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Alleged coup plotter returned to Army camp in Rizal

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 12:08:00 04/09/2008

MANILA, Philippines — The highest-ranked officer facing court martial over the failed February 2006 coup was transferred back to an Army camp in Rizal province from military general headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo on Wednesday.

Major General Renato Miranda’s transfer is an attempt by the military leadership to throw the accused officers off balance, said the officer’s lawyer Trixie Cruz-Angeles in an interview.

Miranda was escorted out of his detention cell at the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) compound between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., Angeles said.

The 27 co-accused of Miranda will be transferred to Camp Capinpin in Tanay town in the coming days, she said.

Marine Colonel Ariel Querubin was supposed to be transferred with Miranda but was allowed to stay in Manila where he was seeking treatment for a heart condition, Angeles said.

The spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines was unavailable for comment.

In a text message, Miranda’s wife, Delia, said her husband arrived at Camp Capinpin at around 11 a.m. She said her husband was doing “okay” and was returned to his old cell.

“We were not given a reason for the transfer. This is unreasonable. They even refurbished their detention cells [at ISAFP] and started constructing quarters for their guards,” Angeles said.

“Although there is a psychological value [to the transfer], they are kept unbalanced. It’s like they are standing on shifting sand,” she said.

In February, the military moved Miranda’s group to the ISAFP from Camp Capinpin to “facilitate” their court martial for mutiny and several other violations of the Articles of War, which has dragged for two years.

Last week, Miranda was the first of the 28 accused to be arraigned for mutiny, wherein he entered a special plea, seeking a review of the charges against him and his co-accused. Military prosecutors agreed to the special plea.

Miranda allegedly knew of a plot by Querubin and Brigadier General Danilo Lim, the former chief of the First Scout Ranger Regiment (FSRR) to lead soldiers in a withdrawal of support from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in February 2006.

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Written by joelguinto

Wed+00:002008-04-09T04:44:02+00:00+00:0004b+00:00Wed, 09 Apr 2008 04:44:02 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am04

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