignore such a popular mandate and strong moral backing as Sonny Trillanes has received.

It all remains to be seen what this youngest of Senators will do with such golden opportunity. Will he fall to the Left? the Right? or the Just?



Hi Dean,

On the election of Trillanes and how Gloria did herself in.

Actually, Gloria’s and Esperon’s perfidy did them in. It is very ironic that it was Gloria’s legal department headed by the frighteningly idiotic Raul Gonzales who truly gave Trillanes his chance to become Senator.

Lemme explain:

During the negotiations (of which Max Soliven was a member of the negotiating panel) for the surrender of the rebel soldiers under Trillanes, it was agreed that as part of the surrender terms and SANCTIONNED, APPROVED BY MALACANANG, the MAGDALO group would be charged under the Articles of War, i.e., eventually to be tried in a Court Martial, and not by civilian courts.

Matter of fact, Malacanang’s official conduit, former General Cimatu had received word from Malacanang to agree to the demands of Magadalo to be charged under Articles of War ONLY and relayed offical government acceptance to the Magdalos, again, that they would be dealt with under the Articles of War. Max Soliven wrote about this at length in several of his columns!

General Efren Abu who took the soldiers in after the surrender at Oakwood knew this. (That’s why I was surprised that when he became the Chief of Staff, he didn’t honour the agreement made by the government but instead allowed the DoJ to meddle, i.e., charged the Magdalo group in civilian courts.)

Max Soliven even called this government “traydor” in some of his write-ups because of how the agreed terms of surrender were simply waylaid if you remember; he went on and on about what had agreed upon even as the DoJ was hauling the Magdalo group from one civilian court to the other and was vehemently opposed to breaking what had been agreed upon.

Now, had Gloria’s perfidy not gotten the better of her, she would have honoured what government had agreed upon on the terms of surrender and would have allowed military (Articles of War) to prevail; Magdalo would have faced a Court Martial and am pretty sure, given the the black and white circumstances of military violations committed at the time in Oakwood, Magdalo group would have been convicted in quicker fashion.

But because our civilian justice system is so slow backed by the horrendous incompetence of Gonzales (fortunately to the extraordinary advantage of Trillanes), see where it got Gloria and her government? Trillanes, after 4 years - the trial not being over, hadn't gotten a conviction, hence Trillanes has no “criminal record” to speak of and could run for public office!

Funny isn’t it that Gloria herself cut her own nose to spite herself with her fiddling about - her lack of honour, her utter perfidy, her own stupidity and idiocy eventually did her in!

And somehow, Gunggong Gonzales is to be CREDITED for his idiocy, stupidity, imbecility! Hahhahahah!

Hahahahah! That's why I said in other posts, Trillanes victory was a 3 or 4 slaps on Gloria and her government!

DauLemZ said...

11 million votes for Trillanes. 12 million votes for Honasan. What does it mean? 30% of voters are acceptable to a military junta. Recipe for being a Senator: A good looking, articulate pma'er leading a coup d'etat attempt. I wouldn't be too surprised if they'll be another coup thou. Who cares, who's afraid nobody ever got convicted. Yes! a miltary coup backed by placard carrying BAYAN MUNA & Akbayan , that would be the day I'd die laughing.

DJB Rizalist said...

There is cause to worry over every Senator and who and what influences each of them.

But if "civilian supremacy over the military" becomes Trillanes motto, I wouldn't have any problem about that.

However, the danger is there. He could become a Leftist because they have the most rhetorical weapons. And he is tabula rasa as a Senator.

Dave Llorito said...

i was away during the election and was surprized to find myself staring at news story that trillanes won. but I'm happy that he did; must be a proof that the election, at least at the senatorial level, was quite credible. maybe... all along i felt that GMA, being barred from running for the presidency in 2010, has the incentive to make this mid-term election credible enough. same with 2010. that way she could claim, for better or for worse, that she is going to leave a good legacy. what do you think dean? this sounds quite naive but i do hope that i'm correct so that the 2010 election would be less contentious. we need it if only we need to catch up with some of our neighbors.

Dave Llorito said...

"11 million votes for Trillanes. 12 million votes for Honasan. What does it mean? 30% of voters are acceptable to a military junta. Recipe for being a Senator: A good looking, articulate pma'er leading a coup d'etat attempt. I wouldn't be too surprised if they'll be another coup thou. Who cares, who's afraid nobody ever got convicted. Yes! a miltary coup backed by placard carrying BAYAN MUNA & Akbayan , that would be the day I'd die laughing."

I don't think so. the people didnt support them when they were attempting those stupid coups. but the people did support them when they ran for the senate. for me, the people are telling them to shift their "reformist" zeal to the parliamentary arena. besides, the people probably wanted two rebels there to tell malacanang dwellers how angry they are over so many things (eg corruption, scams) but at the same time never wanted things to be settled the improper way (coup). for me, the trillanes things is one sign of political maturity.

will he become leftist? i dont think so. military men has a deeply-ingrained anti-left (read: communist)perspective. will he espouse populist causes? maybe but remember that a soldier's training is all about improvisation and taking advantage of a rapidly shifting battlefield, so i would like to think his approach to issues will be opportunistic. remember that honasan was also "idealistic" then and look at him now.

Tiki said...

This is a strange post, because the doubts that you raise in the last paragraph of your post puts your main argument into question.