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Teodoro warns ‘plotters’: ‘Complain through proper channels’

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 15:12:00 05/28/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. warned 28 military officers being tried for an alleged coup plot in February 2006 to course their complaints over alleged maltreatment through the military chain of command and not use Congress as an “alternative forum” for their grievances.

On Tuesday, the wives of the detained officers told the House Committee on Human Rights of alleged abuses their husbands are suffering, including being blindfolded in detention and placed in solitary confinement.

“If their rights were violated, they should file a complaint through the chain of command, through the chief of staff, so that these will be investigated and, if it is proven, [then] appropriate action will be taken,” Teodoro told reporters in Camp Aguinaldo.

“We can’t allow them to go straight to Congress and use it as an alternative forum, and break military protocols and military controls,” he said.

Teodoro cited a Supreme Court ruling on the case of retired brigadier general Francisco Gudani which upheld the “exclusive control” of the President over military officers.

Gudani and his subordinate, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Balutan, were tried by court martial for testifying before a Senate investigation on alleged cheating in the 2004 elections without President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s permission. Arroyo supposedly benefited from the alleged vote-rigging.

The 28 accused officers are led by ex-Marines chief Major General Renato Miranda, ex-Army Scout Rangers chief Brigadier General Danilo Lim, and Marine Colonel Ariel Querubin.

Lim and Querubin, with Miranda’s knowledge, allegedly planed to lead soldiers in a mass withdrawal of support from Arroyo on February 24, 2006, due to the election fraud allegations.

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Written by joelguinto

WedUTC2008-05-28T07:52:41+00:00UTC05bUTCWed, 28 May 2008 07:52:41 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am05

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