Manila Peninsula hotel takeover was just contempt, not rebellion – Judge

Do you remember how Antonio Trillanes IV, Army Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim walked out of court and marched towards Peninsula Manila Hotel?

Antonio Trillanes IV, Army Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim walked out of court and marched towards Peninsula Manila Hotel. They were joined by Teofisto Guingona.

Trillanes, Lim, and Guingona (unknown source)

They were joined by some military personnel and civilians carrying M-16 or M-14 rifles. Some of them carried and wore Magdalo flags and pins.

Calling the gathering as “New Edsa”, they asked citizens to joined them. Then a website went live, announcing Lim and Senator Antonio Trillanes as the rebel leaders and calling on the Filipino people to unite against Arroyo. See this report by news agency, AFP: Philippine rebel troops demand Arroyo step down.

It was not a rebellion, Makati Regional Trial Court Judge Elmo Alameda ruled. I was just a direct contempt.

Thus, detained Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim, Antonio Trillanes IV, and 16 other accused are allowed to post bail of P200,000 each, reads the Manila Standard report.

As quoted by the same Manila Standard report, the court said:

The walkout from the courtroom of Judge [Oscar] Pimentel in the middle of a hearing by the accused can only be considered a contumacious conduct constitutive of direct contempt and not rebellion […]

The act of marching alone is not rebellion and is not different from the numerous rallies along Makati streets, which is not an unusual occurrence.

Just like one of numerous rallies along Makati streets?

Was it really like just another rally in Makati? But some of those who joined were armed M-16 or M-14 rifles. The usual rally in Makati or in any part of this country did not look like what happened in the march going to Manila Pen.

I wonder if I can consider it as not an unusual occurrence. Perhaps, the way I saw and understood it was just different. For sure, the differences of views is not an unusual occurrence.

Manila Pen 'incident' (unknown source)

I tried to review several reports on the incident. I looked back what really happened. But it seems I can’t be convinced that the Manila Peninsula takeover wasn’t rebellion (with due respect to the court). It was rebellion.

In the AFP report (see link above), Army Brigadier-General Danilo Lim was quoted saying:

We call on the military to withdraw support for Mrs Arroyo in order to end her unconstitutional and illegal occupation of the presidency.

If the line came from tambay in Makati, it might be senseless, meaningless. But the words come from an Army Brigadier-General who has not only been accused of rebellion (in another adventurous incident) but also has armed men on his side.

So what is rebellion?

Perhaps, it’s the way you see it. In a simple sense, rebellion is a refusal of obedience or order. Was there refusal of obedience or order in Manila Pen takeover? Yes, there was. It was very clear.

The aftermath

How much have we lost after Antonio Trillanes IV and Army Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim staged their overly dramatic adventure?

Where is the justice?

I don’t know where justice is. The concluding line of Manila Standard editorial reads: And we wonder why people have lost faith in our system of justice.

I hope we continue to have faith to system of justice. I am just hoping.