Antonio Trillanes IV

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Antonio Fuentes Trillanes IV (Template:IPA-tl, born August 6, 1971)[1] is a retired[2] Navy officer who served as a senator of the Philippines from 2007 to 2019. He is known for his involvement with the Oakwood mutiny in 2003 and the Manila Peninsula siege in 2007 against the Arroyo administration, as well as being a vocal critic of the Duterte administration.

He previously ran for vice president candidate in the 2016 Philippine presidential elections.

Early life

Trillanes was born and raised in Caloocan, to Navy Capt. Antonio Floranza Trillanes, Sr. of Ligao City and Estelita Dia Fuentes from Capiz. He has four siblings.[3]


Trillanes initially attended the De La Salle University for a degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering in 1987. However, he decided to enter the Philippine Military Academy in 1991.[4]

In 1995, he graduated from PMA as a cum laude and earned a degree in Naval Systems Engineering.[4]

He received his masteral degree in Public Administration at the University of the Philippines.[4]

Military career

He is a recipient of 23 assorted merit medals, campaign ribbons and badges.[5]Template:Non-primary source needed

Oakwood Mutiny

Trillanes, then a lieutenant sergeant, along with Army Capt. Gerardo Gambala, led 321 junior officers and enlisted men[6] of the Armed Forces in a 2003 mutiny against the Arroyo administration. Calling themselves as the "Bagong Katipuneros" (Template:Literal translation) but popularly known as Magdalo, they occupied the Oakwood Premier Ayala Center (now Ascott Makati), a serviced apartment tower in Makati, to protest the alleged corruption of the administration.[7]

The mutiny was unsuccessful, lasting only for 18 hours. Trillanes and his men were charged in a general court martial. He was detained for almost seven and half years.[8]

Manila Peninsula siege

On November 29, 2007, Trillanes, Brigadier Gen. Danilo Lim, and 25 others charged in relation to the Oakwood mutiny, walked out of their trial and marched in Makati. They seized control of the Manila Peninsula Hotel, just a few blocks away from the location of the earlier mutiny. There, they called for the ousting of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. They were joined by former vice president Teofisto Guingona, Jr., who called for a "new EDSA."

The attempted coup was over by 5:10 p.m., where government soldiers broke through the hotel. Trillanes and Lim surrendered, reasoning "to avoid lost of lives."[9] The siege last for six hours.[10]

Trillanes and his cohorts were arrested by the PNP and were sent to Camp Bagong Diwa. Among the arrested were journalists from various networks. Defense secretary Gilberto Teodoro defended the arrests, as the officers "didn't know the journalists and may have mistook them as renegade soldiers." However, they were released soon afterwards.[11]

Political career


First term (2007-2013)

Trillanes filed his candicacy for the 2007 senatorial elections as an independent candidate at first, though he eventually accepted an invitation from the Genuine Opposition as one of its guest candidates to field against the Arroyo administration. His bid was successful, and was proclaimed senator-elect by the COMELEC. He was the youngest senator to hold the office since Benigno Aquino, Jr., a record he would later share with Bam Aquino in 2013.

On July 23, 2007, Trillanes filed a motion to the Makati RTC that would allow him to fulfill his senatorial duties under detention, as well as to attend the SONA. However, his plea was denied.[12] In response, former UP president Francisco Nemenzo, Jr. and Teofisto Guingona, launched the "Let Trillanes Serve Movement."[13]

On October 17, 2007, the Supreme Court, in an en banc resolution, directed the Armed Forces and Makati RTC Judge Oscar Pimentel to comment within 10 days on Trillanes' petition.[14] These requests were, however, later overshadowed by Trillanes' involvement with the Manila Peninsula siege.

On December 20, 2010, Trillanes was temporarily released. He was later granted amnesty by President Benigno Aquino III.[3][15]

Second term (2013-2019)

Trillanes ran again for a second term, filing his candicacy for the 2013 senatorial elections. Running under the Nacionalista Party, he again won, garnering over 14 million votes.[16]

He was one of the most productive senators in the 17th Congress, producing 232 bills in 2018, despite being only present for 52 session days.[17][18]

Vice presidential campaign

Trillanes declared his intention to run for higher office as vice president in the 2016 national elections.[19] Running with no president, he endorsed the presidential bid of Grace Poe.[20]

His campaign was marked by a controversy involving the several paid negative campaign ads against Rodrigo Duterte, including a video showing him dropping the finger.[21] Described as "black propaganda," Duterte's running mate Alan Peter Cayetano filed a petition to the Taguig RTC to stop the airing of the ads for 72 hours. The petition was granted by court using a TRO.[22]

Trillanes eventually lost the heavily-contested race to Leni Robredo, after garnering more than 800,000 votes.

Criticism and controversies

Rivalry against Duterte

Before the 2016 election, he alleged that former Davao City Mayor and incumbent president Rodrigo Duterte had an account in the Julia Vargas branch of BPI (allegedly Php 2.2 B) according to him.[23][24] Duterte, later on, confirmed the existence of the alleged bank accounts,[25] but he never signed a waiver to dispute the alleged billions of pesos contained therein.[26]

Likewise President Duterte, alleges that Trillanes closed his accounts in DBS Bank days before going to Singapore and then showed that there were no such accounts. This became a source of polemics in social media such as Twitter and Facebook.[27] However, DBS Bank disputed this and clarified that account closures cannot be done online.[28]

Since then, Trillanes has become a rival of Duterte. Duterte's common law wife, Honeylet Avancena, defended Duterte against Trillanes' controversies.[29]

In an attempt to silent Trillanes’s exposés against President Duterte, his administration has filed and revived at least 14 cases against Trillanes.[30] On July 19, 2019, the PNPCriminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) filed charges against Trillanes and other members of the opposition for "sedition, cyber libel, libel, estafa, harboring a criminal, and obstruction of justice".[31][32][33] On February 10, 2020, Trillanes and 10 others were indicted for "conspiracy to commit sedition" over an alleged ouster plot against President Rodrigo Duterte.[34][35][36]

Revocation of amnesty by President Duterte

On August 31, 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Proclamation No. 572, revoking Trillanes's amnesty.[37][38] Duterte ordered the Department of Justice and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to review all criminal cases in relation to the 2003 Oakwood mutiny and 2007 Peninsula siege.[37] Shortly after that, Trillanes told to the reporters that he would not evade the case and he also told to Duterte that he is not afraid of him.[39] The amnesty (Proclamation No 50) was granted by then-President Benigno Aquino III and later issued Proclamation 75 superseding Proclamation no. 50 back in 2010.[39]

On September 7, the DOJ filed the application for an arrest and hold departure against Trillanes and it was signed at Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 by Acting Prosecutor General Richard Fadullon as "very urgent".[40]

Opposition politicians expressed condemnation over the revocation of the amnesty: Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano, who also lead the mutiny with Trillanes,[41] calls it "political persecution" of Duterte critic and he also slammed Duterte for what was called a "clear act of revenge" against Trillanes.[42] Akbayan Representative Tom Villarin called the revocation "highly preposterous" and "clearly a political vendetta."[42] On September 7, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay said in an interview that the decision against Trillanes is similar to the case of Senator Leila de Lima, who was detained for allegedly violating the drug trafficking law almost a year and a half ago.[43][44] Supporters of Trillanes gathered outside the Senate and held a vigil.[45] Duterte severely lambasted Trillanes by describing the latter as "corrupt" and accused him of "abandoning" the military for his personal interests.[46]

On October 22, The Regional Trial Court in Makati denied the government's petition to have Trillanes arrested, saying the coup d'etat case against the senator was already dismissed on September 21, 2011, and that the dismissal was "final and executory".[47]

Personal life

Trillanes is married to Arlene G. Orejana, a PMA graduate. They have three children. However, one died just 21 days after birth.[4]

On February 2020, Trillanes launched his vlog TRx: Trillanes Explains, where he discusses pressing issues and release exposés through his social media accounts.[48] He also revealed on his vlog that he was diagnosed with COVID-19 in August 2020; he was able to recover from the disease.[49]

External links


  1. Senator Antonio "Sonny" F. Trillanes IV.
  2. Merueñas, Mark. "Trillanes camp: Amnesty won’t set bad precedent", GMA News, October 13, 2010. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Who is Antonio Trillanes IV? (en).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 8 things to know about Antonio Trillanes IV (en).
  5. Senate of the Philippines' Official Website. Senator Antonio "Sonny" F. Trillanes IV Biography.
  6. "Who is Antonio Trillanes IV?", GMA News, GMA Network. 
  7., Magdalo History.
  8. People's Tonight. P-Noy supports Trillanes!.
  9. GMA News, Trillanes, Lim decide to call it quits – report. (November 29, 2007).
  10. GMA News, 'It's over,' says Barias of hotel standoff Archived March 17, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  11. 17 of 50 journalists rounded up from The Pen released. (November 29, 2007).
  12. "GMA NEWS.TV, Makati court junks Trillanes plea to attend Senate sessions", GMA News, July 30, 2007. 
  13. "‘Let Trillanes Serve Movement’ launched", Philippine Daily Inquirer.  Template:Dead link
  14. "AFP, judge told to answer Trillanes’s bid to exercise duties", Philippine Daily Inquirer. 
  15. "Makati court grants Trillanes temporary release", GMA News. 
  16. " Official tally of votes for the 2013 senatorial race", Rappler. 
  17. Torres, Sherrie Ann (2018-06-07). Trillanes has most number of bills filed despite poor Senate attendance (en).
  18. Trillanes most productive na senador (fil).
  19. JDS GMA news. " Trillanes to run for higher office in 2016", GMA News. 
  20. "Trillanes announces VP run, supports Poe's presidential bid", GMA News. 
  21. "Anti-Duterte ad by Trillanes riles up Duterte supporters", Rappler, May 6, 2016. 
  22. "Taguig RTC issues TRO vs anti-Duterte ad", GMA News, May 6, 2016. 
  24. "Ang Network Marketing Scam…", The Philippine Star. 
  25. "Duterte confirms existence of BPI accounts", CNN Philippines. 
  26. "Duterte won’t sign waivers on his bank accounts, says chief legal counsel", The Manila Times. 
  27. "Duterte: Trillanes closed SG account online days before trip", GMA News. 
  28. "DBS Bank says account closures can’t be done online", Interaksyon. 
  29. "If Duterte orders killings, why is Trillanes still alive? – Honeylet", Rappler. 
  30. "With 14 cases, Trillanes awaits fate for non-bailable kidnapping", Rappler, February 18, 2020. 
  31. "Robredo, ilang taga-oposisyon kinasuhan ng PNP-CIDG ukol sa 'Bikoy' videos", ABS-CBN News. (in tl) 
  32. "Sedition raps: Solons, bishop hit ‘stupid’ PNP", Philippine Daily Inquirer. 
  33. "Trillanes blasts sedition charges against opposition figures", ABS-CBN News. “"The filing of cases against key members of the opposition are clear acts of political persecution and harassment by the Duterte administration meant to stifle democratic dissent," Trillanes said in a statement.... ..."Anu't-ano pa man, haharapin ko ito at gagamitin kong pagkakataon na mailabas ang kaugnayan ni Duterte sa ilegal na droga," Trillanes said."The filing of cases against key members of the opposition are clear acts of political persecution and harassment by the Duterte administration meant to stifle democratic dissent," Trillanes said in a statement. "Anu't-ano pa man, haharapin ko ito at gagamitin kong pagkakataon na mailabas ang kaugnayan ni Duterte sa ilegal na droga," Trillanes said. (Whatever happens, I will face this and take this opportunity to prove Duterte's links to illegal drug operations.)” 
  34. "DOJ clears Robredo, indicts Trillanes and 10 others for 'conspiracy to commit sedition'", GMA News, February 10, 2020. 
  35. "DOJ clears Robredo, charges Trillanes in sedition case", Rappler, February 10, 2020. 
  36. "Trillanes, Bikoy face sedition raps for linking Duterte to drug trade", ABS-CBN News, February 10, 2020. 
  37. 37.0 37.1 "Duterte revokes Trillanes' amnesty 'effective immediately'", Rappler. 
  38. "Calida inquiry triggered review of Trillanes amnesty requirements —AFP spokesperson", GMA News. 
  39. 39.0 39.1 "Trillanes vows to face arrest: 'Mr Duterte, hindi ako takot sa iyo'", Rappler. 
  40. "DOJ seeks Trillanes warrant in another court", Rappler. 
  41. "Gary Alejano, mutineer and ex-Marine, leads impeach bid vs Duterte", Rappler. 
  42. 42.0 42.1 "Revocation of Trillanes' amnesty 'clear act of revenge' – Alejano", Rappler. 
  43. "De Lima ordered arrested by RTC", ABS-CBN News, February 23, 2017. 
  44. "Arrest order vs Trillanes ‘very similar’ to De Lima, says ex-SolGen", Philippine Daily Inquirer. 
  45. "Taga-suporta ni Trillanes, patuloy ang vigil sa labas ng Senado", ABS-CBN News. (in tl) 
  46. "Duterte pounces on Trillanes: 'Corrupt,' 'abandoned military’", ABS-CBN News, September 8, 2018. 
  47. "Court junking of Trillanes arrest a 'huge political slap' to Duterte gov't- NUPL", ABS-CBN News. (in en-US) 
  48. Esguerra, Darryl John. "From senator to vlogger: Trillanes launches ‘TRx’ vlog", Philippine Daily Inquirer, February 19, 2020. 
  49. My COVID Story #TRx EPISODE 6 (in fil). Sonny Trillanes. November 23, 2020.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)