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Military chief: No deal with 11 suspected mutineers

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 19:01:00 06/10/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Alexander Yano promised no concessions to eleven rebel junior officers, whom he met briefly, before they reversed their not guilty pleas at a military court, a military spokesman said.

“There was no deal, no concession. They also expressed their support to the Armed Forces of the Philippines under the leadership of General Yano, and help in whatever way they can,” AFP Public Affairs Office chief Lieutenant Colonel Ernesto Torres Jr. said.

“There was no promise from the Chief of Staff. The Chief of Staff only pledged [that the proceedings] will take its due course, and that fair and just trial will be accorded [to the accused],” he said.

Torres said the rebel officers told Yano that they pleaded guilty to violation of Article of War 96 (conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman) to “unburden” him of at least one “problem.”

The eleven are: Captain Segundino Orfiano Jr., and First Lieutenants Billy Pascua and Francisco Ashley Acedillo from the Air Force; Lieutenants Senior Grade James Layug, Eugene Louie Gonzales, Andy Torato, and Manuel Cabochan, Lieutenant Junior Grade Arturo Pascua, and Ensign Arman Pontejos from the Navy; and Captain Gary Alejano and Second Lieutenant Jonnel Sangalang from the Marines.

The group does not include Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, a former Navy lieutenant, and fugitive Marine Captain Nicanor Faeldon.

Violation of Article of War 96 is punishable with dishonorable dismissal from the service and jail time. The court will decide on whether or not to accept their reversal of plea in the next hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

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Written by joelguinto

TueUTC2008-06-10T18:03:37+00:00UTC06bUTCTue, 10 Jun 2008 18:03:37 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 pm06

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