Press Release
February 18, 2010

Loren willing to take Trillanes under her recognizance

Nacionalista Party vice presidential candidate Loren Legarda is willing to take under her recognizance Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and 16 other soldiers facing charges before a military court.

On Wednesday, the AFP, through spokesman Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner Jr, said it would not release the soldiers because they were still facing general court-martial cases, related to the so-called Oakwood Mutiny that happened in 2003.

The AFP made the announcement shortly after Judge Elmo Alameda of Branch 50 of the Makati Regional Trial Court granted the soldiers bail of P200,000 because he found no evidence of rebellion, the case filed against Trillanes and colleagues in connection with the so-called Peninsula Manila Siege that happened in 2007.

Legarda welcomed decision, saying: "As a lawmaker, I'm glad to hear that the justice system seems to be working properly."

She praised Alameda for his "fairness and impartiality" in deciding to grant bail.

"An actual clash of arms with government forces is not necessary to make one liable of rebellion," Alameda said in his 16-page decision.

"No direct, material and competent evidence adduced to prove the specific act committed by the accused constituting the crime of rebellion or any of the elements thereof. The walkout from the court, the marching to the Manila Peninsula hotel and the press conference held in the same hotel denouncing the administration of President [Gloria Macapagal] Arroyo are not sufficient to prove the non-bailable crime of rebellion," he said.

She also urged that Col. Ariel Querubin, who faces mutiny charges before a military tribunal for the alleged attempt to unseat President Gloia Arroyo in February 2006, be released.

Querubin is running for senator under the NP, while Trillanes won a seat in the Senate in the 2007 elections while in jail.

The military cases against them include conduct unbecoming an officer, conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline, and disrespect to the President, according to Lim's lawyer, Vicente Verdadero.

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