Philippine military: Does PNoy know who the bad guys really are?

As I was reading about the suicide of former Secretary and retired General Angelo Reyes, my curiosity led me to little snippets of the history of military coup attempts in the Philippines. As I dug further on, a few names kept popping up and a pattern slowly revealed itself.

It is a fact that the names Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan and Danilo Lim are both associated with military adventurism. Records show that their plans for government takeover always fail. However, they always live to fight another day. This information is widely known yet largely ignored by the Filipino public and, as a result, remains under the radar when issues crop up — like the recent corruption scandal involving military personnel.

Gringo Honasan is associated with several coup attempts during the presidential term of former President Cory Aquino. His last coup attempt in 1989 during Cory’s time resulted in the deaths of dozens of Filipinos. He was later captured but escaped after charming his navy guards. A precedent was set when former military General and former President Fidel Ramos granted Honasan “unconditional” amnesty in 1992. The now renowned Filipino tradition of pardoning captured and escapee rebels was established.

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In a bizarre change of fortunes of the sort that can only happen in places such as the Philippines, former rebel soldier, Honasan is now a much-revered Philippine senator just for being, well, popular. He has reinvented his image as a law-abiding-law-maker as such that he now even gets annoyed when people still refer to him as a former rebel. This was evident when his name was included in the list of candidates for amnesty of soldiers last December 2009.

Another certified rebel soldier, Danilo Lim also has a string of coup attempts under his belt. Proud and unrepentant, Lim’s first foray into the business of overthrowing governments was in December 1989 when he was still a captain and a member of the Young Officers Union (YOU). It is worth mentioning again that this was also during the presidency of Cory Aquino and he even referred to Cory’s government as “this curse of a regime.”

Not surprisingly (in this part of the world), he was also granted “unconditional” amnesty during the time of Fidel Ramos along with Honasan in the midst of strong recommendations made against such a move. Strangely enough, Lim also got reinstated and promoted to Brigadier General in the military along the way. It is one thing to be granted amnesty but it is another to be reinstated with full benefits and even promoted.

Because Lim was unrepentant and because he easily got away with his involvement in that coup, he was undeterred in his mission of military take-over and gave it another try in 2003 during former President Gloria Arroyo’s (GMA) term in what was billed the “Oakwood Mutiny”. This time with the help of another self proclaimed “saviour” of the Filipino people, Antonio Trillanes and the guidance of Senator Gringo Honasan.

From a news report obtained from the Net, it is interesting to note that charges were actually filed against Honasan for instigating another coup attempt against a woman president of the Philippines:

The Department of Justice filed coup d’état charges against former senator Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan before the Makati City regional trial court (RTC) in connection with his alleged role in the July 27, 2003 Oakwood mutiny staged by the Magdalo soldiers in Makati City.


[Senior State Prosecutor Leo] Dacera said Honasan and his co-accused retired military officers were among those who reportedly instigated junior military officers and enlisted men of the military to stage a coup d’état in Makati City.

“The undersigned state prosecutors of the Department of Justice hereby accuse the above-named individuals and several John Does and Jane Does of the crime of coup d’état defined under Article 134-A and penalized under Article 136 of the Revised Penal Code on or about July 27, 2003,” Dacera said.

Apparently, Honasan’s propaganda materials were found in one of their safe houses, which happened to be connected to former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada. Lim and Antonio Trillanes backed by Honasan were advocating for both the overhaul of the military and the reinstatement of deposed President Estrada.

It is mind-boggling how these military adventurists keep getting away with their decades-long attempts at destabilizing the Philippine government, particularly Honasan who cannot seem to stop himself from engaging in such activity even when he is already part of the government. It is like he is a rebel at heart or worse, a rebel without a real cause.

It is becoming clearer that the law and order problem in the Philippines also originates from one of the institutions that are supposed to ensure that peace and security is maintained in the country — the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). No wonder the Philippines is considered a basketcase.

There seem to be no end to military adventurism. As Winnie Monsod mentioned in her article, Military adventurism, selective idealism:

Thus, Lim is the perfect illustration of what the Davide and Feliciano Commissions feared would result from allowing the coup plotters to go unpunished. In discussing the five root causes of the Oakwood mutiny, the Feliciano Commission cited one as being: “(2) Failure on the part of the Government to enforce the law deprives the law of its power to deter, particularly among those who had engaged in previous coup plots against the Government but who were granted unconditional amnesty in 1995 without prior punishment. A number of former coup plotters who had been punished for their participation in the coup attempts of the 1980s and returned to the military after the 1995 grant of unconditional amnesty, have turned their back on military adventurism. Members of their units did not join the Magdalo group in Oakwood. But some of those who received unconditional amnesty without prior punishment were in the list of members of the NRP Council. This suggests that consistent enforcement of the law may be a critical factor in neutralizing the coup virus.”

In light of the corruption scandal involving high-ranking military personnel, it is easy to see now why the low-ranking military personnel have low morale and feel hopeless to the point that they feel like they have to resort to take matters into their own hands. It is also not easy to judge such sentiment. And since the coup d’état attempts were more rampant during Cory Aquino’s time, people like PNoy cannot keep insisting that corruption and disunity in the military started during GMA’s time.

There are a few ironies that seem to just fly over people’s heads: Danilo Lim was only a captain when he started being actively involved in secretly plotting the overthrow of governments starting with Cory Aquino’s. You would think that his military adventurism could have been because he was genuinely frustrated with the apathy and corruption he saw happening in the military. But after he was reinstated in the military, he even became a general himself. Being in a position of power, he could have done more to prevent corruption that plagued the military; but he was notably very quiet during former president Fidel Ramos (FVR) and Erap Estrada’s term.

Lim resumed his so-called fight for freedom from corruption and for reforms in the government as soon as GMA was in Malacanang. One can be forgiven for thinking that some of these military mutineers hate having a woman as their chief executive. Lim is said to be still adamant that he did nothing wrong in plotting coup d’états in 1989, 2003, 2006 and 2007.

Another irony is that, President Noynoy Aquino (PNoy) doesn’t seem to know or does not seem to want to bother knowing at all who the real bad guys are. In keeping with the disgraceful tradition of granting amnesty to rebel soldiers – the very group of people who bring instability to the country – PNoy is now advocating for the review of the charges against the now free and fully functioning Senator Trillanes for his part in the coup d’état or Oakwood Mutiny in 2003 during GMA’s term. In a deliberate attempt at insulting the former president, he went on to suggest that the case against Senator Trillanes might have been baseless. PNoy’s obsession with getting back at GMA as the only person to blame for all the ills in the country is distracting him from the job of looking at the bigger picture – that there are actually more culprits sitting right under his nose.

It is either PNoy is not thinking clearly or a deal has been brokered between the current government and the perennial mutineers. The reason why some people might think that PNoy is being irrational about his obsession in dumping the mutiny case is because he doesn’t seem to realize that the common denominator behind every coup d’état seems to have been Senator Gringo Honasan. It is so unbelievable that PNoy can ignore this considering he even sustained 5 bullet wounds and saw three of his escorts killed in the bloody coup in 1989. That incident should have been permanently etched in his brain. His obsession should actually be focused on going after the people behind his near death experience and who made his mother’s stint in Malacanang a living hell.

If I were conspiracy theorist, I might suggest that PNoy’s government is trying to appease these military adventurists to the maximum limit just so his own government will not experience the same attempts at military takeover. By having them on his side, he might prevent another underground movement from gaining momentum. With Trillanes now in the Senate and back in the company of another Estrada in the form of Jinggoy Estrada, things are going great for him. Incidentally, Jinggoy is also implicated in the military corruption scandal. The name Estrada too somehow keeps getting associated with corruption and the military.

In fact, Senator Trillanes is actually on a rampage now. Fresh from being released from prison, his newfound power acting as jury and judge during a senate inquiry is said to have driven Angelo Reyes to commit suicide. Unrepentant and unmoved by the loss of another human being’s life, who knows what Trillanes is capable of doing next now that he is in the driver’s seat with gun enthusiast PNoy behind him?

All these military adventurists seem to want is to be in power. But once in a position of power, as evident in the case of Gringo and Lim, they do not have any kind of economic or political reforms to provide in an effort to uplift the status of the nation. What they have is a vendetta to get back at people who they perceive to have “wronged'” them. What a nightmare for the rest of the Philippine population!

87 Replies to “Philippine military: Does PNoy know who the bad guys really are?”

  1. The peter principle states that ultimately everyone is promoted to their level of incompetence. That happened to p-noy a long time ago, so we need something else to describe his situation.

    The p-noy principle;
    If you lack passion, pride, and personal ambition, then you will never be a true leader of people, but can be a convenient puppet for the power brokers.

    the only thing that matters to p-noy is keeping hacienda luisita in the family.

    note that he sold a piece of land last week for 500 million pesos to robinsons land. no problem but he pleads poverty and this didnt appear on his saln and has been conspicuously not reported in press.
    he is proving to be sly, deceitful and hypocritical and more and more arrogant not caring what people think or say.

    1. I didn’t know about the sale of the land anon. That piece of information would go over the average Filipino’s head anyway. And it’s unfortunate that it goes over most journalists head too.

  2. Gregorio Honasan – Incumbent Senator of the Republic of the Philippines
    Antonio Trillanes – Incumbent Senator of the Republic of the Philippines
    Jinggoy Estrada – Incumbent Senator of the Republic of the Philippines


    1. Great article Iida, I have exactly the same thoughts as I think about the  tragic death of Angelo Reyes.  May his soul rest in peace.

      1. Thanks Miriam. It is obvious to me that Reyes knew our society all too well – that once you have been tried by the media, your name will be forever tainted. Most Filipinos do not know the concept of “innocent until proven guilty”.

        He would have killed himself years ago or shortly before the inquiry started if he was really guilty. Why would he even attend the Senate session if he was? Some people are not thinking straight.

        1. I do believe Reyes is guilty, cos if you take a closer look at our government officials, who is not? It’s just sad he chose to shoot himself, he should have faced his accusers squarely.

          Apparently, people always look at death as a way to give the person a clean slate. Look at Michael Jackson, Cory Aquino, etc.

          It makes me sick they even gave Reyes a heroes burial. How about the lowly private who was blown to bits fighting the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan?

        2. Ms. Ilda,
          I can not say if Reyes is Guilty or Not, but people are thinking straight now a days, if he is sure that he is innocent, then there is no need to commit suicide…Judas committed suicide because he knows he is guilty

          No one in the world will commit suicide if he is innocent, for they know that justice will come from God not from Men.

          No soul shall rest in peace if you have taken your own life, forever torture in the lake of fire is what is waiting for him.

          God Bless

        3. @concerned

          This was my part of my comment to kusinero below.

          His guilt (or innocence) hasn’t been proven in court though.

          People have different interpretations of the meaning of the act of taking one’s own life. Some people see it as “honorable” and yet some people see it as “cowardly”.

          Things are not always what they seem. As I said in my article, so much of what has happened so far can be traced back to just a few players with a score to settle.

          The way I see it is this: he was already an old man and knew he didn’t have the energy or resources to fight the people who are now in power. He also knew our society all too well – trial by media would have been the end of his good reputation. As he said so himself in his last words, “Living life without honor is a tragedy bigger than death itself.”

          When you referred to Judas killing himself, you were referring to the Christian Bible’s interpretation of suicide. You can’t apply that to everyone.


        4. @kusinero

          His guilt (or innocence) hasn’t been proven in court though, kusinero.  If you already believe he is guilty, then you have succumbed to the trial by media.

          People have different interpretations of the meaning of the act of taking one’s own life.  Some people see it as “honorable” and yet some people see it as “cowardly”. 

          Things are not always what they seem. As I said in my article, so much of what has happened so far can be traced back to just a few players with a score to settle. 

        5. True, but sadly everything else in the Philippines, especially corruption related issues however glaring, are not being proven in court or will not even see its day in court.

          I don’t really care what the media says, I don’t even watch tv. But I do believe Reyes, together with Trillanes and Jinggoy are all guilty of corruption one way or the other. Just try to see what kind of car they drive, which house they live in, and you’ll know. It does not take a rocket scientist to deduce that. You see, Reyes comes from very humble beginnings. I could not see how a civil servant from the beginning of his career is able to afford the lifestyle that he has now.

          I do not discount that the guy was a patriot, but that does not excuse him from corrupt practices while he was in power. And now that he’s dead, all investigation on his assets will cease, and his family gets to enjoy the fruits of his “labor”.

          Well, onli in da pilipins.

        6. Actually there has always been fishy things going on in government finances. I do not doubt, even for one second, that Reyes received misplaced funds.

          However, the system has been entrenched too deeply in this erring culture that it is easier–and safer–if officials just go with the flow (like what Reyes did) and turn the other way. Of course, there are some exceptions, but if there are some big deals to be made, expect some handshaking under the table.

          Yet this is also true: Trillanes has been barking at the lowest rung in the pyramid of corruption when he and Jinggoy played the part of bully towards Reyes. Jinggoy was only getting payback when he focused on Reyes (who deserted Erap and played a big role in his ousting). Even Trillanes confessed that they actually know the big guy behind Reyes. So what the the big point when Trillanes acted the way he did with Reyes when the senior was only a RESOURCE PERSON and not an accused?

          Trillanes, he’s going to get a big one. Very soon. He’s upset a lot in the military. He wouldn’t be a powerful senator forever.

        7. @Lilly

          I hate the fact that the cougars in elite members of society like Miriam Santiago and Mother Lilly are gushing over Trillanes right now. Santiago even said that he is the handsomest senator at the moment. And mother Lilly loves his company and will probably make a movie about his life. They will make a hero out of him 🙁

    2. They think they are on top of their game but in reality, they are LOSERS. Opportunists disguised as Senators hiding behind parliamentary immunity. One day I hope they too suffer the same fate of being called in as resource persons in the Senate and be subjected to bullying and mockery!

  3. I have a copy of the San Francisco Chronicle dating to the day after Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993. A few pages in, one reads about how Danny Lim’s brigades were among the many groups being “negotiated with” by the government at the time.

    With what’s happened in the 18(!) years since then, I am starting to sincerely hope that people like Trillianes do achieve their ultimate aims. If it will take this kind of stimulation to finally get the people “active” toward something other than defending the status quo, then so be it.

    1. @The Lazzo

      I don’t know what Trillanes’ ultimate goal is but I just had a chilling realisation after reading the article Reyes’s final words: life without honor is a tragedy

      If what I’m thinking is true, then someone’s ultimate goal was to really push Reyes over the edge because of his role in the ousting of Erap during Edsa II. Please see the excerpt:

      “When I participated in EDSA II, even then I anticipated that something like this would happen when I made enemies both on a personal and official level. In my long years of service, I knew that I would have to come to terms with this enmity some day.

      I joined EDSA II at great risk. Jumped into a void. Coming from a place that was high and comfortable. Without any regard for compensation or recognition or reward. I thought what I did – being loyal to the Flag and putting the national interest above all else – a right, but I was faulted for not being loyal to the commander-in-chief, that I should have stuck with him to the end, however that end might be. I stuck it out with the GMA administration for 9 years, not under the banner of loyalty; I could have deserted GMA, but I did not want to be branded as someone who abandoned his superiors…”

      I just wish I read this article before publishing my own. I could have incorporated it. It is all becoming clear to me now….

      1. You could make a sequel article?

        I particularly liked:

        Coming clean, on the other hand, cannot be done without giving up something. I have decided to come clean, bare my heart and speak the truth. The truth can cut two ways: 1. If you are guiltless, you can embrace the truth and hope that it will protect you; 2. If you are not guiltless, speak the truth and it shall set you free.

        Neither option works out that way in a country where truth is “relative.”

        1. For a lot of Filipinos, the truth died with him or he is already “guilty”. It should actually move people to dig deeper and find out why he was driven to kill himself.

  4. Reyes’ sons keep saying they are very proud of their father.

    Question: are there any children of Pinas generals (even colonels!) who followed their father into Pilipinas military?

  5. ilda

    February 9, 2011, 7:31pm

    MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno S. Aquino III has given the 2011 tax collection campaign of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) a big boost by paying P34 million in capital gains tax (CGT) and documentary stamp tax (DST) for the sale of a piece of land in Antipolo City, it was learned Wednesday.

    the 14 hectare piece of land was sold to robinsons land for 500 million pesos.

    this was hardly mentioned in the press.

    land is at the heart of this presidency.

    hacienda luisita is worth 100 Billion if its land use is changed. and will destroy the cojuangco aquinos if they lose it.

    delay supreme court decision until pro aquino judges in place.
    rule in favour of cojuancos
    change land use
    sell to robinsons for retail and industrial park development.

    cojuangco also has bought 11 other haciendas so dont expect any pro land reform bills or judgements as aquino promised.

    nor relaxation on purchase of land by foreigners.

    1. As an atheist I don’t believe the soul exists. BUT I do believe that there are standards of “healthy” and “unhealthy” behavior common to most societies. It explains the black-and-white and the gray area in between. It explains why following the law is valued and why criminality is frowned upon (at the least).

      Society in the Philippines, on the other hand, is basically one big swath of that gray area. Any change in shade is immediately seized on as the new black or white, even if it is still very much the same shade as everything else.

  6. it is a kleptocracy – rule by theives – and run by political psychopaths with no honour or interest in the good of society.
    personal wealth and self interest.
    they envy asian monarchies and western wealth.
    fotunately the west despise them an see them as criminals with no style class or decency.

  7. There’s a text message about this that’s been forwarded lately:

    “Senator Trillanes talks about honor and reputation? Meron ba cia nun? He cannot even explain to other magdalo members how much money was used to purchase d armament and equipage they used in Oakwood. Who was his financier and how come the navy personnel he recruited were paid higher than the army? Bakit galit na galit ang mga kasama nia sa Magdalo? Shabby and greedy cia. He cannot even mention in public that is mother is one of the suppliers in the AFP. And he thinks he is very honorable? Pls pass so he can be unmasked.”

  8. Ilda, mukhang lalong nanganganib ang atin bansa ngayon dahil napalaya na itong mga unrepentant certified rebel soldiers. Mas mapanganib sila kaysa sa NPA at MILF dahil mas malaya silang makapag-rerecruit ng mga sundalo, may financiers sila at ang mga leaders nito ay nasa senado na. Hindi naman lahat, pero marami sa atin military at pulis ay kung sino ang nagbibigay sa kanila ng pera ay siyan panginoon nila.

      1. Ilda, thank you. Ngyon ay alam ko na kung bakit heroes ang Gomburza, Rizal, Bonifacio,Gregorio del Pilar, at sino pa ba ang mga alam mo na nagbuhos ng buhay alang-alang sa bansa at hindi sa sariling kapakanan? Ito ang mga tunay na matatapang na hindi natatakot mamatay kahit nasusukol na sila ng mga kaaway. Kaya ba ito ng mga unrepentant certified rebel soldiers. Kung natatandaan mo ang Oakwood at Manila Peninsula incidents sumuko din sila sa halip na lumaban patay kung patay. Katulad din ni Ex-President Estrada umalis din siya sa Malacanang noon EDSA 2 samantala ang tapang-tapang niya sa pelikula. Yong mga kritiko ni Gen. Reyes, kaya ba nila ang magpakamatay na kung titingnan natin ang record niya as student at public servant ay very outstanding ay posible talaga dahil ayaw niyang pagpiyestahan ng mga duwag, hypocrites, at vultures.

        1. You are welcome mike.

          I tried to imagine killing myself but I could not think of a better way of taking my own life that will be painless. I don’t have the courage to do it.

        2. @ Ilda:

          Try taking sleeping pills in tremendous amount. I think that’s painless if the qualifying factor of suicide per se is the absence of pain 🙂

          Reyes could have opted for that if he was coward or guilty. But then he chose another one (an article I read says shooting one’s self to death by a gun is not painful because of the  abruptness of its effect) which would take so much energy and mental pondering. It is the courage that makes Reyes’ suicide something to reckon about. 

        3. Nah… I think I am too vain to go through it. I’d be worried about me surviving and looking like a vegetable as a result of the botched attempt. Plus I can imagine it will be painful if they have to pump out the drugs from my stomach. No thanks. I’ll just stick to going about living my life the way I want to.

  9. The truth of the matter is, all the players here are pigs trying to throw pig crap at each other. If somebody gives up early, then it’s his loss. All of them have an axe to grind, the only problem with Reyes is he acted too late.

    Let us not put somebody on a pedestal just because they died and wrote an article about themselves claiming honor and integrity. Let’s filter out the BS and look at the situation again.

    Even his own words smack of self contradiction. To quote:

    “I joined EDSA II at great risk. Jumped into a void. Coming from a place that was high and comfortable. Without any regard for compensation or recognition or reward. I thought what I did – being loyal to the Flag and putting the national interest above all else – a right, but I was faulted for not being loyal to the commander-in-chief, that I should have stuck with him to the end, however that end might be. I stuck it out with the GMA administration for 9 years, not under the banner of loyalty; I could have deserted GMA, but I did not want to be branded as someone who abandoned his superiors…”

    Well, is the commander-in-chief not his superior? Then why did he abandon him? Why did he stick it out with GMA when it was apparent that most of what she and her family was doing during the end of her administration was against the national interest?

    Let’s not be EMO here. Just because I write that I am god incarnate with the utmost sincerity does not mean I’m saying the truth 😀

    1. You know kusinero, I was one of those whose initial reaction after hearing about Reyes’ suicide was: “guilty.” Which is why if you look at my first paragraph, I actually said that reading about his suicide led me to the realization that there is more to the story than meets the eye.

      I was genuinely surprised that Reyes crossed the same path as Trillanes and Estrada on more than a few occasions. I am not being an EMO just because I read his “last words”. I actually wrote this article even before finding out that he had some parting words before taking his own life.

      Here are some of the points I would like you to consider:

      1. The Senate hearing was not supposed to be an investigation. Senate hearings are meant to “aid legislation” and they are not supposed to be a trial. Reyes was invited to the hearing not knowing that Trillanes was going to pounce on him. Trillanes was wrong in acting as judge and jury.

      2. Why did Jinggoy produce a surprise witness during the Senate hearing when it was not even a court hearing? They were not being transparent.

      3. If you look at the history of the characters involved, there was already bad blood. Trillanes and Jinggoy’s actions were quite suspect.

      I understand that you have your conclusion already about Reyes’ guilt and I can’t force you to believe in what I believe in. All I’m asking is for you to acknowledge that Trillanes and Jinggoy also have their motives.

      As to your question why Reyes abandoned Erap, according to an article I read, Reyes actually had a difficult time deciding whether or not he should abandon Erap because Reyes lived in San Juan too; their mothers reportedly knew each other from way back. Reyes enjoyed Estrada’s confidence so much that when one of the general’s sons got married, he asked the former President to stand as godfather. The problem was, he also knew too well that Erap was a gambling lord.

    2. If we have to emo, this is the right time to do it, a valuable life has been lost to a rotten political system, in which its major players are buffoons out to grandstand each other, and no gumption in moving the country forward.  They have done this same show to several public servants before without any results, they did it this time to an honorable public servant, hence the loss of life.  This is indeed tragic and is deserving of big emo reaction, I am personally moved.  I believe Reyes did not deserve the humiliation he was subjected to in the senate, and certainly not in the hands of that empty-headed buffoon, Jingoy Estrada, he should go back to showbiz and acting, he is useless as a legislator, no intelligence and intellectual backbone at all.  Reyes had an exemplary public service in a corrupt system of government that we have, he did not deserve his fate.  But as Stoics would do the same, he was a man of courage for choosing to die at his own time.  Jingoy would probably die at some cancer ward due to overeating and mindless life.  Good for him. . .

    3. @Ilda:

      I agree that Jinggoy and Trillanes have their own motives. I do not discount that. Apparently everyone in this charade is tainted. That is why I keep saying that we should not let Reyes off the hook, just because he died. If we do, it will be just like letting Garcia off the hook with the remainder of his loot. By all means let us continue with the investigation, and sequester any assets that could be proven to be products of corruption. Jinggoy and Trillanes will have their own time. Somebody will dig up their crap sooner or later.


      If we will be emo, let’s be emo everyday. A lot of valuable lives are being lost in Mindanao everyday, they just don’t get the attention of the media. I agree, Reyes does not deserve to be humiliated, but he deserves to be investigated.

      Again it’s unfortunate that he killed himself, but he being, in his own words, “full of self esteem” should not have killed himself. Why care at what people would think about him now? When the issue about questionable purchases of military hardware cropped up several years ago, why didn’t he kill himself then?

      Those are some things we should think about before we claim that Reyes is an honorable public servant. Again I do not discount the good things he did while in office. But if we ignore his misdeeds just because he was a great general, that will be no different as saying that BS Aquino’s incompetence is justifiable just because he has good parents or because he does not steal.

      It’s time we demand more from our public servants, let’s set the bar higher. Heck, we pay for all their salaries and perks. Might as well hold them accountable for that money.

      1. You want to set the bar higher?  Then, start campaigning for a parliamentary form of government where pork barrel spending is not allowed.  Why are you letting the very corrupt members of the government, the politicians who have spending money to the tunes of billions a year investigate an upright public servant.  The system allows for this kind of corruption, a pabaon was part of the system then but was subsequently eliminated, why would a corrupt institution due to pork barrel humiliate a general and professional public servant like Reyes?  Aquino would not even tell the media how he spent his pork barrel as a senator and as a congressman, billions and his constituency still doesn’t have basic services like electricity, water and public housing available to them.  This year his pork barrel is 68 billion pesos, if you want to set the bar higher, start campaigning for a shift in government, otherwise, all this grandstanding and public humiliation in the senate is an exercise of futility.  What happened to Bolante, where is he now?  And to think that Trillanes was the biggest spender of pork barrel as a senator in prison, in prison mind you, it means he was a convicted criminal, now in the Senate, he behaves like an appointed one.  Set the bar higher in public service, and prevent these elected officials from wasting people’s money by using their position of power for personal vengeance.  Now Kusinero, would you still subject Reyes to such humiliating investigation?  It was not in the interest of public good that he was called to be investigated, it was for pure vengeance, and that is not setting the bar higher in public service if you ask me.

        1. Yes, I do believe Reyes, being guilty in his own right, warrants investigation. It does not matter if Trillanes himself is guilty of corruption. What’s important is they exposed the pabaon system in the military. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have known about it, and other people wouldn’t have known as well.

          “He who has no sin can cast the first stone” does not work well in this situation. Cos if all crooks just keep quiet, then everything will be swept under the rug and we get the current situation that we have now – collusion on all segments of the government, systemic corruption.

          Good thing we still have another saying “galit ang magnanakaw sa kapwa magnanakaw” So let them be, let them expose each other. As I have said above, Trillanes and Jinggoy will have their own time.

          As for campaigning for parliamentary form of government, I’m with you 100%. I have been active in the Parliamentary/Federalism movement (GoFed, if anybody heard about that) but that is for another discussion.

      2. @Kusinero

        When the issue about questionable purchases of military hardware cropped up several years ago, why didn’t he kill himself then?

        That is a good question and a question which I already posted earlier on.

        You can also look at it this way: If he really had a huge involvement in the syphoning of military funds while he was still active and knew that the sh1t was about to hit the fan after Garcia was caught, why didn’t he kill himself then?

        It is so obvious to me that he knew the system all too well: that now that he is civilian, he couldn’t win against people like Trillanes and Estrada who had vengeance on their mind and were using their position to humiliate him.

        You might also want to ask: if he didn’t have anything to hide, why couldn’t he face the music? The answer to that is another question: When did we ever give a fair trial to anyone anyway? Hubert Webb, anyone? Don’t forget that he was a product of the system and probably realised that if Jinggoy can pull a “surprise” star witness from his behind, then he can do anything to convict Reyes.

        This situation is no different from what Lacson did. He is in hiding now, right? Lacson also knows how powerful Erap and his minions are. He knows that he won’t get a fair trial too. I think it is so obvious that it is not a good idea to cross this ex-convict and ex-presidente.

        I don’t know Reyes at all but I can only assume that he wanted to die with his honour still intact because being an old man and having less resources now, he didn’t have the energy to fight the accusations.

        1. I don’t think he was guilty even if he received 50 million pesos as pabaon as this was the tradition in the military, apparently.  This has been revoked apparently with the elimination of the offices of Comptrollers.  What is the point of digging up dirt involving an otherwise upright public servant when the system doesn’t exist anymore.  It is pointless and a waste of taxpayers money on the part of the legislators who should be debating policies for political and economic reforms.  This was obviously a pure act of vengeance on the part of Estrada and Trillanes.  If you are letting this disgusting exercise in the Senate go unpunished, then you are for the waste of government resources over such nonsense and it is totally pointless.

        2. @Ilda:

          My take on that would be: Reyes did not expect another general would rat out on him. You see, it was a very big no- no for mistahs to expose one another. PMAers have an unwritten code of omerta. So, Reyes was caught like a deer in the headlights, he could not evade, and chose to kill himself instead. Otherwise, it will be known to the world that even his family enjoys the fruits of his at least 50 million pabaon.

          I don’t know about Hubert Webb so I can’t comment on that. Lacson on the other hand, reeks of guilt. You know, people in pinas, especially those who are in power, have this double standard of justice. If they are the ones administering it, it’s fine. But they don’t want to swallow the bitter pill that is the Philippine justice system. Again, Lacson and Estrada is another case of “ang magnanakaw ay galit sa kapwa magnanakaw”


          Would you have rather preferred that Rabusa did not rat out on Garcia, Reyes and other generals? On digging up the issue, I would also like to ask you, why not?

          I agree with you, legislators should be legislating. But which is more wasteful, several thousand pesos spent on a Senate hearing, or millions of pasalubong, pabaon, kickback, and conversions in the military? This is not counting the cost of lives of our soldiers being lost in Mindanao because they do not have the funds to buy fuel for helicopters to evacuate their wounded comrades.

          Again I don’t care if Hudas is accusing Barabas, what’s important is now the world knows that such a crooked “tradition” is in place. It’s disgusting, it’s dirty, but I would still prefer that over being screwed in silence by the all the “buwaya” in power.

          The question now that we should ask ourselves is this, what should we do in order to pressure the “honorables” Jinggoy and Trillanes to legislate something out of this mess? I’m also pondering on that question myself, so any ideas that you have will greatly help me on my contemplation.

        3. @Kusinero

          Funnily enough, you think Lacson is guilty but the charges against him just got dropped. So from his point of view, he was wise to hide first. People don’t get a fair trial in the country and being a product of the system, he knew this. He is screwed either way.

          I feel for the low ranking personnels in the military but as I pointed out in my article, Danilo Lim wasn’t a general yet when he participated in his first coup, he wanted reforms “daw” but when he became general himself, he could not change the flawed system also.

        4. Say, someone has a grievance against Honasan or let’s just say the president about something that happened in the past with evidence that is based on hearsay, should this person go the Senate so that those who want to grandstand could?  Rabusa doesn’t even have proof he delivered the money to Reyes and why should a lawmaking body be investigating this when the justice system should be doing it?  It happened in the past more like up to 2004, reforms have been made and sure, the troops may have suffered, but would they suffer less after the public humiliation of a general, who I am sure was not the only who received the pabaon, what about the chiefs of staff in the previous administrations?  Sure, they could come out and say they never received anything, but why would Reyes be the only one to have enjoyed the tradition when it was the tradition for so long.  If the Senate is interested in looking at the history of this pabaon tradition and when it ended and how it could have ended and its effect on the Armed Forces, then, they should not single out Reyes.  But then again, could this legislative body afford to spend years trying to dig deeper into this issue and what for?  The whole thing is a charade and that is why it is disgusting!  Don’t tell me these public persecution of a single person would benefit the entire country when it is all based on rumor-mongering and vengeance.  As Pnoy said,in a few months all is forgotten and new shows will be staged.  Can’t these legislators at least ponder the serious question of why we are the basketcase in Asia?  Is it because of corruption or is it because of lack of political will to pursue development goals?  The lack of debate on the correct path the country should take, what economic model and what the goals are that should be pursued.  Instead, we are always treated to stupid theatrics in the Senate, mostly at the senate by the way, these esteemed politicians who receive 200 million a year as pork barrel are wasting taxpayers’ money.  They should use their brains and start thinking what is good for the entire country and not only satisfy the bloodthirsty ex-military men who are presumptuous enough to think they are the solution to corruption in the military.  

        5. Well said Miriam. Nothing comes out of these hearings. Just have a look at Jun Lozada. He risked his life during the hearing and then nothing. Now his existence is so pathetic. He just lives on dole outs. Really sad and bad.

  10. Dear Kababayan,

    I was once a part or in my stint with the arm services, I do believe and everyone in the military that corruption is always there. We were under training and we are always fed breakfast, lunch, and dinner – Galunggong and Sankaterbang Kanin and never changed even when we completed the course. May it be in any camp! Sentiments are there, but who are we (trainees) to complain “obey first, before you complain” but what is the use of complaining after the effect. Rumors were that our CO gets a portion of the meal allowances, uniforms, boots, and others intended for us. But we kept on going! never complain, malinger, nor procastinate. Our brotherhood is of “Honor, Loyalty and with Integrity”.
    Eventually, there were also several cases of senior officers, even Generals and Colonel who never get grease of the golden pot. Some are due to the three highlighted words above, others because they were not in a position to do such, as they are not in the kitchen. Assignments and Designations is also a part of it, if you are in a command that are near possibilities and opportunities, then you would be included in the esprit de corps (split of the loot). But if you are in a place without any, then you converting and/or end up selling some of your GI.

    Lastly, I still am proud and happy to be part of the Best in the Military and if needed by my Country, I shall still serve. Bayani

    1. Hi Bayani O. Bicomong

      Thanks for sharing your experience. From what you wrote, I can see that  some of the
      members of the Philippine military have put truth to the saying: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

      I hope you won’t succumb to the temptation when you make it to the top of the food chain.


  11. We should Guard against these people. They want Power and Wealth thru government offices. It’s like giving a Gun to a former Stick-up Artist; who have stick-you- up…Hoping, he will not do his robbing you again…Stupid Filipinos…Stupid Presidents…

  12. See, one thing is for sure; Yellow media is completely overlooking this and giving the underlying assumption impression that PGMA may have the answers. The media is already painting people with the morality brush and just like that, the masses who are gullible enough already have their minds made up from baseless assumptions.

    This should be of no shock, unless to my already getting older uncle and father who see the efforts of Jinggoy Estrada and Trillanes in that trial by media as amiable, when they too are a bunch of screw-ups anyway trying to hide their own dirt.

    1. Sadly, ordinary Pinoys can’t be bothered to find out why there is a reversal of fortune between the mutineers who were convicted and the General behind their foiled coup de’tat.

      What the media is presenting is good enough for the ordinary citizens. Which is why whoever gives the best performance come grandstanding time becomes the “bida” in their book.

  13. ilda
    bit by bit the pieces come together.
    see extract below.
    cojuangco already has a buyer for hacienda luisita. the farmers are being stitched up and p-noy is part of it.

    chinas richest man is eyeing the family of President Aquino as a potential business partner here in the Philippines, a ranking government official said over the weekend.

    In an interview with reporters, Board of Investments (BOI) managing head Cristino L. Panlilio said that the Cojuangco family is a potential partner for Wahaha group in its plan to invest P10 billion for a sugar plantation.

    Panlilio has already met with Fernando Cojuangco last week but the result of the meeting was not reported to the press yet.

    Panlilio said that there are about 6,000 hectares of idle land in Pampanga and Tarlac which will be perfect for a sugar plantation. He said the Cojuangcos may be tapped for the project because Wahaha is eyeing a “plantation type operation.”

    1. Hmmm…unless we are privy to the transactions, it’s hard to comment. It is obvious that they are not being transparent. I suppose they feel they can do whatever they want to the land since they “own” it and it’s not public property.

  14. @kusinero:
    I think what  Ilda and Miriam want to point out (if I’m not mistaken, but if I were, please correct me) is that the senate hearing into whether or not Reyes is guilty is actually a waste of resources, which are by the way taken from a taxpayer’s pocket.

    The reason for branding the senate inquiry as inane is the intention underlying the inquiry which is spearheaded/manipulated by politicians whose ego suffered years earlier when Estrada’s terms were preempted by GMA.  Thus, instead of being objective and in line with the supposed goals of a real and proper senate inquiry, these members of the committee are setting the stage to avenge their wounded ego and pride. Such is evident in how they conduct the inquiry: No Proper Rules Implemented, No Transparency. And the victim is no less than Reyes. Why not? He is not as powerful as he was before. Besides, he was deemed as among the confidantes of GMA, who happens to be another person that Jinggoy and Trillanes extremely loath.

    On the other hand, P-Noy, is an epitome of a lap dog. Instead of being objective in setting the objectives of an inquiry to unravel the never-ending mysteries [that seem to interlap and overlap each other unless the same politicians are seen holding governmental powers] that seem to go on forever but which might be plotted by the same persons and allies, he gave in to the personal gratification of these senators. He played along with the game of these actors and failed coup d’état plotter. Why? 

    First, because this can be a good chance for P-Noy to make a good image of himself being the President. The entire Philippines (especially the supporters of P-Noy) is watching and anticipating that it would actually lead to punishment of someone powerful or used to be powerful, and by doing so, P-Noy would be deemed as divine hero, being able to declare some politicians guilty of many accusations hurled against them.  And it does not matter whether these individuals are found guilty or not. What suffices for P-Noy is that he made an effort daw being the president to make an investigation into their guilt. Also, it is a good deviation from what ought to be worked on by politicians, particularly P-Noy.

    Second, I have a hunch that the senate inquiry is actually luto na before it even began. It has been part of the plan and or agreement forged between P-Noy  and Jinggoy and Trillanes during the campaign period or thereafter, after all, all three have many things in common.

    Third, by giving in to the desire of these senators in avenging their injured ego, P-Noy will get support in return. It’s similar to “I’ll scratch your back, and you do mine” scenario.
    How can a senate inquiry be proper and righteous when it is driven by selfish interests? Actually, by being a senator, their primary objective is legislation. Senators are not there to judge a person of any guilt. If they want to do that they should be a judge in a court or a law enforcer for that matter. 

    They use the senate as their vehicle to pursue personal interests such as vengeance. 🙂

  15. Just re-posting this question so we can discuss this further here in AP:

    What should we do, or to be more specific, what can we do, in order to pressure the “honorables” Jinggoy and Trillanes to legislate something out of this mess?

    It seems with all the charades that the senate has done, we as a people have not really held these legislators into account. We just complain and curse them, but after a week we go back to our lives and everything is again “normal”.

    Any ideas?

    1. @ kusinero;

      A good start and which I believe is powerful and effective too is empowerment of the masses. By empowerment, I mean equipping one’s self with knowledge about what should be done and how it is best done. It also includes enlightenment of the public’s mind.

      Everything that has been done by the politicians is because they believe Filipinos are turning a blind eye to what is actually happening. We are being manipulated by these politicians. But if we make a stand, resolve, and act together to correct the social cancer that is crippling everyone of us, then we can prove to these politicians that not everyone in the country is foolish enough to be played and maneuvered by them.

      One of the things that can help us attain empowerment  is by supporting the campaign on the amendments in our constitution and by changing the system itself. I believe you already know that conservatives believe that it is the people that must be replaced to eradicate rottenness, while liberals believe it is the system rather than the people. But, in our case and given everything that we have suffered, both is the ultimate solution. We change the system and the people running it. And by the time we are all aware of the problem, I’m sure that everyone will make a wise decision in electing an official: competence and qualifications.

    2. @Kusinero

      I don’t know about you but I am already doing what I can to write articles to enlighten more people about what Jinggoy and Trillanes are doing. Our readers can help spread the articles in other forums so non-AP readers can be exposed to different points of view.

  16. omg
    its like im living in the medieval ages where royal families are feuding with each other aiming for the higher post.

    “In light of the corruption scandal involving high-ranking military personnel, it is easy to see now why the low-ranking military personnel have low morale and feel hopeless to the point that they feel like they have to resort to take matters into their own hands. It is also not easy to judge such sentiment. And since the coup d’état attempts were more rampant during Cory Aquino’s time, people like PNoy cannot keep insisting that corruption and disunity in the military started during GMA’s time.”

    very simple though, he is bad in managing stuff. he is a weak leader, therefore exposed to many sides of deception.

    man these “military adventurists” know their art of war…if you know what i mean.

    1. @blueredicedtea:

      The Philippine government is a puppet of America ,and within our government is another puppet: the executive. The entire administration is a circus.

      He is clearly a perfect representation of a foolish leader. Not being able to make a wise decision for the country. Heck, he cannot even make one good decision for his personal life, how can we expect him to make a good one for the entire nation?

      They say that a Bachelor would make a true good leader because of the absence of family responsibilities and obligations and which would compel him to focus on solving our social and economic problems. But in our case, this is the opposite. He cannot stand on his own. He needs all the help from incumbent politicians who are enthusiastic enough to oblige because they too have their own ulterior motive.

    2. @blueredicedtea

      They know it is wiser for them to surrender after a failed coup because they will be “pardoned” anyway. It’s like they are just playing musical chairs in this country.

  17. the suicide of Reyes should be look upon only from his own view and prospective(which is his release statement 2 days before)
    besides, i always have a reservation of the intention of this “whisleblower” who has nothing to offer except there ” testimony” which are full of loopholes/biases. It’s easy to destroyed some public official reputation by pointing him to corruption without the necessary proof to justify it because of the public perception(although sometimes justified) that everybody in the government are corrupt.

    and for those people who believe that Sec. Reyes was guilty and his suicide is an admission of guilt, assuming he did not commit suicide, and tell the truth that he is really innocent(even if it is the truth) would you believe him? i guess people would not,  because they already condemn the man, without giving him due process.
    so i guess Sec. Reyes accomplished restoring his “honor” by suicide( just take a look at news& commentaries before and after the incident).

    1. @ Killem and @kusinero:

      Besides, embedded in our culture is the norm that anybody (Trillanes) contradicting a popularly and recently adjudged as abusive leader (GMA) is deemed hero and whatever means pursued in attaining for that purpose is deemed as right or exempted. They don’t have understanding of the philosophy that the ‘end does not justify the means’ even if their intentions are indeed morally correct. 

      A good example of that is Arroyo herself. When ERAP was believed to be guilty by majority of the populace, Arroyo was deemed a heroine. In the end though, she lost the favor of people who once rejoiced in her oath-taking during EDSA 2.

      Earlier on, Cory was deemed a heroine as well when she replaced Marcos. But during her terms, she suffered greatly as what Ilda pointed out on this article.

      It’s like the history keeps on repeating itself and we in turn keep on missing the lesson ought to be learned.

    2. General Danilo Lim and another oakwood dude Colonel Ariel Querubin also ran for a Senate seat. Good thing they lost. Can you imagine having 3 military adventurists in the senate, with their “kuya” Gringo Honasan?

      Why the heck are these guys going for the senate anyway? Pinaglalaruan lang nila ang govt ng pinas.

      1. I know why Danilo Lim lost. He is not perceived to be as good-looking as Gringo and Trillanes. As to why voters consider the two good-looking remains a mystery to me.

  18. • the late angelo reyes: “i know about these anomalies in AFP but i don’t get ‘pabaon’. still, there are others in AFP that are corrupt” (if you knew about this people, why didn’t do anything about them?)

    • antonio trillanes:”gonna slap you like a bitch in the senate, going to act like i’m the judge, cross-examining you motherfuckers even if i don’t have strong evidence and only allegations in my hand hahaha” (perfect example of a grandstanding, hearsay-relying asshole)

    • juan ponce enrile:”i’m gonna be an asshole with the way i’m going to ask these people then i’m gonna be a hero infront of the public.. then i’m gonna be an asshole, then a hero, then i’ll repeat this cycle until the public see me as a respectable senator for this is ‘in aid of legislation'” (could replace shrek’s donkey)

    • ombudsman guiterrez: “screw you all, i don’t care if you impeach me, i got something out of that plea bargaining agreement with carlos garcia” (second donkey for shrek)

    • danilo lim & querubin: “thanks for sympathizing with us you public morons! now we can justify the hostage taking we made last time and we can talk as much as we want for all we care!” (if the devil gives awards to his acolytes, these two will be top nominees)

    • media:”pacquiao’s hairdo is justin bieber style, kris aquino’s life is wonderful and full of surprises, sharon cuneta reacted to hayden kho’s tweet, OPM is dying so we should impose more tax on foreign acts, wait! gonna cover the senate blue committee hearing because the public have the right to see senators ditching and finger-pointing public figures which i think deserves trial by publicity” (true and genuine screwballs)

    1. Yup. That pretty much sums up the situation we have. 😉

      And all the brouhaha that resulted in someone’s death won’t even improve the system. 

  19. i forgot to add:

    noynoy: “uh… ah.. what? yeah senate is good… uhm… sorry can’t react, brain’s on vacation.. i’m only going to complain on justice’ abolishment of my truth commission, yep i hate the judiciary system, they don’t want my sweet offerings to the public they are the only guys i want to shout my warcry. i hate the supreme court, i hate everyone who criticize me, i’m going to be silent not because i am careful with what i’m going to say but because I can’t say anything. hello philippines, again brain’s on vacation see ya guys mwah mwah”

  20. Some things every Filipino should add to their dictionary.

    “Beyond Reasonable doubt” “Presumption of innocence” “Trial by media”

    The average Pinoy has never heard of any of the above three.

    Heck all those groups calling for “Justice!” whether its Arroyo, Villar, Webb, Etc. should leave it to the judicial system. Of course legal guilt is different from factual guilt but I hate it when people run around accusing Mr. X and so and so of being corrupt despite the fact that Mr. X has never been convicted.

    If your name is Erap or Trillanes and you ought to be in jail but are not lying in a cold cell right now, you are considered a hero.

    And the periodistas suck it all up. Conrado de Quiros named Trillanes his new fairy tale superhero next to Noynoy. With morons influencing national thought and bypassing the legal system with sweeping statements you pretty much have a good idea as to how whacked the average Pinoy mind is.

    1. I’m glad that Benign0 wrote an article rebutting Conrado de Quiros’ article. A lot of people look up to that propagandist. Someone on my FB shared his article and there were a number of people who “liked” it and agreed with his views which simply implied that “corruption kills.” He really acts like a tool of the current administration. I bet he is going to write another one of his piece dedicated to the magic of “People Power” to celebrate the 25th anniversary.

    2. de quiros is an old dog trying to munch on a good crispy dog food from trillanes. is he a classic AC/DC columnist? i don’t know, only his own brain know his real intentions for that trillanes article… i agree with you, erap and trillanes should be in jail for what they did but our country forgive them and even elected them to public offices which should be held by more dignified and educated men. imagine a rusty axe being used over and over again to a tree. that’s how whacked and poisoned our “masa’s” mind today. poor people, always believing what the media offers them and can’t analyze between the lines.

  21. This is so dead on!!! Great Post! Noy-Noy is merely a clueless no care puppet president. Just what all the other political evil’s want.

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