Senator Antonio Trillanes and Rolando Mendoza: more alike than different

Popular blogger and “reporter” Ellen Tordesillas is at it again, drumming up support for her fallen “hero” mutineers which she lumped together into the category of mga sundalong lumaban kay Gloria Arroyo (“soldiers who battled [former President] Gloria Arroyo”). That phrase alone which she used in the title of her recent blog article reveals the true nature of her “appeal” — how its political aspect trumps any set of principles that her sort would like us to believe is behind this call for clemency to be applied to these disgraced soldiers.

The appeal comes at a time when another incident involving a person to whom the state had entrusted the privilege to bear firearms — high powered ones, in fact — also took matters into his own hands to the tune of eight foreign tourists needlessly dead today. As such I find this appeal coming from the matron of Jolog Central for “pardon” or “amnesty” for Senator Antonio Trillanes as one that is made in bad taste — more so considering how Media’s involvement in Trillianes’s little “adventures” in the last decade pointedly illustrates the sorts of behaviour and attitudes that made them a key factor that contributed to the degeneration of negotiations with retired cop Rolando Mendoza as he held those Hong Kong tourists at gunpoint in August 23.

We will recall that bozos like Trillanes on the basis of their actions being seen (or drummed up) to be motivated by strongly-held “principles” were given the celebrity treatment by the Philippine Media at the height of their nine-year (read President Arroyo’s term) reign of self-righteousness.

Let’s put the Media-engineered “celebrity” that Trillanes enjoyed in the first decade of the 21st Century in its proper perspective, shall we, by asking this question:

How different is (1) the way Trillianes and his band of now-disgraced soldiers endangered the lives of civilians by engaging in a forced and armed takeover of a civilian establishment from (2) the way Rolando Mendoza mounted a forced and armed takeover of a busload of Hong Kong tourists?

Normally, I wouldn’t have to answer a question such as the one above for people to get the message, but considering these are famously metaphorically-challenged Filipinos we are trying to get a point across to, I shall accede:

Only one thing is different between Trillanes’s mutiny and Mendoza’s rampage: the Mendoza incident ended in tragedy.

This makes for a good context against which we evaluate the intent of idiots who, in applying all the sorts of normal bizarreness that characterises Filipino society, can even consider cutting Trillanes and his posse a bit of slack on the matter of their alleged rebellion

This appeal is not to encourage impunity for their actions in the Oakwood incident of 2003, the Marine standoff of 2006, nor for those in The Peninsula Manila siege of November 2007 and several other related incidents […]

… that is, according to some kind of “manifesto” supposedly signed by no less than 90 misguided souls.

Sure thing morons. It is your intent that your “manifesto” not “encourage impunity” for the actions of certain numbskulls. But just like Trillanes and Mendoza had their own personal intentions too when they did what they did, intentions tend to fall by the wayside when the results of the actions motivated by these intentions come to be regarded.

One simple call needs to be reiterated many, many, MANY times to Filipinos:


And in this case, I make this simple call to the following Messrs and Madames:

– Ramon Magsaysay Jr.
– Leticia Ramos-Shahani
– Victor Ziga
– Artemio Tuquero
– Bro. Eddie Villanueva
– Fr. Joaquin Bernas
– Bishop Broderick Pabillo
– Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz
– Gen. Ramon Farolan at Commodore Rex Robles (ret)

Haven’t you people got better things to do and better causes to advocate?


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45 Responses to Senator Antonio Trillanes and Rolando Mendoza: more alike than different

  1. BenK says:

    If it’s not a call for impunity, what is it? I just don’t get the logic. Of course, that’s nothing new considering the source.

  2. J.B. says:

    Mendoza had pushed for correcting a big mistake. A big mistake can be transcended into the fact that other hostage takers like Triallianes ended up a hero to many and a senator.

    • BenK says:

      Mendoza had pushed for what he thought was a big mistake, all other indications being he was in a very small minority in that view. I don’t know what the truth of his story was (personally, I’m inclined to believe there was more validity to his being booted from the police than not, but that’s just an opinion), but once he resorted to extraordinary measures, he rendered the situation he was trying to correct completely and finally moot. Same with Trillanes.

  3. ChinoF says:

    This support of breakers of the law reveals the decade-impediment of Madame E.T. – in the 70s, when criminals were heroes.

    And I thought it was better for people to “move on?” 😛

  4. jemon says:

    Unfortunately, Trillanes is now a Senator of the Philippines.

    Worse, the people supporting him are some of the most influential people in the country…

    The question still is what we can do about it?

    • Elias Chacour says:

      Get rid of the Senate: It is not representative…

      • ChinoF says:

        Agreed…. they even get a lot of presidential pork…

      • Homer says:

        A lot of that pork comes from the committees that each senator heads. I’m not exactly sure which committee makes more money than which, but it’s always interesting to see how the scenario unfolds…especially after an election, when it’s payback time. Of course, the Senate Presidency is the top prize. So much power comes with that post. As always, it’s got nothing to do with us. 😉

      • jemon says:

        Indeed, nothing to do with us Homer, but still there must be something we can do..

    • Hyden Toro says:

      You revolt; you run for public office. Because, you are “sikat.” You got power. You got good source of income: Philippine Politics. Look at Gringo Honasan, the son-in-law of Enrile. The man did not even have a good combat record. He just posed holding a gun; on the pretext of being brave. Then, he got elected as Senator. A good Abu Sayyaf soldier would want to shoot his ass, to give him a lesson in bravery. 😆

    • Jay says:

      That question you can ask for people like Tito Soto, Bong Revilla Jr., John Enrile as well. You simply don’t vote for them. They haven’t done jack squat for their position.

  5. Markad says:

    Hmm… more like the Martial Law thinking where every criminal is actually a hero being pursued by the evil government. A nation in trauma indeed.

    • ChinoF says:

      Yeah, that’s it. It’s resulting in a twisting of what good and what’s bad. As a result, people still believe that all government is bad and all ordinary people are good. Thus, when a snatcher is caught, some people might call for impunity for him because the government is the real evil daw. They might even ask for the government official to be imprisoned rather than the snatcher. 😕 If that really happens, that’s a country really gone to the dogs.

      • noremedies says:

        I’m still quite torn in this topic, considering the post-modern philosophy of pluralism. I think people see things in a broader perspective, seeing the government more “evil” than the small criminal acts themselves; seeing the “flip side” as to say. Thing is, we cannot blame poverty if it pushes one to do criminal acts to have cash — since, as they say, it makes the world go ’round, but we as citizens should follow the law though it may be harsh – dura lex sed lex. It makes one wonder in perpetual philosophies where to put the blame on- is it the people’s fault, as they made it on their own volition, or of the government, since it cannot alleviate poverty?

        And as for the government. It’s mentioned that it is supposed to be “good,” but if you let an “evil” person operate it, would it still be “good”? But what is “evil?” as for some, it is the absence of good. With this, under any circumstance, any form of graft and corruption is considered as “theft,” and it is no less a misdeed than pickpocketing (it may even weigh more); incompetent governance or the lack of governance is “evil”; not making promises stated under political platforms is “evil” -these above all else. My point is, it may not be “twisting” as you suggest it to be, but rather a different perspective. There’s always two sides to a story, and you cannot take one in hindsight.

        I’ve personally interviewed Trillianes along with the other Magdalos (no BS), and I got to see their side on their siege of M.Pen and Oakwood. It so happens that these people see the sole solution to change our skewed government and its practices is a coup- which i think could lead to a junta- that could topple it over and oust the people who have tarnished the Phil. politics, thus ending the rotting politics we endured for so long.

        (But yeah, i have to shut it on this one. The law is an authority every man has to submit to, but still…)

      • ChinoF says:

        Thanks for sharing what you know. I did believe that is their stance, that a dictatorship is the only way. I do see it though as the wrong way to go, as dictatorships have practically proven to be failures all over the world. A dictatorship will only work if the dictator is incorruptible; truth is, there is no such person.

        If they reason that our democracy is a failure and thus dictatorship is better, they probably don’t realize that it isn’t true democracy we’re having. More like dictatorship by the media, and even by the oligarchy.

  6. Markad says:

    I wonder how can we solve this? A collective in trauma… most western psychological knowledge would not help since their focus is all about individualism. Really weird though, I have not experienced a martial law so I don’t really know how terrible it is but I don’t think it is something worst than a war like what happened in Vietnam. Well, that’s just me.

    • ChinoF says:

      Don’t discount western psychology… we here in this country don’t practice it properly anyway. Psychology needs secularism to be practiced properly, and we lack that too. Well, martial law seemed so bad to people then that it made criminals more popular than government people… or so cooked the media, some see in hindsight. Now many say we were more behaved that time. Well, there were some problems. But in a sense, some problems became much worse today.


    they differ,trillanes is force to rebel for the cost, mendoza for his case.

  8. Hyden Toro says:


  9. Hyden Toro says:


  10. Hyden Toro says:

    Most of these people who revolted are Opportunists. From Ramos and Enrile to Honasan andTrillanes. They put themseves in Power. They got rich. They got Power. They become wealthy. some having Overseas Bank Acounts stolen from the government.

  11. Anti-pinoy Idiots says:

    Ah Benigno, what makes you so jumpy whenever enemies of Gloria Arroyo is mentioned?

    Are you still convinced that Gloria Arroyo is anything but a theft? A usurper? A fraud? Corrupt? Married to Jose Pidal?  Pandak? Peke ang boobs? 

    And you find it repugnant that ET is advocating amnesty for AT whose crime was to mount a rebellion against this vile fraud?

    This site would have achieved more prominence and credibility if you are not frequenting it with your doozie propaganda tool for that half-human half-unano.

    • Jay says:

      @babby’s first troll

      Get over it bro. Its not like P.Noy and his mother were the political beacons of light for democracy that they were set to be worshiped for. Lourd De Veyra is slowly getting over it when he saw the amazing lack of executive ability the president had over yet another Filipino time of crisis.

      And your bias for scapegoating is showing.

    • ChinoF says:

      Still, ET is advocating amnesty for law breakers. And why should it not be given? Simply that, they’re lawbreakers. Again it promotes the cultural dysfunction of impunity. Do wrong, and you won’t get jailed… while some who don’t do wrong get jailed. That’s a tragedy in this country.

      Despite the seeming “nobility” of the cause, the end does not justify the means. Ever.

    • Hyden Toro says:

      We Blog from our opinions. If you agree with us. Thanks. If you don’t agree. Thanks. We don’t force our opinions on people. We write our opinions, the best way we can. With malice towards none. With understanding to those with different views. Let the readers, be the Judge!!! 😡

    • Aegis-Judex says:

      API: Are you ever going to wake up from your Aquinolatry, or does reality have to give you a terrible, terrible nutcracker for you to realize that PNoy is NOT GOD? Sure, CGMA was a magnificent b!tch during her time, but seriously, you have to give her due credit. Running a really messed-up country such as this takes balls AND brains.

  12. Hyden Toro says:



    i agree, but trillanes got already money in the foreign bank while mendoza remain poor.

    • ChinoF says:

      But still, Mendoza and Trillanes both did wrong, no matter how rich or poor they were. Whatever what their intentions were, they will be judged for what they did, which is proper after all. You can’t judge people based on intentions because you can’t read minds and know people’s intentions after all. It comes out in their actions.

  14. Aegis-Judex says:

    Such a sad place to be, when authority is reduced to impotence and rule of law is spat upon. Makes me want to go to Singapore… At least people there are lawful. How can there be progress without order? How can there be order without the lawful ethos? I fear for the Philippines, the land of my birth, falling into outright anarchy.

  15. bubi78 says:

    Mutiny is mutiny. That they mutinied against what they perceived as an illegitimate regime do not extenuate their crime because the maxim that says you do not right a wrong with another wrong holds true still. If they had succeeded in their plan, they would have been hailed as heroes and the laws of the land would have been transmuted to accommodate them, i.e., accord them legitimacy. Give them blanket amnesty today and we set a precedent for others to follow tomorrow; we shall have set in motion a vicious cycle of military adventurisms, call it military takeovers if you will, that will hobble our political landscape for generations to come. 
    It is easier and far wiser to follow due processes of the law, if they be found guilty or not is par for course.  Let us relegate their story to the dustbins of history as it so rightly deserve; better yet, let us focus our attention on the more pressing national problems staring us in our face.Ellen Tordesillas together with her ilk is using the strategy of distraction yet again to divert our attention to the rear view mirror, to inconsequential matters of the past.

  16. m. kasahara says:


    Completely OT but anyway:

    I don’t know what to say but… just what the heck?

  17. Jag says:

    How can one make an analogy that the Oakwood mutiny is similar to Mendoza’s caper? With his normal cultural blindness to the facts. Trillanes was only one of the leaders of the bunch who became the spokesman for the group. The rest of the pack have already been released after re-pledging their loyalty to GMA and were subsequently discharged from the service. The first thing the mutineers did was to evacuate all citizens from the buildings they took over. They then established their defensive positions through the area.

    Off course the state responded to the threat with an opposing force. Unfortunately for these misguided soldiers no civilians came to their support. Those in the know knew that the guys behind this effort were the Erap group hoping to recreate an Edsa situation.

    The situation was diffused. A bunch of politicos took advantage of the divisions in the military caused by the rabid politization of the service by GMA . Now how could this be similar to Mendoza’s insane caper.

    Once again clearly showing the symptoms /effects of a weak dysfunctional state borne out of a feudal system of entitlement. Erap vs GMA. That culture of entitlement leads to the culture of impunity. The rule of men over the rule of law. That stems from the economic or material basis for the political system. It is the economy stupid it always has been.

    Our poor inept President in an interview with the WSJ just yesterday blamed partly the weak dysfunctional state (Inefficient and ineffective bureaucracy) for the hostage crisis.

    The lack of resources (material and human) naturally the effect.

    The author of this post has a distinctive weird way of analyzing Philippine society.

    • ChinoF says:

      Just look at it from my comment above: both Trillanes and Mendoza did wrong, despite seemingly good intentions. That’s the real similarity.

      And yet those who did wrong tend to be loved… there’s the culture of impunity.

    • benign0 says:

      Give weird a chance, Mr Jag. After all, the country was run aground by a bunch of morons bristling with Law and Economics degrees who applied conventional thinking to managing a vacuous society. 😉

  18. Pingback: You Broke My Windows | Elevic Pernis - The Road to Weirdom

  19. benign0 says:

    Rationale of malacanang for granting amnesty to Trillanrs is based on three lame foundations (1) popularity, (2) power, and (3) a vacuous national goal.

    Check it out here!

    • mel says:

      Terrible! This makes our justice system laughable!

      How the Congress and the Justice Department will handle the issue is the most awaited part in this Circus.

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