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Trillanes as senator ‘people’s will’ but 2003 mutiny ‘wrong’

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By Joel Guinto
Last updated 06:54pm (Mla time) 05/22/2007

MANILA, Philippines — The failed mutiny in 2003 staged by a former Navy officer who is now running for the Senate was “wrong” and he must face the charges that have been filed against him over the incident, the head of the Philippine Navy said Tuesday.

At the same time, Admiral Rogelio Calunsag, flag officer-in-command, told reporters at the Philippine Navy Headquarters in Manila that former Navy Lieutenant Antonio Trillanes IV possible election as senator would be “up to the people.”


“Hindi tama yung ginawa niya [What he did was wrong],” Vice Admiral Rogelio Calunsag, flag officer-in-command, told reporters at the Philippine Navy headquarters in Manila when asked to comment on Antonio Trillanes IV’s strong showing in the canvassing.

“If you have many grievances, if you don’t like the system, you get out of the system. You don’t stage a mutiny,” Calunsag said, but stressed that he was stating his personal opinion, and not the Navy leadership’s stand on Trillanes.

As a military man and graduate of the Philippine Military Academy, Calunsag said Trillanes should remember that “military service is anchored on discipline.”

“If you are a company commander, when told to attack a hill, you get that hill. You cannot refuse and say, sir, we are only 120 troops against 5,000 on the hill,” the Navy chief said.


Calunsag, who was part of the investigating panel that looked into the involvement of Scout Ranger and Marine officers in a botched coup on February 2006, said the best way to deal with mutinous soldiers was to pursue charges against them.

“Our approach is we throw the books at them so that other people will not follow. We have to be strict. If you let them off by just talking to them, they will do it again,” he said.

Trillanes has consistently been in and out of the magic 12 in the Commission on Elections and National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections tallies, placing between 9th and 14th.

Trillanes has been charged with coup d’etat before the Makati regional trial court and for alleged violation of Article of War 96 (conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman) before a military tribunal.

Asked if Trillanes’ strong showing in the counting sent a wrong signal to troops, Calunsag said, “That’s up to the people.”

But Calunsag acknowledged that the election results were a “reflection” of the people’s will.

“Before the public elected movie stars. Maybe they got bored of the intelligent ones… Now the public voted for those who turned against the administration. That is the trend I’m seeing,” he said.

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Here are more pictured of the 109th Philippine Navy Day celebration




Written by joelguinto

Tue+00:002007-05-22T14:00:32+00:00+00:0005b+00:00Tue, 22 May 2007 14:00:32 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 pm05

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