The Philippine government has filed inciting to rebellion charges against Senator Antonio Trillanes and Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim, both facing criminal charges for the failed coup attempt, along with scores of junior military officers, who stormed the Oakwood condominium in Makati City several years ago.
On November 29th, the same group staged another attempt to discredit the administration of President Arroyo when the duo, along with the others co-accused, had holed up inside the Manila Peninsula Hotel in Makati City to stage a coup against the government.
Former Lt. Senior Grade Trillanes of the Philippine Navy, also a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy, won the congressional seat as a senator during the last elections but has to remain in the detention cell of the Philippine Marines at Fort Bonifacio. He was not allowed to attend senate hearings which led to his utter frustration at the way the administration is restricting his liberty to serve the 11 million people who voted for him.
Trillanes and Lim and so with the rest of the group were out to attend a court hearing on the Oakwood mutiny case in a Makati city court, when they staged a walkout after they sensed that fair justice wasn’t on their side that day. Eventually, Trillanes and Lim, who were escorted by the military police, instead walked out of the court and headed to the Manila Peninsula Hotel, where a group of die-hard supporters was waiting for them. While there, a bunch of mediamen followed them to the hotel. It was at this juncture that they called on the people to support what they were fighting for. At this instance, a commotion ensued. Surprisingly, the group’s expectations failed to materialize when only a handful of supporters showed up to join them. The move , supposed to be done on Nov. 30 in time for the Andres Bonifacion Day, was considered by many people as prematurely staged.
But Trillanes was so aggressive enough to call the shots and called on President Arroyo to step down. Instead, the Philippine national police was dispatched to quell the unrest in the hotel whose main entrance door was locked. In order to effect the arrest, an armored tank forced its way into the hotel lobby and effected the arrests of the putchists, including some mediamen who were there to cover the news. The mediamen were caught unaware by the sudden move of the police to even arrest them while they were only performing their duties to the public.
Trillanes, when interviewed by the media, said that they did not resist the arrest to spare the lives of innocent civilians and the hotel’s occupants as well.
But some observers are a bit skeptical as to the timing made by the group in such a passion that they didn’t even consider a lot of factors. They were saying that Trillanes and Lim could have exited the court room and immediately headed to the Senate building where Senator Trillanes could have surrendered himself into the custody of the Senate’s sergeant-at-arms, rather than staying at Fort Bonifacio. At least, in the Senate he could have been given a good chance to show his mettle on the Senate floors and articulate and ventilate his bright ideas and resolutions for a good cause.
Because of the group’s premature decision, away from the blessings of the mighty opposition block, Trillanes and Lim are now facing a more pronounced case of "inciting to rebellion" charges, according to ailing Secretary of Justice Raul Gonzales. What his 11 million supporters have to do at this moment is to wait and see what ever happens to their idol. And for the time being, the National Press Club had risen to its feet to denounce the arrests of the mediamen covering the hotel incident. The NPC said the arrests were a blatant violation and suppression by the government of the freedom of the press in the Philippines.