The incredible shrinking case for keeping Trillanes and Lim in jail

Malacanang and Congress seem to be singing off the same hymn book now that they’ve succeeded in re-framing the issue of Antonio Trillanes, Danilo Lim, and their band of bandits into a debate that fits the famously small minds that inhabit our sad island nation. Resident legal eagle of the Philippine Media, the venerable “Father” Joaquin Bernas SJ summarises the current state of the Incredible Shrinking Case for Keeping Trillianes et al in Jail in the following words:

They [the alleged mutineers] went through elaborate ceremonies which were meant to be symbolic of their noble goal. They seem to have considered their deed a patriotic feather in their cap and they will willingly assert that, yes, we did, even if we now regret having done it.

The above seems to be in response to the small handful of points that describe the sad shriveled state of our regard for the crime of rebellion that Trillanes and Lim are accused of leading:

(1) That this was a rebellion against the government of former President Gloria Arroyo;

(2) That the accused acted under the premise that no alternative courses of action were available to them given the “nobility” of their “cause”; and,

(3) That guilt, in this instance, is premised on whether said rebellion was justified given popular or propagated perceptions around the legitimacy of Arroyo’s mandate to govern.

Notice how an important element of this crime had since dropped off the radar that guides the wisdom of Filipinos’ “representatives” in the Executive and Legislative branches of their government:

The well-being and safety of civilian lives.

The important point that is intentionally being missed is how civilian lives were endangered and private property had been damaged by the reckless adventurism and misguided notions of righteousness of Trillanes, Lim, and the band of thugs they led into Manila’s streets.

Indeed, if I am right in the way I have defined the above three as the key conceptual pillars that prop up this now perverted approach to evaluating these rebels’ right to “amnesty”, then the whole question around whether they should be set free is being debated on top of a mountain of typically-Filipino vacuity.

Firstly, there is no basis underpinning the notion that the government of Arroyo is one deserving to be overthrown. In the six years that Arroyo was in power, there were lots of accusations, speculations, and hear-say reporting being made about its “evil” but no convincing and categorical resolutions or closure demonstrated to settle any of these.

Second, that Trillanes now stands proud as a “Senator” of our sad nation is testament to the existence of an alternative to rebellion. By successfully winning a seat in the Senate, Trillanes had proven that his rebellion amounted to no more than the kiddie adventure of a misguided mind.

And third, admission and denial of guilt indeed, as Bernas himself observes, offers a perplexing if not silly choice to us by-standers. That this is so is, in itself, a clear indication of how idiotic this “debate” has become, consistent of course with the droll and unintelligent, focused on the trivial or the irrelevant National “Debate” — a debate renowned for seeing the wrong arguments win in more cases than one.

Either way, it highlights what an epic fail of the SO WHAT TEST all this has become as far as the average Filipino schmoe is concerned. After all:

Isn’t the primacy of the well-being of civilian lives the whole point of the existence of a democratic government and its supremacy over its armed forces?

Framed by the above question, the case has lost the plot in favour of our renowned penchant for flawed thinking.


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32 Responses to The incredible shrinking case for keeping Trillanes and Lim in jail


    this is the definition of pilipinas kay ganda, means we have a moron president who do not have any knowledge in the law of the the land who want this idiot to sent free for they were the one who was plan this its payback time nag mga makati business man.

  2. outoftheblue says:

    Nice one Benign0!

    These soldiers have valid grievances with the government then. However, it is not only them who had grievances. It was everybody. They took matters into their hands and they should be held accountable for it. Being soldiers should not entitle them for special treatment. In fact, the gravity of the sanctions should be greater because what they did was contrary to what they pledged for. 

    I’m sharing an article from Federico Pascual.

  3. The Lazzo says:

    Sometimes I wonder if the Philippines needs one big Wikileak. As in someone secretly taking the entire case files of these cases and others and laying them bare for the world to see so we know how badly this system fails at justice. Sure, it would make that person a ‘hero’ vis-a-vis Carmen Pedrosa’s article, but then again even Julian Assange had to work with news teams around the world to make sure the data was released properly.

    On the other hand, that probably wouldn’t work either. That’s the benefit of not switching to an entirely electronic system, you can just burn the papers and say they never existed. 😛

  4. ChinoF says:

    The logic seems obvious.

    “They hate GMA. 
    We hate GMA.
    They’re for us.
    Let’s get them on our side.”

    United by a hate campaign… and going down the drain. 

    • Miriam Quiamco says:

      They hate GMA simply because she is a woman.  Why, Erap was far more ineffectual and corrupt, but there was no single coup attempt against her.  Cory’s administration too had lots of coup plots against her, I am now beginning to suspect, the military establishment is distrustful of women leaders.  GMA as usual outsmarted them by appointing ex-top brass generals in her cabinet.  They hate her even more cause they cannot put her down, she is truly a strong leader in this sense, a political survivor.  I admire her guts. . .

      • Miriam Quiamco says:

        correction: against Erap ( against him)

      • peste says:

        Now, now, Erap has his share of incompetence, but he shouldn’t be called ineffectual outright. He is the only president who had the balls to permanently deal with the MILF problem. Now, his method (all out war) had its share of consequences, but the MILF was on its way out, a spent force, until Erap got ousted and Gloria restored the MILF bases because Gloria had her survival instincts and found a use for the MILF.

        He was ousted because he wasn’t fully controllable by the internal and external powers that be. They correctly saw that Erap’s gung-ho attitude, in contrast to a strong survival instinct, will be instrumental to his downfall.

      • for the people says:

        wow! tuta ka ni GMA? you have seen how she plundered upon the country’s resources and now you admire her guts?! amazing! kaya patuloy na naghihirap ang ating bansa kasi may mga taong katulad mo.

      • AlvinEternal says:

        Obvious troll is obvious. Troll harder, Noyfag.

        An competent leader is a million times better than an incompetent one like Noynoy. In fact, he’s not really honest and he made many blunders, including the amnesty fiasco.

        Even Drilon and Joker Arroyo were facepalmed on Noynoy’s move.

    • The Lazzo says:

      This must explain why there’s a Magdalo office right next to ABS-CBN. They campaigned for Lim on Villar’s slate but this must be their contingency plan.

  5. Hyden Toro says:

    “Resistance to Tyrants is Obedience to God.”, shouted the Fathers of American Revolution. “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.” , was the theme of the French Jacobin Revolution. Which led to the Reign of Terror. Every suspect enemy of the revolution had their heads cut-off in the French Guillotine…including the inventor of the Guillotine – Dr, Guillotine. “Land , Bread,” was the goal of the Russian Bolsheviks Revolution…What are these Idiots theme?…”Out with Arroyo…We are in”…Have the Philippines changed because of them?

  6. Hyden Toro says:

    Conversely, if you are in the Military. You are there to protect the country, from all dangers. You are not there to play politics, or engage in politics. These episodes have been followed by the bad examples of the Political Opportunists, like: Enrile and his opportunist son-in-law: Honasan. As well as the : C.I.A. operative Ramos. People who voted these idiots, are just encouraging military opportunists to use their ranks and positions, to gain power…Look at the Generals. They are as corrupt, as any other politician. If you want to run for Public Office: resign your commission, and present your political agenda to the people. If they vote for you…that’s it. By using your rank and your position in the military, to gain political power is: military opportunism…and is not right…

  7. NFA rice says:

    Didn’t Trillanes claim that a reason for his coup attempts is to fight the alleged politicization in the military? How ironic that the thing he claims to fight is exactly the same thing that is saving his sorry ass.

    • benign0 says:

      This is spot on, NFA Rice. Trillanes’s and Lim’s bid for amnesty now hinges on the politics that surround their case — the very politics upon which they justified the banditry they exhibited in the Peninsula and Oakwood.

  8. NFA rice says:

    I just wished Trillanes succeded in his coup d etat’s, then I would not be seeing this pathetic spectacle. Ang rule-of-the game sana ay: Winner takes all. Game over for the loser. Di ba tatlong beses siya nag-try, lahat pumalpak. P*tang ina naman.

    • UP nn grad says:

      Another possibility (that also did not happen) —- guns blazing between Trillanes/coup-rebels and government forces; artillery and helicopter gunships used. That would have made for a good movie for 2015.

  9. of all that is goin on in less than a year with PNOY…. God knows how many had wish for LITTLE Mighty Lady to comeback. =(

  10. outoftheblue says:

    I agree, Chino. PNoys camp builds on a culture of hate. They rally common enemies alongside and they try to make an impression that they are for the people. It brings us Filipinos apart instead of bringing us altogether.

    Most Filipinos are into this telenovela type of strategy. “May magtatanggol sa inaapi ika nga”. In a nearby squatter area a friend told me, “Iboboto ko sina Trillanes at Honasan kasi pinagtatanggol nila tayo”. What? Pinagtatanggol tayo? This may be the reason why Honasan and Trillanes were elected in the senate. In 2008, among senators, Honasan has the most expenses and Trillanes(who was behind bars)  was 4th. What a waste of votes! What a waste of money!

    What’s in it for the whole country if their coup succeeded? What impression will it make on the international scene? That the Philippine government is weak and young officers can easily grab power? 

    Giving these idiots amnesty makes a similar impression. Comitting crime or rebellion in our country is not so much of a serious act as long as it is deemed as “makabayan”. PNoy makes decisions without proper judgement and inquiry. I’m not sure who advised him to give amnesty. Was it Kris? Boy Abunda? The intention is clear. He wants to rally a few of the military behind him. I hope that the day will come when majority of Filipinos realize what a big mistake it is to elect this retard. I also hope that he gets his ass kicked big time


  11. benign0 says:

    Antonio Trillanes’s quaint adventurism – justified using flawed thinking

    The bid for amnesty of mutiny plotters Antonio Trillanes and Danilo Lim now hinges on the politics that surround their case — the childish whims of an adolescent President and the brownie-points-sniffing people’s “representatives” in Congress.

    Isn’t this ironic?

    These are the very sorts of Pinoy-style politics upon which Trillanes and Lim justified the banditry they exhibited in the Peninsula and Oakwood.

    * * *

    According to “Atty” Romeo Perianco in a recent Manila Bulletin article

    Let’s remind ourselves that such adventurism by AFP generals, officers and soldiers, specifically in February 1986, had inspired a peaceful people’s revolution that led to: 1) ending a dark chapter in our history between 1972 and 1986, 2) restoration of a democratic Constitution, 3) re-creation of the Senate and the House of Representatives whose concurrence in the amnesty proclamation is needed to make it effective immediately.

    Unwittingly (perhaps owing to a serious shortage of wit in Philippine Media), Perianco provided the counter-arguments to his own position in favour of amnesty for these bandits in the above snippet; specifically,

    (1) Indeed it was a “dark chapter” in 1972 where there were less options to exercise a call for change — an options that Trillanes himself proved to be available in his time when he successfully won a Senate seat in 2007;

    (2) Indeed there was a fundamental change in the Philippines’ governance DNA that needed to be implemented as evidenced by a new Constitution being ratified in the aftermath of the 1986 “revolution”; and,

    (3) Indeed, the 1986 “revolution” that was an outcome of the adventurists of that era paved the way for a real Congress of people’s representatives to be built — something that the Marcos regime offered very little avenues to explore. In Trillanes’s case, what exactly was he fighting for to be built that could not have been pushed via legitimate channels?

    The more the arguments for “amnesty” to be granted to Antonio Trillanes, Danilo Lim, and the band of armed thugs they led into Manila’s streets are presented to those who apply a critical mind to these, the clearer it becomes how vacuous the case for amnesty for these bozos really is.

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  12. MikeZ says:

    GMA was good leader for maintaining economic balance. why I would love to see her giving pinoys the middle finger as she graciously step down on office saying “You guys are seriously fucked now that this moron is taking over lolz. Later bitchez” yeah, that would make my day

    things she did that made her questionable through the eyes of pinoys

    1. ZTE scandal *gasp!*

    2. Rice shortage (a scheme to make the public forget the ZTE scandal or so I heard)

    3. the Ampatuans helping her win the presidency in exchange for power or something like that (if that didn’t happened FPJ would have won… THE HORROR!)

    4. expensive trips (for me it’s her way of saying “I deserve this you bunch of ingrates”)

    5. as Miriam Quiamco said earlier ‘she’s female’ (even my mother is sexist claiming all women are fickle-minded… jeez sexism) Does anyone remember people singing ‘Gloria, Gloria Labandera’ song? not only that it was insulting but it was stupid as well

    • Aegis-Judex says:

      Make that TWO Hawaiian Good Luck Signs… AT FULL FORCE!

      We paean the supporters of PNoy. We paean the Oligarchs. We paean President Aquino. Insh’Allah, we will burn them and paean their ashes and scatter those ashes into the river like they deserve.

  13. jonphil says:

    Nonoy aquinkoy, barely 5 months in office, shows how stinking his priorities are.

    This clown president should not even consider trillianes a PRIORITY. The treason-bandit’s case are with the courts. This criminal does not even show any remorse for what he did. He did not ask for any clemency, why is it being served in a silver platter by an incompetent president?

    By such amnesty, what message does that send to the military or any armed group?

  14. UP nn grad says:

    I really like the AFP-command’s proposal that all those who rebelled (officers and all) should be integrated back into military service. This makes sense, after all, everything forgiven, so why not? 💡 Also, many of the rebel-now-forgiven officers are ISKOLAR-ng-Bayan 😐 Baguio PMA graduates, and some went overseas for “advanced training” on Pilipinas government money.

    PLUS all is forgiven so these officers can report to current generals. And the biggest item — Pilipinas needs officers and soldiers to send to Cordilleras and/or to Maguindanao. :mrgreen:

  15. eiram23 says:

    I believe P-Noy has a reason in trying to win back rebel soliders. The reason lies in the very decision the Supreme Court in holding that Erap had constructively resigned due to the withdrawal of support of the military and the resignation of his then cabinet member. As most people don’t know, constructive resignation is not one of those grounds found in the Constitution in removing a president. This SC decision created a dangerous precedent wherein every time the military had withdrawn their support, it follows that the president is constructively resigned and therefore should be replaced. The same decision is Gloria Arroyo’s basis in appointing retired generals as government officials. The main reason is to get hold of the military, to make sure that their allegiance will always be with the president. P-Noy carries the same reason, with the military posing a as threat to the stability of the presidency, the president should make a move in order to put them under control. And that could be made possible by making one of the most influential military officer as his ally. We may criticize P-Noy’s decision to grant amnesty (with of course the concurrence of the congress) either legally right or morally wrong (not that I actually agree with his decision), at the end of the day, so long as the decision of the Sc stands, P-Noy and all the presidents that will succeed him, we’ll always be held hostage by the capability of the military to usurp power whether through violence or by mere withdrawal of support…

    • ChinoF says:

      Let’s not forget who the Yellow Emperor offended just right before he started his term. 

      After ousting Bangit, the emperor’s coddlers must’ve thought, “oh my, he might start a coup!” So they decided to get who they perceive to be the premiere coup plotters of the land (even if they’re actually the premiere coup failers in the land), hoping that this would counteract possible coup plotters. 

      However, I’m suspecting Bangit and co. would never go that low. 

      But you may be right… military government may actually be ruling here. And the current admin is trying to divide the military in the hope that this power may be curbed somewhat. 


      sen. Arroyo said, plane and simple there should be a admission of guilt that’s what he learn from law school..

  16. eighteenforever says:

    these soldiers have valid reasons, they also exhaust all remedies to address their grievances, they even talk to the president. however they were neglected.

    • ChinoF says:

      Neglected? But they received special media coverage during their last coup attempt. That’s far from being neglected for me. Also, their grievances are only their own, and they’re passing it off as if it’s for the country. If they really are concerned about the country at all, they’d support charter change. 

      • for the people says:

        Charter change?on what provision?do you even understand what you are saying chino?
        Yes, they had “special media coverage,”  as what you are saying, but this was during and after the acts. Also, media is not the president. These soldiers talked to GMA to air their concerns but she neglected. That’s why they resorted to such actions. I think that’s what eighteenforever was trying to point out. 

      • AlvinEternal says:

        But what they did is a very fine example of impunity. Charter change is a far more better approach than inciting a rebellion.

        Makes sense?

  17. benign0 says:

    Noynoy has yet to see heads roll on the Memdoza massacre and now he is granting a bunch of thugs “amnesty” for an act that could have led to bloodshed.

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