Manila peninsula rebellion

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December 2007 Manila Peninsula Hotel Rebellion

The Manila Peninsula rebellion occurred on November 29, 2007 at The Peninsula Manila (colloquially, Manila Peninsula Hotel), Makati City, Philippines. Detained Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, Brigadier General Danilo D. Lim, and 25 other Magdalo officers walked out of their trial and marched through the streets of Makati City. The mutineers called for the ousting of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and seized the second floor of the Manila Peninsula Hotel along Ayala Avenue. Former Vice-President Teofisto Guingona, Jr. joined the march to the hotel, as well as some of the soldiers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

After several hours, Trillanes and Lim surrendered to government forces once a military armored personnel carrier had barged into the lobby of the hotel. Trillanes and the mutineers were arrested while several journalists that covered the event were detained. The journalists were subsequently released.

Timeline

Occupation of The Peninsula Manila

File:2007ManilaPenSiegeMap.jpg
Location of Oakwood Premiere and The Peninsula Manila in Makati. These hotels had become the location of the Magdalo mutiny of 2003 and 2007, respectively.
File:ManilaPenn.jpg
The Peninsula Manila as seen from Ayala cor. Makati Avenue.

Led by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and Army Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim, thirty soldiers with armed guards, on trial for the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny, walked out of court by breaking down a door and marched towards the luxury Peninsula Manila Hotel. They were joined by former vice-president Teofisto Guingona Jr., who called the gathering "New Edsa". They were also joined by other military personnel and civilians carrying M-16 or M-14 rifles. The soldiers, some of whom were carrying and wearing Magdalo flags and pins, marched along Makati Avenue and occupied The Peninsula Manila Hotel's second floor. Sen. Trillanes and Brig. Gen. Lim stayed in the Rizal function room negotiating for most of the time.

Arroyo called for an emergency Cabinet meeting as she took a helicopter back to the Malacañang Palace amid tight security. Novaliches Catholic Bishop Antonio Tobias, Infanta Bishop Emeritus Julio Labayen, Jimmy Regalario of the Kilusang makabansang Ekonomiya, Father Robert Reyes, former University of the Philippines president Francisco Nemenzo, Bishop Julius Layyen, Bishop Antonio Tobias, and Fr. Robert Reyes joined Trillanes's group, as Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita and Presidential Spokesperson-Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye rushed back to Malacañang. The Presidential Security Group sealed off the Palace while troops secured the North and South Luzon Expressways. A website soon appeared, proclaiming Lim and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV as the leaders of the coup.<ref>Afp.google.com, Philippine rebels seize hotel, demand Arroyo step down: witnesses</ref> The website entry read:

"Senator Antonio Trillanes, Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim, Magdalo soldiers, their guards and the people have started marching towards Makati triangle. [...] We presently find in existence a dangerous concept where the armed forces now owe their primary allegiance and loyalty to those who temporarily exercise the authority of the executive branch of the government rather than to the country and the Constitution they have sworn to protect. That is a concept we defy and struggle to eradicate. If you believe you are a man of will and courage with unselfish motives and brave enough to fight against such tyranny, rise up and be counted!"<ref>Sundalo Tagapagtanggol ng Pilipino</ref>

The Philippine National Police declared a red alert status in Metro Manila as a result of the incident.

At 2:46 p.m. PST, Police Director Geary Barias, chief of the National Capital Region Police Office, ordered everyone inside the Manila Peninsula to vacate, according to reports on radio and television.

"I am asking all guests of the hotel to leave so that we can do our jobs," Barias said in a live interview.<ref>(UPDATE 5) NCRPO chief orders hotel guests to vacate</ref>

Siege and assault

The Philippine military rushed at least three battalions of infantry, consisting of roughly 1,500 troops, to the Metro Manila's Makati business district to crush the mutiny. The Philippine Marines on Thursday said it remained loyal to the chain of command and will help crush the rebellion led by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim. The Marines sent three armored personnel carriers and two trucks of troops to Makati to support government police and military units in the area. <ref>Govt. rushes troops to Manila to crush rebellion</ref>

Judge Oscar Pimentel, Makati Regional Trial Court, issued an arrest warrant and Director Geary Barias, National Capital Region Police Office director, stated "Arrests will be made at 3 p.m."<ref>ABS-CBN News, Military, PNP to storm Makati hotel</ref> The Philippine National Police (PNP) gave Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim until this time to surrender, as it evacuated guests and personnel inside the The Peninsula Manila Hotel.<ref>GMA.news.tv, PNP imposes 3 p.m. deadline for Trillanes, Lim to surrender</ref>Lim stated: "We make this fateful step of removing Mrs. Macapagal Arroyo from the presidency and undertake the formation of a new government."<ref>UK.reuters.com, Soldiers take over Manila hotel and call for Arroyo to go</ref>

File:Makatisiege ajescreenshot.jpg
Al Jazeera's Coverage of the Hotel Siege

The planned assault was held off until 3:58 p.m. At 3:58 p.m., 50 Special Weapons and Tactics commandos lined up outside The Peninsula Manila Hotel to enforce the arrest of rebel soldiers. The commandos, who were carrying gas masks, went into formation after rebel soldiers refused to accept warrants for their arrest. There were indications that the armed rebel soldiers inside the hotel were ready for battle. <ref>SWAT to raid Makati hotel, arrest rebelsl</ref>

Armored personnel carriers and Armoured fighting vehicles (AFV) of the police and the military were also dispatched around the building. The movement intensified after 4 p.m., when policemen in full-battle gear fired warning shots as they prepared to storm the hotel.<ref>cops, army move into assault positions around Makati hotel</ref> Footage taken by ABS-CBN Sky Patrol showed Special Weapons and Tactics commandos moving in battle formation towards the hotel. <ref>Warning shots fired at Makati hotel</ref>

Glass on the windows was broken to allow the dispersal of tear gas to those held up inside the hotel. Afterwards, an exchange of fire was heard between the military and the Magdalo Group. Firing stopped at 4:30 p.m.<ref>ABS-CBN, shots fired as pro-Arroyo troops begin assault at hotel</ref><ref>ABS-CBN, Firing stops at The Penhotel</ref> Bishop Julio Labayen appealed: "Please do not storm the place.. so nobody gets hurt." (4:37 p.m.) Various TV and radio crews, as well as other media personnel, were trapped in the hotel, while the Palace appealed to media and the public to stay away from Makati.

The AFV broke into hotel lobby at 5:10 p.m.<ref>ABS-CBN, GMA crew, other media personnel still trapped in Manila Pen</ref><ref>Trillanes, Lim call it quits</ref>, with soldiers pouring into the hotel. Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim decided to surrender to the arresting authorities to avoid loss of lives as several journalists and other civilians were with them.<ref>GMA News, Trillanes, Lim decide to call it quits - report</ref>Director Geary Barias declared that the standoff at the Manila Peninsula Hotel was over as the mutinuous soldiers agreed to leave the hotel and surrender to Barias after the 6 hour siege (5:30 p.m.).<ref>GMA News, 'It's over,' says Barias of hotel standoff</ref>

Arrests

Trillanes, Lim and their cohorts, and Guingona were arrested by the Philippine National Police and were sent to National Capital Region Police Office headquarters in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City. ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs, GMA News and Public Affairs, Bloomberg News, NHK, DWIZ, Manila Bulletin and Malaya journalists who were covering the event were also arrested. All of them were asked to leave their belongings and to not bring anything with them. They were advised by a lawyer not to talk as what the police were doing was against the law and violated their rights. Roman Catholic priest Fr. Robert Reyes and Bishop Julio Labayen were also seen boarding the same bus the arrested press correspondents were transported in.<ref>Trillanes, mediamen arrested after Manila Pen siege</ref><ref>GMA News reporter, crewmen, Malaya columnist among arrested</ref> The Special Action Force was involved in arresting Brigadier General Danilo Lim. <ref> Brigadier General Danilo Lim arrested. Retrieved on November 30, 2007.</ref>

Trillanes said he was ready to face whatever charges the government will give him.

In a TV interview with ABS-CBN, National Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro defended the arrests of media reporters as the arresting officers "didn't know the journalists and may have mistook them as renegade soldiers," although it should be noted that several of these journalists were hosting several prominent TV programs. Several journalists, mostly from TV and radio, were released at the NCRPO HQ.<ref>17 of 50 journalists rounded up from The Pen released</ref>

It was announced that a curfew from midnight to 5 a.m. will be implemented in the regions of Metro Manila, Central Luzon, and CALABARZON for the night of November 29-30.<ref>Curfew up to expedite hunt for other plotters - PNP</ref>

Aftermath

On November 30, 2007, the authorities, led by AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, launched a manhunt for more suspects (including 3 rebel officers, where one wore a wig and black clothes; Marine Captain Nicanor Faeldon and a soldier). Faeldons counsel Trixie Angeles stated: I am worried... there is a distinct possibility that (Capt. Faeldon) is under the custody of the Armed Forces. They should tell us if he (Faeldon) is already in their custody." <ref>Gmanews.tv, AFP, PNP launch manhunt vs Capt. Faeldon; lawyer worried</ref> PNP Chief Dir. Gen. Avelino Razon announced that the destabilization plot is still active since four groups took part in the mutiny, and one escaped: We are looking for him, we dont know how he escaped." Noberto Gonzales also stated that 20 other people who were not part of the hotel siege, including businessmen, were under investigation.<ref>Afp.google.com, Philippines hunts for more suspects in rebellion</ref> Razon also announced that 2 Magdalo members, Lieutenant Arman Pontejos and a certain Sergeant Bosi were arrested after being found hiding in the hotel. Antonio Trillanes IV and Lim were placed under maximum security in Camp Crame.<ref>Inq.net, 2 more Magdalo members found hiding in hotel</ref> <ref>Inquirer.net, Manhunt on for 3 rebel officers, soldier in Makati standoff</ref> Anti-Arroyo rallyists marched towards Liwasang Bonifacio. Julio Labayen, bishop-prelate emeritus of Infanta was transferred from detention in Camp Crame to the custody of the current Infanta bishop-prelate, Rolando Tria Tirona and/or the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). The personalities arrested, referred to as the "Manila Pen 50", were transferred from Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan to the maximum detention cell in Camp Crame, while 11 ABS-CBN personnel were released after processing. 450 people were arrested in Metro Manila due to the curfew being enforced in the metropolis and in Regions III and IV-A. The Arroyo curfew followed Ferdinand Marcos example 35 years ago. Novaliches Bishop Antonio Tobias, Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iniguez Jr. and Infanta, Quezon Bishop Emeritus Julio Labayen, and all of Kilusang Makabansang Ekonomiya (KME) lead a prayer rally at Plaza Miranda in Quiapo, Bonifacio Day, and asked Mrs. Arroyo to step down for lack of moral ascendancy to lead the nation." Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) held its rally at nearby Bonifacio Shrine in Lawton led by former Vice President Teofisto Guingona. As of 1:30 p.m., some 5,000 members of militant groups gathered at España Avenue to march towards Liwasang Bonifacio. At 11 a.m., reserve force / troops with 10 6x6 military trucks came from Fort Magsaysay in Palayan City, Nueva Ecija and passed along EDSA towards Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City. Some personalities / detainees arrested accused the police of maltreating them during their detention in Camp Bagong Diwa. Lawyer Argee Guevarra stated that retired bishop Julio Labayen was treated like a common criminal," handcuffed and fingerprinted during detention: Bishop Labayen was never imprisoned during Martial Law. But under the rule of Arroyo and Pidal, no less than a bishop was arrested and detained." Australia and the UK cautioned nationals in Manila. The Manila Peninsula Hotel will re-open on December 3, after assessment of damages, as Mrs. Arroyo blamed Trillanes for the destruction.<ref>Time, Another Philippines Coup Plot Fails</ref>. According to the TV news report, the Opposition did not support Trillanes for the latter planned to head the caretaker government had the coup succeeded.

On December 1, 2007, the Philippine National Police (PNP) formed a team to re-arrest Nicanor Faeldon, while former University of the Philippines president Francisco Nemenzo was freed to the custody of Akbayan Rep. Ana Theresia “Risa” Hontiveros as inquest proceedings continued against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and 49 others at the Camp Crame Multipurpose Hall who were accused of Rebellion. DOJ Undersecretary Fidel Esconde, state prosecutors Aristotle Reyes, Philip dela Cruz and Alvin Navarro were part of the inquest panel. Inquest proceedings ended at 1:00 a.m., and Senior State Prosecutor Emmanuel Velasco said the resolution will be released on December 3: Until we issue a resolution, those arrested will stay in detention or under the police custody; We will make a resolution as soon as possible. We also do not want to prolong the agony of the complaint respondents.” <ref>Inquirer.net, Inquest ends; no decision yet on filing of charges</ref> Velasco, also stated on Peninsula 50: Ayaw namin patagalin ang kaso so as not to prolong the agony of the respondents. Kung walang kasalanan, pwede nang i-release at kung meron, trabaho lang po (We are working fast to avoid prolonging the agony of the respondents. We want to see to it that if they are innocent, they can be released immediately. If they are liable, we want to assure them this is just work and there is nothing personal); Walang dinemanda na taga-media, at sa aking paningin, naobserbahan, walang ginawang pagkakamali ang media (There was no media personality charged. And from what I have observed so far, media did not do anything wrong during the standoff)."<ref>Gmanews.tv, Prosecutor to Peninsula 50: We wont prolong your agony</ref> The Central Command (CENTCOM) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines remained under red alert as CENTCOM chief Maj. Gen. Victor Ibrado conducted a loyalty check among his personnel. Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay stated that Malacañng would link him to the Rebellion. Francisco Nemenzo Jr. confirmed that a police general hit Senator Antonio Trillanes IV: “Hindi ako nasaktan at saka ‘yong mga kasama kong civilians. Wala akong narinig pero ‘yong mga sundalo talagang sinaktan sila especially Senator Trillanes (My civilian companions and I were not hurt. I didn’t hear any report that the civilians were hurt. But the soldiers were roughed up, especially Senator Trillanes); Sinuntok siya (Trillanes) ng isang heneral na pulis, and then hinigpitan ng husto ‘yong plastic na parang handcuff and just to humiliate him they dragged him by holding his belt, (I saw that a police general punched Trillanes, and then his handcuff was tightened. It appeared that they wanted to humiliate him, they dragged him by holding his belt)."<ref>Gmanews.tv, Ex-UP prexy confirms report Trillanes roughed up by police</ref> Meanwhile, opposition senators blocked a resolution of Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago to expel Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV from the Senate of the Philippines. Also, Philippine National Police chief Director General Avelino Razon Jr. affirmed that it will counter media networks (ABS-CBN) suits against the PNP who also denied an allegation of a lawyer of junior officers that Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim and their companions were manhandled at a police camp. Teofisto Guingona, Jr. returned to Crame to visit detained daughter, and actress-writer Bibeth Orteza was released from Camp Crame. The Bishops’ rally fizzled out, while elsewhere, loyal troops choked off support for Trillanes. 602 curfew violators were held in Central Luzon, while 479 were arrested in Calabarzon during curfew. Further, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyos luncheon with Pampanga journalists was cancelled but she kept her Europe itinerary despite ouster attempt.<ref>newsfromrussia.com, Philippine military officers and supporters accused of planned revolt against president</ref>

On December 2, 2007, Ces Drilon, senior correspondent of ABS-CBN News said authorities / no one told them to vacate the Hotel as teams began assault. Roy Mabasa, president of the National Press Club, announced that they will lodge the formal complaint before the Commission on Human Rights office in Quezon City Monday morning. <ref>Abs Cbn, ABS-CBN reporter: No one told us to leave Pen</ref> The Philippine National Police (PNP) will file charges of economic sabotage against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, as President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo left for 8-day trip / 3-country visit to Europe (to France for a private trip on Sunday, to Spain on the same day for a state visit and to the United Kingdom with Queen Elizabeth II in Buckingham Palace in London). Dir. Gen. Avelino Razon Jr, chief of the PNP and the Armed Forces stated that Makati police, 32 personalities and government employee were probed for siege involvement, and also announced set talks with media / the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) on December 5:"Magkakaroon ng usapan ang PNP, AFP at KBP para pag-usapan ang naging problema sa Manila Pen at di maulit ang situation (We're going to have a talk with the AFP and KBP to discuss the problem so what happened will not be repeated)." <ref>Gmanews.tv, PNP, AFP set Wednesday 'date' with media over Peninsula siege</ref> The Senate of the Philippines will discuss expulsion bid against Trillanes on December 3. Lawyer Ibarra Gutierrez III, and counsels for 51 arrested soldiers and civilians arrested will file illegal detention charges against the police for failing to meet the 36-hour legal deadline to file charges.<ref>Inquirer.net, 51 people arrested in Makati siege mull charges vs police</ref>

On December 3, 2007, Antonio Trillanes IV asked Miriam Defensor Santiago to reconsider her expulsion Senate Resolution 228 (citing Rule 34, Sec. 97 of the Senate Rules / Art. II, Sec. 3 of the 1987 Constitution). But Senate President Manuel Villar Jr. stated: "Kailangan 2/3 or 16 votes papunta sa explusion (You need 2/3 or 16 votes for expulsion)."<ref>GmaNews.tv, Trillanes to Santiago: Reconsider expulsion bid</ref> The Department of Justice (DOJ), 10-page resolution, filed Rebellion charges against Teofisto Guingona, Jr., Bishop Emeritus Julio Labayen, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, Army Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim, "running" priest Robert Reyes and 31 other individuals. It also issued a hold departure order against the 36 individuals, while 15 others released will undergo preliminary investigation. Thus, the Senate of the Philippines held caucus on the arrests of media men, curfew and expulsion resolution, as Manuel Roxas II filed resolution for inquiry on the treatment of journalists.<ref>Abs-Cbn, DOJ to file rebellion charges vs Trillanes, 35 others</ref> The Peninsula Manila declared itself "fully operational" at noon. 20 Sanlakas militants stormed the PNP headquarters, Quezon City (10:30 a.m. in front of the Camp Crame main gate along EDSA) to call for the release from detention of their leaders. The Armed Forces National Capital Region Command (NCRCom), fact finding board, uncovered lapses by 100 soldiers but no Mutiny by Magdalo guards.<ref>Inquirer.net, NCRCom: Security lapses but no mutiny by Magdalo guards</ref> Natividad Reyes / the family of activist priest Robert Reyes appealed to Gaudencio Rosales. With situation ‘normalized,’ Hermogenes Esperon left for Malaysia. David Bachelor, general manager of the hotel, announced the filing of damage suit within 10 days, as ABS-CBN's Cecille Lardizabal estimated the damage at US$ 1.2 million or P 50.766 million. 14 arrested civilians were released by the Philippine National Police from the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame past 7 p.m.: businessman Herman Tiu Laurel, Stella Guingona, daughter of former vice-president Teofisto Guingona, El Cid Fajardo, Leonido Toledo, Evangeline Mendoza, Jose Albert, Eduardo Castro, Ferdinand Sandoval, Julie Ancheta, Maamor Lanto, Romeo Dacles, Ryan Custodio, Edgardo Viania and Ray Linaac. They, however, will still undergo preliminary investigation.

On December 4, 2007, 3 former Magdalo soldiers, led by Cpl. Elmer Colon (black camouflage uniform and a wacky wig), hired by Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay joined Pen putsch, while Armed Forces Chief Hermogenes Esperon Jr. confirmed the arrest of a high-ranking leader of the New People’s Army, Myrna Hombrebueno, proving that the Magdalo had ties with the communist rebels. <ref>Manila StandardToday, 3 Binay guards joined Pen putsch, says AFP</ref> Had Trillanes succeeded, a National Transition Council (NTC), would replace the Arroyo regime, and the Philippines put under a "lean and mean" military and police force (per 5-page document - "Proposed Program"). Further, PNP Director Edgardo Doromal issued an Order to Maria Ressa, head of the ABS-CBN news and current affairs department: “You are commanded to appear before the office of the Southern Metro Manila Criminal Investigation and Detection Team ... on Dec. 5, 2007 at 10 o’clock in the morning and bring with you a DVD copy of raw video footage [of the] March, FAIL NOT UNDER THE PENALTY OF LAW.” Ressa branded the order as continuing attempt to “intimidate and harass journalists” and indicated a “gradual erosion of press freedom” in the country. <ref>Inquirer.net, ABS-CBN tapes sought PNP order decried as attack on free press</ref> The Commission on Human Rights summoned Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno and PNP officials over a National Press Club complaint that journalists were illegally arrested. DOJ Secretary Raul Gonzalez ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to probe Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay's possible "complicity" in the failed Rebellion. 14 senators signed resolution condemning curfew. The (PNP) also launched a "wanted" poster campaign for the immediate recapture of 6 Magdalo officers, including Marine Capt. Nicanor Faeldon. The DILG said it will ask the court to transfer Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV group to the National Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City, for "security reasons." Senior state prosecutor Emmanuel Velasco stated that: "With respect to the former vice president [Guingona], to the bishop [Julio Labayen] (81) and to Dr [Francisco] Nemenzo of the University of the Philippines, considering their age, we might not oppose their request to be released on recognizance during the trial stage." Bibeth Orteza was released from (PNP) Custodial Center for humanitarian reasons. <ref>AbsCbn, Guingona, other 'seniors' may be turned over to lawyers, kin</ref>

PNP Chief Avelino Razon Jr. confirmed that the still-unidentified female “reporter” provided Nicanor Faeldon with a fake press card and helped his escape, and that he is still hiding in Metro Manila. Razon also sacked Makati police OIC Superintendent Angelito Sumulong for his alleged failure to stop the walk-out, and he relieved 23 other subordinate officers: Insp. Geraldo Diño, Senior Police Officer (SPO) 3 Carlos Mendibei, and Police Officer (PO) 3 Edwin Buenaventura of the City Hall Detachment; Senior Insp. Reycon Garduque, PO2 Rommel Salcedo, and PO1 Globel Belarmino of Police Community Precinct 8; SPO1 Noel Infante, PO1 Wilfredo Alvarez and PO2 Raul Del Rosario of the Mobile Patrol Unit; Senior Insp. McVernon Manera, PO2 Reyne Baluyan and PO1 Bryan Hernandez of the Intelligence Division; SPO1 Enrique Fernandez and PO2 Jomerick Turiano of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit; Traffic Division personnel SInp Gilberto Loteria, Insp Oscar Alicando, SPO4 Antonio Buctuan, SPO1 Mano Deveza, SPO4 Ronando Pilande, SPO2 Rogelio Valdenor, SPO1 Melchor Calooy, SPO3 Nestor Frias, and PO3 Luisito Ordoñez.<ref>GMA NEWS.TV, Makati police exec, 23 others sacked over standoff</ref> <ref>Manila Standard Today, ‘Reporter’ helped rebel officer escape, says PNP</ref> The PNP arrested army soldier Pvt. Alvin Celestino (on his way to board a Northwest Airlines flight to Detroit), one of the 4 suspects, and he was brought to Camp Crame. Government prosecutors gave Marine Capt. Nicanor Faeldon and 5 other Magdalo soldiers until December 18 to submit their counter-affidavits.<ref>Worldpress.com, Philippine Rebellion Fails but Dissatisfaction Continues</ref>

On December 6, 2007, the Rebellion and inciting to rebellion case were raffled to high-profile Judge Elmo Alameda of Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150. He handled the rebellion case against the "Batasan 6," lawmakers, and the murder case against former Batangas governor Jose Antonio Leviste. DILG Secretary Ronaldo Puno stated that defiant media can be arrested again, while Sen. Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. and Sen. Panfilo Lacson visited Antonio Trillanes IV to check on his living conditions. Pimentel told Trillnes to ‘Stay out of trouble.’ The NBI asked The Peninsula Manila for Nov. 29 CCTV footages. ABS-CBN news execectives assailed government officials for the arrest and cuffing of members of the media, in the Hotel dialogue. DOJ defered motion to transfer Trillanes, Lim to New Bilibid Prisons, as Muntinlupa Representative Rozzano Rufino Biazon, an administration ally, and Deputy Minority Leader Roilo Golez opposed: “The Bilibid is an institution of convicts and Trillanes et al are not convicts. Their detention in NBP will be irregular. It seems to be punishment while still undergoing trial.” <ref>Inquirer.net, 2 solons oppose Trillanes et al transfer to Muntinlupa</ref> <ref>GMA NEWS.TV, Judge in high-profile cases gets to handle Trillanes case</ref>Bishop Emeritus Julio Labayen of Infanta, Quezon, returned to Quezon province (Infanta with Bishop Rolando Tirona).

Judge Elmo Alameda of Makati City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 150, received in evidence the recording / ANC, ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) footages of the standoff from the Department of Justice, after scolding Senior State Prosecutor Emmanuel Velasco for surprising the court. It ordered prosecution to show evidence against Guingona. Chief Superintendent Samuel Pagdilao, PNP reiterated its stance that nothing is wrong on media arrests last Nov. 29. The Court martial against the 29 officers had been moved to Dec 14. President Arroyo ordered the arrests of other Makati standoff participants who are still at large. NCRPO Director Geary Barias gave the order to arrest journalists according to Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) official, Sr. Supt. Joey Coronel during the hearing by the Commission on Human Rights, as Puno and Razon snubbed CHR hearing. Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim told the Makati court that he is not a member of the Magdalo, and asked court to place him under AFP custody. In a 48-page comment filed November 28, Solicitor General Agnes Devanadera blocked Trillanes’s plea for Senate attendance. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo stated that the government would show no mercy to Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and the rebel soldiers and civilians. “You saw it on television. It’s clear that the actions of these few desperate men reveal just how out of touch they are with the hopes and dreams of the average Filipino.”<ref>Inquirer.net, Arroyo: No mercy for Trillanes</ref>DOJ Sec. Gonzales said plotters spent P 10 million for putsch.

On December 13, 2007, the Makati court dismissed Rebellion cases against Teofisto Guingona, Jr., Fr. Robert Reyes, Bishop Emeritus Julio Labayen, Francisco Nemenzo, Elizabeth Orteza and civilians. Journalists (Malaya columnist Ellen Tordesillas, NHK reporter Charmaine Deosgracias and Maria Ressa of ABS-CBN) recounted their ordeals during the Manila siege at the Senate hearing on media arrest. Recently, 6 unidentified soldiers were probed over the siege and Antonio Trillanes IV also filed a manifestation asking sorry to the judge but not to Mrs. Arroyo.<ref>AbsCbn, Makati court junks rebellion charges vs Guingona, other civilians</ref>

Reactions

  • Chief Justice Reynato Puno reiterated that he is not interested in a proposal to head a caretaker government if President Arroyo is removed from power. <ref>CJ Puno: No to caretaker govt role </ref>
  • Sen. Rodolfo Biazon, a former Armed Forces chief of staff, said he hopes that the situation will not end up in "soldiers killing each other."

"I hope no more officers and even enlisted men are going to be sacrificed because they were either influenced or they were ordered to do things. I hope the turn of events [is] not going to be rejected by our people," <ref>Senate wants peaceful ending to Makati crisis</ref>

  • Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro has ordered the re-arrest of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and Brigadier Gen. Danny Lim.
  • Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno said, "We will finish it today"
  • Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz declared his support to the Rebel-turned-Senator Trillanes and echoed his call for the resignation of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
  • Col. Ricardo Nepomuceno of the Philippine Military Academy said that they are now on alert as well. Nepomuceno said that there have been no reactions from the cadets in the academy.
  • "We are preparing our forces to reinforce the National Capital Region command," said Maj. Randolph Cabangbang, spokesman for the military Southern Luzon Command which controls units based south of Manila. "We have also activated all our checkpoints to Manila to prevent third forces from taking advantage of the situation by conducting sabotage and terror activities," he added.<ref>Govt. rushes troops to Manila to crush rebellion</ref>
  • CBCP president Angel Lagdameo stated that the standoff and curfew serve as preview to Martial Law: "Yesterday and last night, the people hold-in at Peninsula Manila had a foretaste of what Martial Law could be. God save us from the worse!"*Lagdameo, Blog
  • President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s brother-in-law, Representative Ignacio Arroyo described Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, in a statement: “Worse than a terrorist; For one who was elected to uphold the law, what Trillanes did was reprehensible and should be condemned in the strongest terms.”<ref>Inq.net, ‘Worse than a terrorist’--Congressman Arroyo</ref> Corazon Aquino and Fidel Ramos were mum on the incident while Joseph Estrada was subdued and said he’ll wait and see as he distanced self from Makati standoff. Novaliches Bishop Antonio Tobias said he knew nothing of the siege, but he had to attend a meeting of the Kilusang Makabansang Ekonomiya (KME).
  • The Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), a Manila-based media watchdog group, immediately condemned the arrest of journalists and media practitioners who were covering the incident. "Never in the turbulent recent history of the Philippines has any government, including that of Ferdinand Marcos, ever taken into custody members of the media who were on the scene to do their jobs," CMFR said in a statement. "But the arrest of the media people who were covering the take-over of the Peninsula Hotel by Senator Antonio Trillanes' Magdalo group is not only unprecedented. It is also an outrage, and a telling indication of the authoritarian depths into which the Arroyo regime has fallen in its obsession with political dominance. The Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility condemns this latest attack on the Philippine press as an assault not only on its Constitutionally-protected freedom, but also on democracy itself."
  • Luis Teodoro, CMFR deputy director, rejected the apology by PNP Director General Avelino Razon Jr. over the arrest: "President Arroyo herself should have publicly acknowledged the supposed mistake".
  • The Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) [Burd Wang, Manila Correspondent of Guangming Daily of China] stated in a letter to Ignacio Bunye that the journalists arrested were "treated arbitrarily by authorities; We hope, that through your office, there will be no repetition of this deplorable action." The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) said in a statement that the Philippine National Police (PNP) treated the journalists as "enemies of the state. We protest in strongest terms the PNPs move to forcibly bring some journalists to the National Capital Region Police Office in Bicutan and condemn the confiscation of video footage of the day-long stand-off at the Manila Peninsula Hotel." Accordingly, the PNP leadership apologized to media representatives and crew, but it refused to accept that their response was "overkill".<ref>Abs-Cbn, Foreign media tells Malacañang: Dont repeat media arrests</ref>
  • Mariano Garchitorena, the Manila Peninsula hotel’s public manager, stated that: Trillanes and company were gentlemen "To be fair di naman sila nag-abuso ng hotel namin (To be fair, they did not abuse our hotel staff). They were very gentlemanly in their act. They did not bother our staff and they did not bother our guests; He (Trillanes) assured us that they meant no harm to civilian to guests and all our staff of course."<ref>Abs-Cbn, Trillanes and company were gentlemen</ref>
  • Joel Simon executive director of the New York-based organization, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) voiced its anger: "This sort of mass detention of journalists doing their jobs cannot be justified on the basis of a security and identity check, the detention is "government interference in news coverage with an obvious intent to intimidate the media." The Negros Press Club and the Negros Media Council for Press Freedom "denounced in the strongest terms what it called as media repression. Repression took the form of treatment like criminals as they were arrested and handcuffed. Equipment for coverage and lives were threatened." <ref>Gmanews.tv, CPJ angered over journalists's arrest</ref>
  • Bong Ferrer, of Nagkakaisang Pilipino supported Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago's move to expel Sen Antonio Trillanes IV.
  • The Philippine Press Institute, in a statement, described the detention of mediamen as an “unprecedented assault on press freedom. Patently unconstitutional and carried out with such impunity that the innocent captives were treated like common criminals, cuffed, ordered to raise their hands in surrender, and bussed to the country's most notorious camp, Bagong Diwa, in Bicutan.”
  • Dean Andres Bautista of Far Eastern University College of Law said the arrests were unnecessary, noting that: "The police should not be prevented from doing their job. But on the other hand, media personalities and media practitioners should also not be prevented from doing their job."
  • Speaker Jose de Venecia agreed with Trillanes that there should be "reforms at the top; the rule of law must prevail in our people’s collective cry for reforms; Without a doubt we need reforms at the top. That is the reason we launched the moral revolution so the nation can retake the moral high ground and decisively move from the continuing crisis in our midst to a renewal of our values."
  • Judge Oscar Pimentel, Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 148 said "the walkout (actions) of some of the accused were an entirely different case and has no bearing from the one being tried before his chamber".
  • Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno chided Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay to punish Makati police officials for not immediately informing him about the Siege, instead of blaming the Philippine National Police.
  • Inday Espina-Varona, stated she and other NUJP members will not back down on filing charges against policemen: “Kailan ba tayo napapadala sa pananakot nila? Walang ginawa ang media sa Manila Peninsula na tatawagin na obstruction of justice. (When did we get influenced by their threats? Media did not do anything in Manila Peninsula that was considered obstruction of justice); “Parang shooting the messenger na naman ito. Hanapin na lang nila ung nawawalang Magdalo (This will again a case of shooting the messenger. They should look for the missing Magdalo instead).” She dismissed the threat of Director General Avelino Razon that the PNP will file counter-claims if reporters would push through with the filing of charges against policemen.<ref>Abs Cbn, Media unfazed by Razon's threat of suit</ref>
  • Abdul Razak, permanent secretary of the Confederation of ASEAN Journalists (CAJ) board of directors, expressed support to the National Press Club (NPC) and said:“Press freedom is universally accepted as citizens’ right for free expression over public policies that may affect people’s right for justice and freedom of expression. Journalists are expected to do their professional duties to report and question public policies on behalf of the people in their country.” <ref>AbsCbn, ASEAN journalists back NPC defense of press freedom</ref>
  • Jacqueline Park, Asia-Pacific director of The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemned the PNP's detention and arrest of journalists: "the police action is a great disappointment in a country where media freedom is meant to be constitutionally guaranteed."
  • Sen. Maria Ana Consuelo “Jamby" Madrigal, who was the biggest campaign contributor of Trillanes when he ran for senator<ref>Legarda is Top Campaign Fund Raiser</ref>, did not visit Trillanes at Camp Crame detention center and parted ways: “Thank you, Sonny (Trillanes’s nickname). But let us just part ways."

International community

  • Flag of Australia Australia: The Australian Embassy cautioned their citizens and said, "Australians are advised to avoid the immediate area. Further demonstrations could occur over the weekend (1-2 December 2007)" <ref name="Embassy"> Australia, UK caution nationals in Manila.</ref>
  • Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom: The British Embassy advised its nationals to exercise caution and take sensible precautions, and avoid large crowds and gatherings. The statement said, "You should exercise caution and take sensible precautions for your personal safety and avoid any large crowds, political gatherings and demonstrations. You should also keep yourself informed of developments and follow the advice of local authorities" <ref name="Embassy"> Australia, UK caution nationals in Manila.</ref>
  • Flag of the United States United States: "The United States and the Philippines are long-time democratic allies and the US Embassy wishes to take this opportunity to reiterate our government's support for the rule of law, constitutional order, and the government of the Philippines; a statement from the US Embassy in Manila said, U.S. Ambassador Kristie A. Kenney has spoken with officials at Malacañang Palace to reiterate our confidence that this incident is swiftly and peacefully resolved by the Philippine National Police, supported by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, in accordance with Philippine law."<ref>US airs support for RP govt.</ref> Kenney stated: "No, we do not support extra-constitutional means to change government, in the Philippines or anywhere else in the world, I think it's always disturbing when you see people behaving contrary to the rule of law and constitutional authority; Washington will continue to "remain a very, very strong ally" of Arroyo, who is President George W. Bush's key ally in the Southeast Asian theatre of the US-led "war on terror; "We want this country to move forward." <ref>Afp.google.com, US ambassador gives backing to Philippine president</ref>

See also

References

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External links