Antonio Trillanes IV

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Antonio "Magdalo" Trillanes IV
Senator of the Philippines
Lieutenant Senior Grade, Philippine Navy
Political Party: Nacionalista Party (2012-present)
Born: August 06, 1971
Manila, Philippines
Spouse: Arlene G. Orejana

Antonio "Sonny" Trillanes IV (born 6 August 1971 in Manila, Philippines) is a Philippine military and political figure. He is best known for his role in the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny, when he and a group of 321 armed solders took over the Oakwood apartment tower in Makati City, lined it with bombs and threatened to demolish it. He is an incumbent Senator of the Philippines—the first Philippine Senator to be elected while in jail. He is currently running for Vice President in the 2016 national elections.



He is fondly called “Sonny” by his relatives and friends. Trillanes was born and raised in Caloocan City. He traces his roots to Ligao City, Albay in Bicol, where his late father, Philippine Navy Capt. Antonio Floranza Trillanes Sr. grew up. Trillanes's mother, Estelita Fuentes Trillanes, hails from the province of Capiz.

He is married to Arlene G. Orejana, who is a member of PMA corps of professors. They have three children: Francis Seth , Thea Estelle, and Alan Andrew, who died of an illness while he was only twenty-one days old.


He spent his elementary years in Sienna College in Quezon City from 1975 to 1983. From 1983 to 1987, he took his secondary education in Angelicum School in Quezon City. After that, he studied in De La Salle University in Manila, where he took up BS ECE from 1987 to 1991. He formally entered into public service in 1991 as a cadet in the Philippine Military Academy, where he graduated cum laude in 1995, while earning a degree in BS Naval System Engineering. Other awards he received while in PMA were the Mathematics Plaque, Physical Science Plaque, and the Tambuli Award for electrical/electronics engineering.

In 2002, Trillanes took up his graduate studies in the [[University of the Philippines, Diliman |University of the Philippines – Diliman]] and got his masters degree in Public Administration with a major in Public Policy and Program Management.

While taking his masters, he produced two papers on corruption in the procurements system of the Navy. They were published by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ).

In 2011, he became president of the National College of Public Administration and Governance Alumni Association (NCPAG AA).

Military Career

Trillanes was one of the Navy personnel who risked their lives to rescue 32 persons during a daring search and rescue operation for the survivors of the ill-fated M/V Princess of the Orient, which sank due to tropical storm Gading (international codename: Vicki) in 1998.

He has a five-year sea duty experience, logging in a Total Steaming Time (TST) of 2,593 hrs and 47 min and Total Miles Covered (TMC) of 35, 316.78 nautical miles. During which time, his unit was responsible for the apprehension of dozens of smugglers, illegal loggers, poachers, human smugglers and illegal fishermen in numerous maritime law enforcement operations conducted in the waters off Batanes, Ilocos, Cagayan, Isabela, Zambales, Scarborough, Quezon, Bicol, Palawan, Mindoro, Romblon, Iloilo, Cebu, Zamboanga Peninsula, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Davao and Maguindanao.

Trillanes was involved in numerous naval operations in support of ground operations directed against the Abu Sayyaf and other lawless elements. As procurement officer of the Naval Training and Education Command, Philippine Navy, he reformed the procurement system, which resulted in the accumulated savings of more than four million pesos in favor of the government. He has participated in 22 naval exercises conducted with local and foreign navies. He is also a recipient of 23 various merit medals, campaign ribbons, and badges.

Oakwood Mutiny

at regime change
in the Philippines

Civil unrest (1970)
People Power (1986)
Claim of Tolentino (1986)
Honasan's First (1987)
Honasan's Second (1989)
Fall of Estrada (2001)
May 1 riots (2001)
July 27 mutiny (2003)
February 24 coup (2006)
November 29 Rebellion (2007)

The Oakwood Mutiny was a mutiny that occurred in the Philippines on 27 July 2003. A group of 321 armed soldiers who called themselves "Magdalo", led by Lt. Antonio Trillanes of the Philippine Navy, took over the Oakwood Premier Ayala Center serviced apartment tower in Makati City to show the Filipino people the alleged corruption of the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration. They also stated that they saw signs suggesting that the president was going to declare martial law. However, the bloodless mutiny ended unsuccessfully within 18 hours when the soldiers failed to rally support from the public or the armed forces. All soldiers involved surrendered peacefully and were charged in a general court martial.

More than a year after the mutiny, its leaders apologized to the president for the failed military rebellion. Arroyo accepted the apology, but ruled out immediate pardon and said their trial would proceed. The officers faced sentences up to life in prison for the mutiny. Then in November 2004, President Arroyo ordered 133 of the 321 soldiers freed, saying they were deceived by their officers into joining the said rebellion.


Trillanes filed for certificate of candidacy on 7 February 2007 to run as an independent senator even though he was detained for sedition. Later, he accepted an invitation from the Genuine Opposition (GO) to adopt him as one of its guest candidates to field against the Arroyo administration. Though in jail throughout the campaign, Trillanes communicated with candidates like Francis Escudero and Francis Pangilinan through Friendster.

As of 4 June 2007, Trillanes maintained the 11th place in the senatorial race, but was not included in the partial proclamation of 10 winning senators by the Commission on Elections because of the narrow margin between the 11th, 12th, and 13th placers. See results of the 2007 general election.

On 15 June 2007, Trillanes was eventually proclaimed as Senator-elect by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) after assessing the certificates of canvass from Surigao del Norte. This made him safe from being taken over by any candidate. As expected, he was beleaguered by his opponents and that allegedly, the Arroyo government tried to take away his privileges as a Senator by keeping him behind bars. The military court pushed for his punishment, which rendered him unable to attend any Senate conventions. He was even denied to use computers to do fulfill his duties as a senator while still incarcerated.

On 29 November 2007. Senator Antonio Trillanes, Brigadier General Danilo Lim, and other 25 Magdalo officers marched on the streets of Makati until they reached The Manila Peninsula hotel. The mutineers called for the ousting of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and seized the second floor of the said hotel.

Among the political and media personalities who created a scene in Makati were former Vice-President Teofisto Guingona, Jr., Novaliches Catholic Bishop Antonio Tobias, Infanta Bishop Emeritus Julio Labayen, Jimmy Regalario of the Kilusang Makabansang Ekonomiya, Father Robert Reyes, former UP president Francisco Nemenzo, Bishop Julius Labayen, and Bishop Antonio Tobias.

The six-hour siege ended after Trillanes and Lim surrendered to government forces, when a military armored personnel carrier barged into the lobby of the hotel. Trillanes and the mutineers were arrested and brought to Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City, while several journalists that covered the event were detained. The journalists were subsequently released, but the arrest of the journalists questioned the issue of press freedom and the public's access to information.

In 2012, it was revealed that he was a “backroom” negotiator in territorial disputes between the Philippiness and China. However, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Albert del Rosario saw this as an act that affected government efforts to resolve the standoff. Since 2007, Trillanes has filed 1,077 bills and resolutions, 52 of which have been passed into law. He is the current chairman of the following committees: National Defense and Security; Civil Service, Government Reorganization and Professional Regulation; Congressional Oversight Committee on The Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010; Congressional Oversight Committee on the AFP Modernization Act; Select Oversight Committee on Intelligence and Confidential Funds; and Legislative Oversight Committee on the Visiting Forces Agreement.

Trillanes is being tagged as the “poorest” among the incumbent senators. His net worth was Php 5.55 million in 2014 and Php 4.91 million in 2013. The assets that he declared include 3 properties in Luzon, one property in Mindanao, and 3 vehicles. However, he was accused of not declaring in his SALN 8 luxury vehicles. He denied the allegation and said that the issue had already been dismissed by the Ombudsman.


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