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‘That’s not him,’ says lawyer on Faeldon’s TV interview

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 12:15:00 04/16/2008

MANILA, Philippines – (2nd UPDATE) It was not Marine Captain Nicanor Faeldon talking in an interview that was aired on television on Tuesday evening, his lawyer said.

“That’s not him. That’s not his style,” said lawyer Trixie Cruz-Angeles, who represents the fugitive rebel officer in civilian and court martial cases.

At the same time, Angeles said the voice clip could be part of a ploy by the military to force Faeldon out of hiding.

“They are trying to flush him out,” Angeles said in a phone interview Wednesday.

Angeles said her client could be forced to grant an interview to deny the voice clip aired on ABS-CBN, giving troops the chance to arrest him.

“Many strange things are happening when officials are about to retire. It looks like intelligence operatives are looking for a retirement gift,” she said.

“After the nine Magdalo [officers], Captain Faeldon is definitely a prize,” she said, referring to the band of rebel troops that briefly took over the Oakwood Apartments in Makati City on July 27, 2003.

In an interview with reporters at the Subic Bay Freeport, Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. denied Angeles’ claim.

“No, the government is not baiting him [Faeldon] to come out, the government is looking for him to arrest him,” Teodoro said.

The defense chief said the military has not furnished him a report on the purported Faeldon voice tape.

The interview was aired on ABS-CBN. In it, Faeldon supposedly expressed disappointment in the decision of nine of his fellow rebel soldiers to plead guilty for coup d’etat before the Makati regional trial court and seek presidential pardon.

Faeldon also purportedly criticized Senator Gregorio Honasan for siding with the Arroyo administration.

Honasan was charged with coup d’etat, along with Faeldon and 28 other junior officers over the 2003 siege, to protest alleged corruption in government.

The charges against Honasan were dropped.

Angeles said Faeldon also never criticized fellow rebel soldiers who had changed their pleas.

She added that the voice did not sound like that of her client.

“When did Captain Faeldon have a Visayan accent?” Angeles said in jest.

The lawyer added that it was unlikely for a fugitive to say that he was going in and out of Metro Manila, as the voice in the tape claimed.

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Written by joelguinto

WedUTC2008-04-16T12:24:06+00:00UTC04bUTCWed, 16 Apr 2008 12:24:06 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 pm04

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