Press Release
November 14, 2014


Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago said Vice President Jejomar Binay could be held criminally liable for "conspiracy to commit rebellion," following the recent revelation of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV that as Makati mayor, Binay allegedly conspired with him and his military colleagues to overthrow the Arroyo administration in 2007.

Trillanes said Binay allegedly promised him that he would use his then position as Makati mayor to mobilize the employees of Makati City Hall, the urban poor, the students of the University of Makati, and Makati traffic enforcers and police to support the Magdalo soldiers in revolting against the government. However, Binay allegedly failed to deliver his promised group of supporters when the soldiers walked out of the Makati City Regional Trial Court. The incident became known as the "Manila Pen siege," because the soldiers retreated to the hotel before surrendering.

Under Article 136 of the Penal Code, the crime of conspiracy to commit rebellion is punishable by imprisonment of four years, two months and one day to six years, and a fine not exceeding P5,000.

According to Santiago, merely agreeing and deciding to rise publicly and take arms against the government for the purposes of rebellion is already punishable under the crime of conspiracy to commit rebellion. Thus, it was immaterial that Binay allegedly failed to mobilize the supporters, and was nowhere to be seen during the Manila Pen siege.

While Trillanes and the other participants of the Manila Pen siege, and their civilian supporters, were granted amnesty by President Aquino in 2010, Santiago said the amnesty did not apply to Binay.

The senator, a former RTC judge, said Binay should have applied for amnesty with the Department of National Defense (DND), in accordance with the provisions of Presidential Proclamation No. 75, s. 2010.

Moreover, the application for amnesty expired in 31 March 2011.

Santiago said the crime of conspiracy to commit rebellion prescribes in ten years from the discovery of the crime. This means that since the Manila Pen siege occurred in 2007, the government has until 2017 to prosecute the offender.

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