Freeman Cebu News ( Leaderboard Top ), pagematch: , sectionmatch: 1

Trillanes denies link with rebels

CEBU, Philippines - Senator Antonio Trillanes IV denied the Samahang Magdalo has ties with the Communist Party of the Philippines –New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).

“That is not true. I categorically deny that we have any links with the CPP NPA,” the senator told reporters during his visit in Cebu last Saturday.

One of Magdalo’s members, 1st Lt. Lawrence San Juan earlier confirmed he met with key leaders of the CPP-NPA that included Tirso Alcantara, chief of the NPA regional operations group based in Southern Tagalog after he escaped from detention.

Trillanes said because of that, San Juan was expelled from the group as the meeting with CPP-NPA key leaders was not sanctioned by the group.

“We have our own ideology and ethics, it’s definitely not communism and socialism,” Trillanes explained.

San Juan, along with fellow Magdalo soldiers Capt. Nathaniel Rabonza, 1st Lt. Sonny Sarmiento, 1st Lt. Patricio Bumidang, escaped from Army custody on January 11, 2006. They were recaptured by combined police and military elements in their safehouse in Batasan Hills Subdivision, Quezon City four days later.

Freeman ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch:

He renounced his links with the Magdalo group of military mutineers charged with the failed coup of July 2003.

The military earlier claimed that rebel officers and the communist guerrillas tried to form a tactical alliance to oust then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

San Juan was among young captains and lieutenants from elite Army units, calling themselves the Magdalo group, who led about 300 soldiers in briefly occupying the Oakwood Premier Hotel at the Ayala Center mall in the Makati financial district in July 2003.

Describing themselves as reformist officers, they demanded that Arroyo and other officials resign, claiming her government and the military were corrupt. They surrendered 19 hours later and were detained at Fort Bonifacio from where San Juan and three other officers escaped in January 2006.

Meanwhile, Trillanes believes nothing happened yet in the ongoing peace talks between the Philippine government and the CPP-NPA in Norway since it started last February 15 after no bulletin yet has come out.

“May be they are not doing anything yet. I heard they are at the phase of organizing administrative structures of the peace talks,” Trillanes said.

Trillanes convened at least 40 chapter leaders of Samahang Magdalo in the Visayas last Saturday at the Cebu International Convention Center in Mandaue City.

The Visayas convention is the first of a series of meetings the Magdalo plans to hold nationwide.

Trillanes is best known for his role in the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny when he and a group of 321 armed soldiers took over the Oakwood apartment towers in Makati City, lined them with bombs and threatened to demolish them. — (FREEMAN)

Freeman ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch:
  • Follow Us: