Magdalo leaders transferred to Marine jail
- Jaime Laude () - June 15, 2006 - 12:00am
Four leaders of the Magdalo group behind the failed 2003 Oakwood mutiny were transferred from the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) at Camp Aguinaldo to a Marine detention facility at Fort Bonifacio yesterday.

The transfer of Lieutenant Senior Grades Antonio Trillanes, James Layug and Marine Captains Nicanor Faeldon and Gary Alejano was reportedly meant to declog the already crowded ISAFP detention compound.

Camp Aguinaldo insiders claimed that ISAFP chief Commodore Leonardo Calderon himself petitioned the court trying the coup charges against 29 leaders of the failed power grab for the transfer of the four core leaders under the custody of the Marines.

"Standard operating procedure naman yan sa Armed Forces na ibinibalik sila sa kanilang mga mother units para doon ikulong," he said.

Last year, two other Magdalo leaders, Army Captains Gerardo Gambala and Milo Maestrecampo, who were also detained at ISAFP, were the first to be transferred to the detention facility of the Philippine Army, also at Fort Bonifacio.

The transfer of Gambala and Maestrecampo to Fort Bonifacio was reportedly made after the two pledged their support to President Arroyo, whom they tried but failed to oust during their short-lived mutiny three years ago.

The return of custody of Trillanes and his three colleagues to their mother unit would mean added space or rooms for other ISAFP detainees.

"Punong-puno na dito," Clderon said apparently referring to the growing number of detainees, mostly terrorists, now detained at ISAFP.

He noted that the detention facility of the Marines at Fort Bonifacio, where there are 24 other Magdalo officers currently detained, has tight security.

The assurance came in the wake of apprehensions that escape is now easy for the four leaders as they would now be guarded by their colleagues.

Under heavy guard in several vehicles, Trillanes and his group were moved out at ISAFP on board a military bus at about 10:30 a.m.

Arriving at the Marine headquarters at about 11:30 a.m., the group was escorted to the office of Marine commandant Maj. Gen. Nelson Allaga for a brief courtesy call.

The group was then escorted and locked up inside the jail facility.

Philippine Marines spokesman Ariel Caculitan also gave his assurance on security at the facility, adding that no detainee has ever escaped from the said prison.

Caculitan was apparently unaware of the escape of another suspected mutineer, Marine 2Lt. Junibert Tubo from the said prison facility in September 2004. Tubo surrendered several days after the jailbreak.

Faeldon himself, escaped from his ISAFP custodians in December last year after attending a coup hearing in Makati City. He was recaptured in Malabon City last Jan. 27.

Judge Oscar Pimentel of the Makati Regional Trial Court ordered the transfer of the four last Tuesday upon Calderon’s request.

A previous motion to transfer filed by defense counsel Roel Pulidon was denied by the court in late May after the Department of Justice opposed it.

ARIEL CACULITAN ARMED FORCES ARMY CAPTAINS GERARDO GAMBALA AND MILO MAESTRECAMPO CAMP AGUINALDO COMMODORE LEONARDO CALDERON DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE FORT BONIFACIO GAMBALA AND MAESTRECAMPO INTELLIGENCE SERVICE OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES ISAFP MAGDALO
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