Deadline all the time

breaking news stories, photos, and video

Archive for April 24th, 2007

Trillanes’ temporary freedom ‘will never happen’–military

leave a comment »

By Joel Guinto
Last updated 05:04pm (Mla time) 04/24/2007

MANILA, Philippines — Ex-Navy Lieutenant and senatorial candidate Antonio Trillanes IV posting bail or being released temporarily to campaign will “never happen,” the military said Tuesday.

Even if he has been separated from the service following his candidacy,
Trillanes remains under military custody since he has a pending case before a military court for alleged violation of Article of War 96
(conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman), said Lieutenant Colonel Bartolome Bacarro, military spokesman.

The charges stemmed from Trillanes’ alleged involvement in the failed uprising by some 300 junior officers and enlisted men in Makati City on July 27, 2003.

Trillanes is also facing charges before a civilian court.

“The AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] has jurisdiction over his person,” Bacarro told reporters in Camp Aguinaldo.

“It is an established rule that there is no such thing as right to bail in the military. It will never happen,” Bacarro said.

Bacarro said military detainees were allowed breaks from detention only
for “humanitarian reasons.”

Asked if this applied to Trillanes, who wants to campaign outside his detention cell, Bacarro said: “If you apply the provisions of his detention in the military court, then, I think it is not probable.”

Trillanes is detained at the Philippine Marines brig in Fort Bonifacio, alongside other comrades who have continued to defy the government. Other alleged leaders of the mutiny however have since reaffirmed their allegiance to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and are detained at the nearby Army headquarters.

The ex-Navy lieutenant has been granting interviews from his cell since late last week after securing permission from Branch 148 of the Makati regional trial court.

While not keen on posting bail, Trillanes said he wanted to go out during the last week of the campaign period, which would end on May 12.

View article as posted on

Written by joelguinto

Tue+00:002007-04-24T13:18:53+00:00+00:0004b+00:00Tue, 24 Apr 2007 13:18:53 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 pm04

Posted in Uncategorized

No terror threat in Mindanao — military

leave a comment »

By Joel Guinto
Last updated 04:56pm (Mla time) 04/24/2007

MANILA, Philippines — There is no threat of imminent terrorist attacks in Mindanao, the military said Tuesday, contrary to travel warnings issued by the United States, Australia, and Canada.

“We are not saying that there is no capability [for bomb attacks], but we don’t see any group with the intent,” said Lieutenant Colonel Bartolome Bacarro, Armed Forces public information office chief.

Over the weekend, the US, Australia, and Canada warned of bomb attacks by Al Qaeda-linked militants in the south and advised their nationals to stay away from crowded areas.

“I think it’s inherent for any sovereign [nation] to protect their interests and to ensure the safety of their citizens, so we cannot prevent them from coming up with an advisory,” Bacarro said.

But Bacarro said he has not received intelligence reports on the alleged upcoming attacks, as claimed by the three countries.

On Monday, Defense Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. played down the travel warnings saying Filipinos in countries that issued the travel advisories should also stay away from “crime-prone” areas such as the Bronx in New York.

A day before, an improvised bomb exploded in a remote village in Midsayap town, North Cotabato province, wounding a civilian.

However, authorities however have not declared the incident an act of terrorism.

View article as posted on

Written by joelguinto

Tue+00:002007-04-24T13:18:09+00:00+00:0004b+00:00Tue, 24 Apr 2007 13:18:09 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 pm04

Posted in Uncategorized

Militiaman killed, 2 wounded in communist rebel attack

leave a comment »

By Joel Guinto
Last updated 03:39pm (Mla time) 04/24/2007

MANILA, Philippines — A government militiamen was killed and two others wounded when suspected communist rebels on Monday attacked their detachment in Compostela Valley province on Mindanao island, a military report said.

The report identified the fatality as Lester Matambonoy and the wounded as Edwin Mainit and Mario Dandan, all members of the Civilian Armed Forces Geographic Unit (CAFGU), a paramilitary unit detailed to the Army.

New People’s Army guerrillas struck the detachment of the 72nd Infantry Battalion in Purok 3, Casoon village at around 10 a.m. while a team of rebel snipers fired at militiamen taking a bath at a nearby elementary school building, the report said.

The report claimed the rebels also suffered an undetermined number of casualties.

The military has set a 2010 deadline to finish off the NPA, the 7,100-strong armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), which has been waging a guerilla campaign from the countryside for 38 years.

View article as posted on

Written by joelguinto

Tue+00:002007-04-24T08:00:53+00:00+00:0004b+00:00Tue, 24 Apr 2007 08:00:53 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am04

Posted in Uncategorized

Trillanes hopes to unseat Arroyo via impeachment if elected

leave a comment »

By Joel Guinto
Last updated 02:20pm (Mla time) 04/24/2007

MANILA, Philippines — Ex-Navy Lieutenant Antonio Trillanes IV hopes to do in the Senate what he failed to accomplish four years ago — unseat President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, whom he called a “corrupt leader.”

This time, however, Trillanes said he would not lead soldiers in a takeover of a high-rise building in the Makati City financial district like what he and his comrades did when they seized the posh Oakwood Apartments on July 27, 2003.

If elected, Trillanes said he would support efforts to impeach Arroyo.


“As far as eradicating corruption is concerned, the first step really is [that] you have to remove the corrupt leader, in this case, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,” Trillanes said in a podcast interview with

Asked how he would “remove” Arroyo from power if elected, Trillanes, who is running under the Genuine Opposition (GO) slate, said: “Through impeachment.”

Comparing government to the Armed Forces, Trillanes said: “You cannot reform a unit or a squad if the commander is corrupt. Then, you can institute reform through new leadership.”

Interviewed via phone patch from his detention cell at the Philippine Marine headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Trillanes said he was presenting himself as an “alternative” because “our leaders have failed us.”

Arroyo has weathered two impeachment attempts, spawned by allegations of massive corruption and election fraud. She was never tried since her allies at the House of Representatives killed the complaints before they could reach the Senate, which under the Constitution would have convened as an impeachment court.

Trillanes warned Arroyo that while he could only go as far as to pursue her impeachment, she would “have it coming” when the people whom she “oppresses” would take matters into their own hands.

“If elected to the Senate [impeachment] is the only avenue available, but rebellion, as you know, is justified in extreme cases where the government is working against the interest of the people.”

“It is not up to me, it is up to the people to do that, I cannot force them to do that… There is a saying the limits of a tyrant are prescribed by the patience of those whom he oppresses so if that patience breaks, then she will have it coming.”

Trillanes is among 31 junior officers and enlisted men on trial for coup d’etat before the Makati regional trial court over the botched uprising. The group is also facing court martial.

Offering no apologies, Trillanes said he adopted as his campaign nickname “Magdalo,” the name by which the some 300 junior officers and enlisted men called themselves during the daylong siege in Makati City.

“The nickname that I wrote on my CoC [certificate of candidacy] is Magdalo, I wrote Magdalo because I enter this field with the ideals and aspirations of the group,” he said.

Trillanes took a swipe at the present Armed Forces leadership, saying it “abused” the notion of an apolitical military to the point that soldiers are expected to blindly follow orders. He said soldiers should be “socially aware of their duties” as protector of the people.

“The idea of some about a non-politicized military is [soldiers are] like robots, who do what they are told. If we want that, then we will have the North Korean army,” he said.

“If there is a rally on EDSA, and GMA [Arroyo] orders the AFP to shoot everybody in EDSA, what do you want the soldiers to do? Do you want the soldiers to comply? No, you don’t want that to happen, we want them to analyze, reflect whether the order is right,” he said.

Trillanes said friends and volunteers have been campaigning for him. Asked how the reception has been, he said. “From what they are reporting the reception is warm on every corner of the country. That is encouraging.”

Before he was granted media access last week, Trillanes had been campaigning through two blogs, Magdalo Para Sa Pagbabago and Friends of Trillanes, an account on the social networking website Friendster.

He has also posted two campaign videos on the Internet, criticizing Arroyo for the alleged use of P700-million in fertilizer funds for her 2004 campaign kitty and the alleged overpricing of a Pasay City highway which was named after her late father, former president Diosdado Macapagal.

View article as posted on

Written by joelguinto

Tue+00:002007-04-24T06:46:12+00:00+00:0004b+00:00Tue, 24 Apr 2007 06:46:12 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am04

Posted in Uncategorized

‘Brother Eddie’ backs 4 GO bets

leave a comment »

Cayetano, Escudero, Lacson, Villar named

By Joel Guinto, Maila Ager
Last updated 03:41pm (Mla time) 04/24/2007

MANILA, Philippines — Evangelist Eduardo “Brother Eddie” Villanueva of the Jesus Is Lord (JIL) Movement has endorsed four senatorial candidates from the Genuine Opposition for the May midterm elections but said that this did not mean that he was closing his doors to those from TEAM Unity.

At a news conference at the Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan Tuesday, Villanueva announced that he was supporting reelectionist Senators Manuel Villar and Panfilo Lacson and Sorsogon Representative Francis Escudero and Taguig-Pateros Representative Alan Peter Cayetano.


He is the first religious leader to publicly endorse senatorial candidates.

The Iglesia ni Cristo and the El Shaddai, who have endorsed candidates in the past, have yet to announce their choices.

Lacson, Villar, Escudero, and Cayetano are among the top nine candidates, who have high chances of winning a Senate seat, according to the April pre-election survey of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, parent company of, and the Social Weather Stations (SWS).

Villanueva said the four were just part of the first batch of candidates that he would be supporting and that he would reveal his other endorsements soon. He also said that he was not closing his doors to candidates from the administration’s Team Unity (TU).

“We are not taking away that possibility. We are not looking at party [affiliations] here,” he said.

“You owe us no favor. Your obligation is to God and to our country,” Villanueva told Villar, Lacson, and Cayetano who were present when Villanueva made the announcement.

Explaining his group’s decision to endorse candidates, Villanueva said: “In the face of shocking, grinding poverty. It is a sin not to take positive action.”

The Bangon Pilipinas Movement (Arise Philippines) and the Philippines for Jesus Movement — all affiliated with the JIL — gave similar endorsements.

Villar, Lacson, and Cayetano signed an “oath and covenant” against corruption and immorality. Escudero’s sister, Bernadette, signed for her brother.

By signing the covenant, Villanueva said the candidates have agreed to fight “satanic activities” like gambling, pornography, prostitution, extra-judicial killings, and the establishment of a “sin city.”

Villanueva said the four GO bets had “passed with honors” the JIL’s “evaluation and screening committee” that had interviewed them.

Asked if the endorsement would amount to a block vote, Villanueva said: “We don’t believe in dictating on people. There’s a difference between dictation and persuasion. It’s up to the people to exercise their free will based on [the endorsement].”

Villanueva also endorsed Citizen’s Battle Against Corruption partylist member Chona Gonzalez and a municipal councilor.

Villanueva placed fourth in the five-way 2004 presidential race, which incumbent Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has won. He has called for Arroyo’s resignation a year later when Arroyo was accused of massive election fraud.

Escudero and Cayetano pushed for Arroyo’s impeachment in 2005 and in 2006, alongside Villanueva’s son, Citizen’s Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) partylist Representative Joel Villanueva.

The older Villanueva urged the nation to guard their votes, saying he feared a repeat of the alleged cheating that tilted the 2004 vote in Arroyo’s favor.

“I encourage everyone to protect your vote. We have heard of new plans to rape our right of suffrage,” he said.

Following their endorsements, Villar and Escudero expressed their gratitude.

“I am thankful for their endorsement and expression of trust and belief in what I stand for and [in] what I am fighting for. Taos puso po akong nagpapasalamat [I would like to express my whole hearted thanks],” Escudero said in a text message.

Escudero admitted that he had sought the support of the JIL but did not make any commitments in exchange for its endorsement.

“There were no commitments just a discussion of platform and common belief to fight for what is right,” he said.

Villar said the endorsement was an honor not only because it came from the group of his long-time friend but because it would also create an impression that the candidates it had endorsed were good people.

“It‘s an honor and I’m really thankful,” he said.” It was important because considering that they are good people, it would also create an impression that the people they are endorsing are also good.”

But Villanueva’s endorsement no longer came as a surprise because the JIL leader had virtually voiced his support for the senator when he went to Hong Kong last April 8 with Lacson and Cayetano.

In a statement, Lacson said the endorsement of his candidacy by Villanueva had a “great positive impact.”

“But more than this, I am honored to be chosen as one of those to be given the great responsibility accompanying it,” he said.

“Mind you, this is a shared responsibility. It’s our responsibility to abide by a covenant and it’s their responsibility to watch over us,” he said.

Lacson said it was also “providential” that the endorsement had come from the group of Brother Eddie Villanueva, whom he ran against during the 2004 presidential elections.

The senator vowed to push for four principles that the JIL was promoting: God before others, upliftment of the poor and repressed; fighting corruption in government; and fulfilling responsibilities under their constitutional mandate.

View article as posted on

Written by joelguinto

Tue+00:002007-04-24T06:44:30+00:00+00:0004b+00:00Tue, 24 Apr 2007 06:44:30 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am04

Posted in Uncategorized