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Ex-Marine chief reiterates plea to stand trial alone

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 14:03:00 04/02/2008

MANILA, Philippines — The most senior of 28 senior officers on court martial over the alleged February 2006 coup plot appealed anew to the military leadership to let him stand trial alone and spare his co-accused.


Major General Renato Miranda, former commandant of the Marine Corps, said it pained him to see his co-accused receiving their families in detention. He said some of the officers are young enough to be his children.

“If there really is a case, as the most senior officer, I am willing to face that,” Miranda told reporters in a chance interview before he was returned to his detention cell at the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) compound in Camp Aguinaldo.

“It’s painful to see the young officers, every time they are visited by their families, wives, [and] children. It pains me to see all these things for the last two years,” Miranda said.

“Most of them are young enough to be my children. There is really an age gap. They can be my children,” said Miranda, who will retire in December when he turns 56.

Miranda’s co-accused includes captains and first lieutenants in their early 30s. The others include Brigadier General Danilo Lim, former chief of the First Scout Ranger Regiment (FSRR), and Colonel Ariel Querubin, former commander of the First Marine Brigade.

The general court martial trying the 28 officers for mutiny and other alleged violations of the Articles of War again failed to arraign the accused on Wednesday, after a lack of quorum forced the proceedings to adjourn.

The court set the next hearing for Tuesday morning.

The charges stemmed from an alleged plot to lead soldiers in a mass withdrawal of support from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo last February 24, 2006, and a succeeding standoff at Marine headquarters in Fort Bonifacio two days later.

Lim and Querubin allegedly hatched the plot, with Miranda’s knowledge.

“There is really no connivance, because I met them [co-accused] just recently. We just met,” Miranda said, adding, “With my two years with them [in detention], I know their professionalism.”

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Written by joelguinto

Wed+00:002008-04-02T07:38:50+00:00+00:0004b+00:00Wed, 02 Apr 2008 07:38:50 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am04

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