Philippine Daily Inquirer

Binay urges Makati court to release Trillanes

- By Cynthia D. Balana

VICE PRESIDENT Jejomar Binay yesterday appealed to theMakati Regional Trial Court to release detained Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV to enable him to attend Senate sessions and perform his duties.

“I am appealing to the good judge Oscar Pimentel for the release of Senator Trillanes,” Binay said.

Trillanes is detained in Fort Bonifacio for being one of the leaders of the Oakwood mutiny of 2003. During the seige of the Oakwood hotel in Makati City, over a hun- dred rebellious young officers denounced corruption and called for the resignatio­n of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and themilitar­y brass.

Trillanes, a former naval officer with a master’s degree in public administra­tion from the University of the Philippine­s, won in the 2007 senatorial elections but the court denied his plea to be granted leave from detention to attend Senate sessions.

Binay said the Senate would start its sessions on July 26 and only 21 out of 24 senators might be present as there was a vacan- cy created by the election of Sen. Benigno Aquino III as president.

Another senator, Panfilo Lacson, remains in hiding after the justice department included him among those charged for the murder of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito.

“Senator Trillanes is a duly elected official of the land, so why can’t he discharge his duties and responsibi­lities?” Binay said. “It would be a travesty to the 11 million voters who believed he could effect change,” he added.

The vice president said the Senate would greatly benefit from Trillanes’ understand­ing of issues, especially on the Armed Forces.

“Senator Trillanes would be a crucial addition to the bright minds of our Congress, as the Senate’s legislativ­e work would benefit from his years of experience and insights gleaned as an officer of our Armed Forces,” Binay said.

A co-accused, fugitive Marine Capt. Nicanor Faeldon, surrendere­d to authoritie­s on July 6, an act welcomed by Binay as a “good sign for the country.”

Said Binay: “It shows that Faeldon believes he will receive justice under the Aquino administra­tion.”

“It is a gesture of confidence in the capability of President Aquino to address the legitimate concerns and grievances of our soldiers.

“These are the same concerns and grievances that are at the root of military restivenes­s, which forced Captain Faeldon and his fellow soldiers to undertake concerted action,” Binay said.

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