Did President Duterte inadvertently give people the idea of “President Trillanes”?

Senator Trillanes states his case at media briefing from Senate. [Photo source: GMA Network]

By JoeAm

By any measure, Senator Trillanes’ amnesty case has further eroded President Duterte’s reputation of total, complete authority. The beating the President and his men have been taking is worse than that by the Arroyo coup of the House leadership which sat the President aside in the waiting room for an hour, like a helpless old man, whilst former President Arroyo took over the House.

The President’s men failed to get the Senator arrested last week. And Senator Trillanes for three days had full control of the press as President Duterte gadded about the Middle East. Trillanes remained in the Senate and charged into the headlines and television news standing calm, unshaken, and committed to uprooting corruption and bad governance. He’s now been there six days straight.

The list of names the Senator has used toward President Duterte is expanding. It started on Day 1 with “coward”, and we knew then that the gloves were off. On Saturday (Day 5), it expanded to “corrupt, liar, murderer and stupid”, although the Senator did apologize to reporters for not being able to find a better choice of words than “stupid”. He was trying to explain how wrong things have become in the Philippines under President Duterte.

But that is Senator Trillanes, isn’t it? Blunt to the point of working against his own best interest sometimes. But also showing flashes of humility.

He is so principled that I think it sometimes takes a while for others to catch up to the integrity of the platform from which he speaks.

A lot of people don’t like Senator Trillanes, I hear. They think he is arrogant, and he broke the law when he went mutineer because he just could not stand the corrupt shenanigans of President Arroyo. Cocky, headstrong. They thought his trip to Hacienda Binay was a Roxas style photo-op. So he has his detractors, even among the “yellows”. But there are fewer today, I suspect, than there were a week ago.

During one of his early press conferences from his position of sanctuary (which the Senate calls detainment, I believe), a reporter asked if he planned or encouraged anything like that coup business he once engage in. He smiled that wry smile of his that looks a bit smirkish and said, no, he didn’t have to. He was pursuing the same goals from his position in the Senate.

They also asked him if he encouraged protests and he said those things were out of his control. So he would not comment.

Well, the Senator is older and wiser now and, like a seasoned oak wine keg, has developed a more sophisticated aura than a few years ago, more composed, more confident, more personable (the reporters laughed often at his natural, low-key camaraderie) . . . but the Senator is just as determined as ever.

I find it interesting, having come off a series of articles focused on the Philippine cultural tradition that “good people are seen as weak and bad people are seen as strong”, that Senator Trillanes has a bit of the “bad boy” edge about him. That likely makes him less vulnerable to attack than, say, Vice President Robredo. He demonstrated his character when a reporter asked him about Robin Padilla parading around in front of the Senate building taunting the Senator to come out. Trillanes basically said to Padilla “We aren’t in high school any more. So grow up. If you want to come in and talk, let’s talk.”

It’s the kind of adult wisdom you’d find with the Godfather, eh? Tough love, even for the flaming fame-seeker Padilla.

The Senator is not a pretender like Presidential Spokesman Roque and Foreign Affairs Secretary Cayetano. You can understand through their made-up stories that they are the “pantywaists” in this enduring drama. That’s an old junior high school term used to describe sissies and weaklings before gay rights came along and rightfully suppressed such colorful language. But I need to draw a picture here.

Contrarily, Trillanes is the real deal.

I suppose now is a good time to report, for the record, I had the opportunity to meet the Senator a few months ago. The Society of Honor author Will Villanueva was kind enough to arrange the meeting and he also attended. The Senator asked for the get-together to thank me for the blog, which he reads now and then, and to set my knowledge straight on his back door work with China on Scarborough Shoal (which I had written about a couple of years ago, getting a few things wrong). As a courtesy, he also updated us on this and that in the political arena.

It was fascinating to meet a man of no pretense who just tells you what he thinks. Diplomatic, always. Thoughtful, always. Straight, always. What you see on television is what you get in person. When you ask a question, you get an answer . . . or a reason why he cannot answer. No posturing or faking or talking around the issue.

And yet . . . and yet . . . you know that there are also calculations going on, and information being gathered via secret intelligence channels, and friends all over the nation who are in his network. He serves as both the front line trooper and the intelligence operation supporting the troops. That’s his method. He digs. He investigates.  He networks. He knows about tattoos and bank accounts and Mayor Binay’s hacienda extravagance.

What you can’t see unless you meet him in person are the well-muscled arms. That surprised me. I had always thought of him as soft and bookish. I think he, like Magdalo partymate Congressman Alejano, must work out. Or his wife has him doing all the heavy lifting around the house.

But the Senator is a rock.

The one thing he does not have is riches. Principle and service have always meant more to him. It did not help that he spent seven prime years under Arroyo locked up and paying for his adventurism. He is the poorest senator by a long shot.

He is a rock in terms of character, in terms of work ethic, in terms of honor and honesty.

It is ironic that, in President Duterte’s eagerness to jail Senator Trillanes, he presented the Senator to a nation that may not really know him that well. Just as President Arroyo, by locking up an honest man, catapulted him into the Senate. He campaigned from jail.

Destiny creates presidents, I suppose.

We have little to do with it.

Citizens can try to help around the edges. And they can vote. We non-citizen observers can only opine, draw our conclusions, and share them.

My early look at 2022 presidential candidates who I think would preserve civility, democracy, and the Constitutional foundation of the Philippines can be summed up as follows:

“Senator Trillanes is a man who would serve the nation well as president. As would Vice President Robredo. As would Senator Hontiveros. As would others whom we have not yet had the opportunity to vet.”

The nation does not lack for promising leadership.

It lacks for smart voting.

But for sure, for sure, destiny unfolds quickly in the Philippines, in ways we cannot predict.


296 Responses to “Did President Duterte inadvertently give people the idea of “President Trillanes”?”
  1. arlene says:

    I thought of the same thing, what if he run as president come 2022? I am sure most Filipinos would vote for the principled and brave senator. He is still young, certainly an advantage too and he is smart.

    Good morning Joeam, good morning everyone!

  2. NHerrera says:


    1. The Blog article title is more direct to the point in contrast to the current generic expression about Senator Trillanes being brought to more prominence by the brazen mishandling of the amnesty revocation issue;

    2. The TSH Editor, writer is obviously charmed by the Senator;

    3. And so is more and more of the Filipinos (I include myself) by a combination of factors, many touched in the Blog.

    Thank you for the article. It certainly is a very nice way for the new day to greet me.

  3. karlgarcia says:

    As stated 2019 is important.
    If we vote correctly, we won’t have the 2/3 needed for charter change.
    senator Trillanes may not be in the senate 2019 onwards, it means if he is not arrested he hill have more chances to voice out his concerns until the press gets tired of him.

    We should thank Calida for engineering this, he too is just cannon fodder, the cannon is running out of cannon balls.

    • Tweeto Wakatono says:

      Voting correctly constitute the minority losing votes in many past elections in the country; what counts are votes delivered by the COMELEC, and the CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTORS (in millions pesos before and probably billions now) and deserve the blame for the plummeting spiral of the lives of the quicksand poverty of the teeming masses of Filipinos.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Lacson is an example of not using all his contributions, he may have lost the elections but got some savings.
        imagine all that Chinoy money.

        • Tweeto Wakatono says:

          If public officials’ public service is reckoned by their ph value, Lacson to me is a seven (7). Coconut trees thrive well 0n a ph value above ffve (5) in coastal areas. ph five is the dividing value between acidity and alkalinity. Cebu litson is new discovery of a delicacy cleaned and cooked with saline waters. Decreasing acidity from ph 5 tends towards criminality in the public service.

          Sorry for being gibberish. as usual.

  4. andrewlim8 says:

    Trillanes is certainly giving off the aura of ” strength with character” .

    Whereas in Duterte’s case it was ” strength” only, no character.

    One can substitute “morals” , ” integrity” for character.

    As I pointed out in a previous post, one test for character is how one views Ferdinand Marcos – if one admires him, we should tell all the children- you cannot trust that person.

    You can never be against corruption if you love the Marcoses.

    People ignored this clue in the 2016 elections, and are now suffering for it.

    • andrewlim8 says:

      And to reinforce this image of strength the way Filipinos appreciate it: both men can handle guns, but who is more responsible with it?

    • chemrock says:

      Andrew, you know what. Your lesson for the young has been a sort of litmus test I use in Philippines. Whenever i have to deal with Filipinos whom i dont know well, and it involves fiduciary and peciniary matters, I used to draw them into a short digression on Marcos. I based my judgement of their trust level on their views on Marcos.

      • andrewlim8 says:


        Another lesson I want to teach the young- but will require more sophistication and patience as it involves concepts- is that if someone is infected with ” tribalism” which I define as putting one’s own ethnic tribe (e.g. Ilocano) over a sense of right and wrong, or over one’s faith- then you cannot trust that person as well.

        It is a terrible cultural trait, one that defies all sense of right and wrong, defies all avowed beliefs and is responsible for getting corrupt dictators into power.

        • chemrock says:

          Precisely Andrew. It is why people like you and I, of Chinese ancestry, we do not think the PRC occupation of the WPS is legally, morally, historically nor geographically right.

        • LG says:

          In politics, I won’t trust them at all. Some of my learned friends are tribal proMarcos, no matter what, to this day. They also happen to be Trump supporters, no matter what.

    • Tweeto Wakatono says:

      As regards Trillanes physical persona, AT4 has retained his Fort Loakan days when cows or immaculates develop a physique of a leader’s (military) bearing not of a body building hunk. Many PMAyers later are fattened or bent by active service or disservice to their country. In the group photo -op of the Big Eight or the Great Twenty, you see Macron, Obama, PNoy, etc. Trillanes can stand erect and honourable among them.

    • Joseph Dowling says:

      Very well put sir . Marcose a synonym for corruption …

    • pelang says:

      kasi noon, we were concentrating on the degree of corruptibility of Binay and his family. We didn’t notice that there is someone more corrupt and was helped by the trolls, clean his image. Not very many people knew about Dutete. We only knew him fom what we read. e, fake news pala. so, too late the hero.

  5. George Yao says:

    Maybe he should go for VP again to let people become more comfortable with him first. The last time I didn’t vote for him because I wanted someone more anti-Marcos. Next time I just might vote for him.

  6. canadadry says:

    Nice article Joeam.

    What we are witnessing is raw courage from Trillanes and raw cowardice from Duterte and Calida.One observed thing is Calida and Duterte seemed always unnerved by Trillanes, looks like f face to face these two Davaoenos will melt before the Senator from Bicol. Never have I seen these two unsure of themselves.

    • NHerrera says:

      Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

      Tired, sick, guilty … King Henry IV is feeling the weight of his crown. Why, even the “vile” of his realm, after hours of drudgery, can in their “loathsome beds” get a good night’s sleep, while he—a king!—cannot.

      Senator Trillanes adds great weight to the crown, made more so by self-inflicted wounds thanks to Calida et al.

    • He does have them rattled, doesn’t he? Good point.

    • Tweeto Wakatono says:

      Shake the Spear said “cowards die many times before their death,” BUT reality to a real man it is “A coward dies and remains dead the first time another man call him a coward in public.” The bard-upon-Avon missed the fact that only duel to death so common in France during Dumas’ time actually prove or disproves cowardice.

    • LG says:

      Maybe because Du30 n Calida think they are both intellectually and morally inferior to the Senator. Besides, the former 2 only have only law degrees (I question their class rank and bar scores), whereas the Senator has the PMA degree and his experience as an officer, a law and MPA degrees, both from UP, I believe. Clearly, the Senator is better prepared for his elected position as Senator, and as VP, if he got elected.

      • LG says:

        Corection to my entry above re. the Senator’s academic degrees. His Wiki, notes no law degree. However, I noted with delight, that he graduated cum laude in his PMA degree and that through out his masters studies at the UP College of Public Adm, he was a university scholar for 2 semesters and a college scholar for 1 semester. Am impressed.

  7. karlgarcia says:

    very off topic.

    Micha, you are wanted( hopefully only a namesake of our Micha) for dancing in Edsa.


    • My guess is they’ll find her before they find Peter Lim. I have a call into my bookie to get the odds.

    • Micha says:

      Hahaha what in the world is kiki dance?

      • Tweeto Wakatono says:

        As commented here before by popoy:

        Micha I guess, spelled differently is Tagalog for wick, which lights a lamp to erase darkness; or mitsa is a fused that can ignite or explode a bomb.

        from Google (Go ogle the beauties):

        The name Kiki is a girl’s name of French origin meaning “double happiness”. Kiki and is often added to lists like Nicknames for Girls and discussed in our forums with posts like “Girls Makeover – Two Middles”.

        from naughty boys from Davao:

        Kiki is like the famous Asian fruit which tastes like heaven but smells like hell.

        I must stop here lest I go on disrespecting (by Pinoy humour) this noble blog that’s sweet as cherry but pricks (not the noun) like ivy.

        • Tweeto Wakatono says:

          Sorry Karl, I can’t stop yet, not there yet.

          In ’55 attending an entomology class (in UP Los Banos) where insects are dissected for their anatomy and where two Franciscos (nicknamed Kiko of different sizes) were classmates, the instructor found and were asking: Kaninong scalpel yan? Two girls answered: Sir, kay Kikong Malaki. The other girl protested: No Sir Kay Kikong maliit Sir.
          The girls got on a shouting match: Kay Kikong Malaki, Kay kikong maliit.

          okay stop na ‘ko.

  8. Grace Lim Reyes says:

    I have kept track of SenTri’s adventures in politics since he launched the failed putsch. I have seen the metamorphosis of an angry man into an adroit politician. I hope to see him evolve into an excellent statesman. With his heart and mind in the right places, who is to say that we would not have the leader that would lead the Filipinos to genuine change and prosperity?

    Looking back, his discontent was uncovered because of a thesis coursework he was doing at UP. I believe he uncovered many disturbing information that fueled his rage and decision to act despite adversity and the huge probability of failure. It is exactly the same mindset that most Filipinos lack: the ability to research, think, and discern right from wrong.

    Why am I pointing this out? I used to teach in college in the late 90s to early 2000s. I learned that our students are NOT oriented toward research and digging for the truth. What we have is a “cut and paste” culture that teachers failed to correct in schools. This “miseducation” should explain why Filipinos easily believe in false news peddled by trolls and the like. The operators know this flaw in the Filipino minds that they have successfully used it to their advantage.

    What is not to like in a person that thinks, does research, and sets his facts straight? Add the network he has to support the facts and what we will have is a governance that is based on facts and truth. But then, what we have is a nation that values mediocrity more than intellectual superiority. In school, the “bulakbol” has more friends and is more popular than the geek and the nerd. We are a nation of under performers. It has always been “pwede na” in all aspects of our lives. Hindi pwedeng “pwede na”. Dapat gawin ang karapatdapat. We should not settle for second best. We must raise our standards as a people when we select our leaders.

    We must change this “pwede na” mindset so that people could appreciate that the likes of SenTri and their work ethic are what we need to move forward in the future. I am not saying that he would not commit “booboos” now or in the future, but it is up to the voters to sift through the rubble to reveal the gold.

  9. chemrock says:

    By my moral compass, Trillanes stands on the correct side on most of the national issues, his advocacies, his personal lifestyle, and his courage and willingness to sacrifice to stand up against the concerted onslaught of tyrannical forces.

    There are however 2 things that trouble me about him, and I say this not because of attention to trivial imperfections and missing the wood for the trees. They are matters that trouble me seriously and needs explanation, and perhaps there are valid justifications.

    1. The coups he participated or led were wrong, I can appreciate the impetuousness of youthful idealism. that he was motivated by the sense to help set things right in a corrrupt Arroyo admin. I do not condone the acts but I do see those coups were more public demonstrations of anger at a corrupt regime, rather than a serious attempt to overthrow the govt – for the simple fact there were no post-coup plans on replacement of the ruling regime. It was high in idealism but juvenile in plans.

    However I looked at the coup infractions with a lighter heart on account of the fact there were no fatalities, he was rightly charged (many coup actors get away scot-free) he showed remorse, and he served time.

    But the dark stain in the coup was the enlistment of a corrupt Binay into the plot. It sort of tarnished what was an honourable endeavour. Perhaps the coups were simply games played by unseen hands, and that would mean he was not his own man.

    2. His pre-election visit to Davao to meet with Duterte cast a dark shadow in my assessment. Trillanes knew of Duterte’s dark sides and corruption. What then was the visit all about. It has been mentioned it was an attempt to offer himself as Duterte’s tandem for the VP ticket. Was it really like all politicians, simply an attempt of alignment for political capital and damn the moral compass?

    It could perhaps be a decision that many honourable men sometimes has to make — to try to ride the tiger in order to triumph, but with the moral focus to pursue the right path once the difficult obstacle has been cleared?

    • NHerrera says:

      Second that.

      Can those experiences or big stains — especially the latter, the visit with Duterte in Davao, to join up politically with the man knowing him, for certainly he could not be blind to the efforts/ findings of De Lima as Secretary of Justice — be something that will make him the better man in the future, as evidenced, for example, in his rational reaction to the amnesty issue. We spoke about perfection before, and we are not asking him to be perfect, but this latter point does leave some bad taste. I hope there is an explanation that will take out the distaste.

      • NHerrera says:

        While we are on that thread, didn’t Roxas also cozy up and pay a visit to the man in Davao too? It is in this vein that I have to admire Justice Antonio Carpio for not seeking to be the Chief Justice. I hope he does it the second time around for consistency.

      • De Lima investigated Duterte as CHR. As SOJ it seems the investigation discontinued. Remember that Duterte backed Aquino and even was on stage with him and Mar 2013.

        So even saints in the Philippines ally with demons. Cory appointed Duterte and even knew about Alsa Masa, the proto-DDS founded by Col. Franco Calida, brother of SolGen Jose. She even called groups like that the “Dark Side of People Power”, so she wasn’t quite Doris Day.

        • edgar lores says:

          De Lima also broke the law by not allowing Gloria to leave the country.

          I would think she was right to do so.

          And so — arguably — was Trillanes in attempting a coup.

        • chemrock says:

          That’s the cause and effect of a dictatorship. I mentioned a few blogs back dictators tend to wipe out the leadership of the good, just like Duterte is wiping out the yellow leadership. So when a dictator is upended, there is a big vacuum. That’s what Cory inherited. To quickly fix a broken country in those dire circumstances, she had no choice but to scrap the bottom of the barrel. She had to put some order to the chaos and invariably some strong personality types will be picked for the jobs.

          Another point that is bound to irk Micha — there will always be a return of oligarchs at times like Cory’s assumption of power. They are needed to take the risks and get the economy going. It happened with Cory, it happened in Russia after the disintegration of USSR, it happened with post-Deng Siaoping China, and many others.

    • karlgarcia says:

      valid points.

      Of course if there are coups there is always JPE.
      Before he even idolized Honasan.

      The anti Arroyo forces were weird, you have Imee and Noynoy temporarily aligning.

    • madlanglupa says:

      > What then was the visit all about. It has been mentioned it was an attempt to offer himself as Duterte’s tandem for the VP ticket. Was it really like all politicians, simply an attempt of alignment for political capital and damn the moral compass?

      Hard to say, as he seems trying to test the waters, see if there is anything in common or a possible bond, as others like BBM and Tulfo trying to curry favor with the would-be strongman; more like a gathering of sportsmen before a heated competition. In a matter of time we’ve seen a Byzantine motion of the powers-that-be, now that we have Arroyo greeting the Chinese delegation right now, Trillanes dodges the bullet of an arrest warrant, and PRRD planning to announce something tomorrow.

      • Grace Lim Reyes says:

        In politics, there are no permanent friends or enemies, only interests.

        A conjecture: Didn’t SenTri’s visit to Duterte reveal important information given that the old man can’t stop bragging about his exploits as mayor? Maybe SenTri got wind of the shenanigans of the old man.

        • Trillanes said it annoyed him that all Duterte talked about during the meet was killing, “probably because I am military, to impress me” he said in an interview. So I think the meet was exploratory first and foremost.

        • chemrock says:

          I think Trillanes know about Duterte’s shenanigans long before the visit. You are right in polititics, there are only interests. I referred to the ‘riding a tiger” which is a tactic of alignment with someone who has stronger political (hence the fearsome tiger) as part of an overall strategy. But one’s ideology and moral character remains unchallenged. So perhaps Mar and Trillanes had this in mind. This contrasts completely with Cayetano who sold his soul to the tiger in exchange for an attempt to a ride to power.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Trillanes made mistakes, Duterte continues to commit mistakes without remorse. So does the Marcoses and the other Let’s move on person, GMA, I want to add ERAP.

    • Senator Trillanes sent the following response to Chemrock’s comment via e-mail this morning:

      In connection with the comment of Chemrock on September 11 at 11:45am, let me just provide the following clarifications:

      I met Duterte in April 2015, in Ortigas not in Davao. The meeting was set-up by our common friend to explore the possibility for a team-up in 2016. However, at the onset, Duterte said that he has no intention to run for the presidency. So, what was supposed to be an exploratory meeting turned into a social conversation. I took it as an opportunity to know the man beyond the myth because prior to this meeting, I only met him on a couple of political events.

      Unfortunately, during the entire conversation, Duterte never mentioned anything about his vision or even proposed solutions to our country’s problems. Instead, he spent the whole time bragging about the people he killed and the graphic details about how he killed them. It seemed as though he was trying to impress me since he assumed that, being a former soldier, I’d be into those kinds of things. But the effect to me was quite the opposite. I left that meeting with an impression that Duterte is a psychologically disturbed person or, more pointedly, a dangerous man with a hitman’s psyche.

      Prior to that conversation, what I knew of Duterte was only limited to his Dirty Harry reputation similar to that of Mayor Fred Lim. I was not yet aware of his actual murderous ways and his corrupt activities. It was only in April 2016 when we had the AMLC documents showing that he had billions deposited in his bank accounts.

      We were also unaware of the 2009 CHR investigation regarding the Davao Death Squad headed by then CHR Chairperson Leila de Lima, because we were still in detention during that time.

      After that meeting, I reported to my Magdalo companions about my conversation with Duterte and we made a collective decision that should he ever decide to run, we must do everything we can to prevent him from becoming the president of our country.</em/

  10. Google Trends shows how Senator Trillanes took control of social media chatter on the day he went into ‘sanctuary’ in the Senate Building to prevent arrest until his legal team could provide legal responses to the President’s executive order for arrest. I did a simple check of 7-day trends for Google search volumes in the Philippines for ‘trillanes’ and ‘duterte’.

  11. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    Wrote this in my FB page after overnight vigil at Senate gate:


    Three events in his life possibly contributed to the making of the man as we see him today:

    Being carried out of Manila Peninsula hotel bodily, by the belt;

    Seven years in jail; and

    Losing his child to sickness because he lacked funds.

    These events probably mellowed the man’s PMA sense of power and entitlement.

    Senator Sonny Trillanes is the man of the hour, thrashing the man in Malacañang in the last few days by his sheer immobility, keeping in the confines of Senate immunity and dignity, while people power keep watch over him, giving him strength, a champion taken to heart by the very people he has taken to heart as well.

    I saw him hesitate, as in having a lump in his throat, when he was talking of his colleague Senator Leila de Lima, now unjustly detained. He recounted how the then Human Rights chairman hounded him for his military adventurism. “Now we’re on the same side,” he said, “she was right, I was wrong. I have nothing against her.” Words to that effect. The warrior hesitating in mid-strike, tongue-tied for a while, a past that would not go down the throat easily.

    He admits to his mistake, no matter how principled his fight was at the time, speaking for troopers without boots and bearing paltry weaponry. He admits to bowing to the forces of history, where men and women will finally be measured by their adherence to rules.

    Rules. That word. Who cares about rules nowadays when the numero uno Filipino can bend every rule in the book, cheered on lustily by the remnants of his electoral force, probably sniping from troll holdouts?

    But not Senator Trillanes, who is as rules-based as our heroes of yore, who would face extreme punishment on principle without purpose of evasion, just like Senator de Lima.

    “Would I run, would I resist arrest?” he asked. “No,” he said, answering his own question, this after exhausting legal remedy.

    And so we have the spectacle of President Rodrigo Duterte hurling insult after insult at the International Criminal Court who is set to try him for human-rights violations, the likes of which could begin to rival ignominious dictators of modern times. And we have Senators de Lima and Trillanes, chastised by unbridled power, but speaking truth to it nevertheless.

    Three-llanes. He is making an imprint in a lost society, guiding us little by little back to the light. Can’t wait for what the man can do bigtime.

    • NHerrera says:


      Thanks, Will.

      I recall we have the case of St Paul — beloved by Christians — who as Saul of Tarsus, in Cilica, in what is now Turkey, experienced a vision of Jesus, while he was on his way to Damascus to continue his mission of stamping out out the new Christian sect by persecuting the Christian followers [perhaps doing this as a Roman, being granted Roman Citizenship]. Trillanes seemed to have his Damascus Moment on the way to his current status.

      [I like the discussion in the current blog of Trillanes with warts and all, thereby getting to know him better — before and after my presumption of his Damascus Moment. Isn’t that what makes for an effective leader later? St Augustine, too, was no saint in his earlier life of debauchery.]

    • Crescencia R.Dee Verzosa says:

      Wow.Just wow.Thank you for this.Now, i know him better.He will be a very good president for us.

    • edgar lores says:

      Will, thank you.

    • LG says:

      Thank you for joining the chats Willie. Very sad about the death of his child for lack of funds.😢😢😢😢😢. Very informing and enlightening entry.

    • distant observer says:

      Maraming salamat for this powerful account of yours.

  12. Trillanes seems like a new phenomenon but I think he is a return to traditions thought lost:

    1) the moral integrity of the late 19th century Filipino patriots.

    2) the military virtue (in the old Roman sense) of Filipinos from the early to mid-20th centuries.


    The return to democratic values in 1986 was obviously not enough, maybe this is also needed.

  13. sup says:

    They can not find the papers at DND?

    Lorenzana confirmed however that Calida called him on August 16 asking for Trillanes’ amnesty records from the Department of National Defense (DND) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

    “He asked me personally by phone to get the amnesty records sa DND at AFP so I provided him… I remember that was Aug. 16,” he told reporters.

    Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1030245/lorenzana-not-consulted-by-duterte-on-amnesty-nullification#ixzz5QgJNp6IG
    Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

    • chemrock says:

      “He asked me personally by phone to get the amnesty records sa DND at AFP so I provided him… I remember that was Aug. 16,” he told reporters.

      That sentence was followed by :
      “He did not elaborate further what he provided Calida.”

      Is it standard protocol of Philippines’ press not to inquire about the elephant?

  14. edgar lores says:

    In focusing on the man of the hour, we are losing sight of the man of the year.

    Duterte has successfully deflected blame to Calida.

    He signed the Executive Order 572 that is baseless.

    He has not revoked the Executive Order. He has not said sorry.

    And now he has successfully passed the buck to the Supreme Court.

    He is getting off virtually scotfree with a few lumps from Trillanes.

    • I don’t think so. Take the other day when President Duterte gave a little speech. He rambled and cursed, the audience sat glumly, and he looked a lot like Captain Queeg of the Caine Mutiny (movie version) except that he is not as handsome as Bogart and was not clicking metal ball bearings in his hands. Then CNN went to Senator Trillanes for his daily media briefing. Clear. Composed. Authoritative. Combative. Humorous (he has good relations with press people, and checks on their well-being from time to time as they, too, hole up in the Senate). The major media are covering him in a way, that had they done that with Roxas, he would be President now.

      The President may be getting off scott free in terms of legal lumps, but in terms of publicity lumps, he is getting smashed pretty good. Also Trillanes expects to start investigating Guevarra/Calida for how they handled the matter.

      • edgar lores says:

        Where is the demand that Duterte revoke his baseless Executive Order?

        Where is the demand for him to apologize?

        There is nothing in the press.

        • Right, there is no outrage of that kind. But there have been relentless critical articles on the President’s move from columnists and a couple have opined that Duterte will have to jettison Calida. The Admin seems to keep doubling down on the persecution, bringing Gazmin in as a culprit and today saying Trillanes was selected because he was the leader of the uprisings . . . they are making stuff up as they go. But there is no popular movement, true. No demand for withdrawal, no demand for apology. It is presented by the Admin as a live, legitimate case and the press report it that way in the news.

          • It is fascinating all the historical dirt being dug up on Roque. The latest is a 2010 appeal from some 100 or so dignitaries for amnesty for the coup/mutiny plotters to bring an end to the saga. Harry Roque signed it, number 42 on the list, representing a citizens’ group.


          • edgar lores says:

            It is very telling that Duterte’s modus operandi is underhanded. And unless there is the right kind of outrage — a demand for accountability — at his outrageousness, then things will go from worse to worst.

            The underhandedness is shown by the facts and Duterte’s expectations:

            o He left the Executive Order to be executed by Guevara and his minions while he was away.
            o He did not consult Lorenzana — his alter ego on this military matter.
            o He expected the arrest of Senator Trillanes to be a fait accompli on his return.
            o He expected he would succeed as he did before in the cases of De Lima and Sereno.

            He deflects responsibility to Calida. He says he cannot say no to Calida. The deflection and the admission are virtual proofs of the baselessness of the Executive Order.

            So: What and where is his responsibility?

            He passes the ball to the Supreme Court as the RTC judges have, in a way, recused themselves.

            If the SC upholds the petition of Trillanes, Trillanes wins but Duterte does not lose. Yes, Duterte is weakened but he has time (more than 3 years) to do more mischief. Trillanes has less than a year before the end of his term; after that, he loses his podium.

            If the SC dismisses the petition, Trillanes loses his freedom and Duterte wins big time. Not only can he create more mischief, he can do it with greater impunity. He will have struck three home runs, and he is still at bat.

            Whatever the outcome of the SC decision, all the charges that Trillanes hurled against Duterte — liar, coward, corrupt, drug lord, murderer, stupid — are for naught… because most everybody suspects that at least 4 of these 6 charges are true anyway.

            And if a week is a lifetime in politics, what is more than 3 years? With our amnesia, it may well be that Trillanes will be forgotten.

            The original sin was the signing of the Executive Order. It should not have been signed. It should not have seen the light of day. Yet there is no outrage at the original sin and just a little bit on the sinner.

            • Well, of course I won’t argue with you on those points, but the reality on the ground is that the Philippines has a President who does not follow laws, civil behavior, or even rational thinking. So the expectation that he ‘would’ is very, very far away from the judgment that he ‘should’. It just doesn’t happen like that. I think the Philippines is entering a period of economic stagnation and struggles for regular people, and especially poor people. Prices are already exorbitant and people are cutting back on needed foods like fresh vegetables. So the cycle of misery for the Philippines continues and Duterte is still respected, though that level of respect (satisfaction, actually) is heading downward. People in government see the lunacy of the Trillanes charge and know the President is “losing it”, I’m sure. Don’t try too hard to make sense of it. There is none.

              • By the way, here is President Aquino’s statement on the amnesty charge against Senator Trillanes: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1030208/aquino-says-all-others-given-amnesty-should-also-be-arrested

                He makes sense. As for Senator Trillanes being forgotten, well, that is Destiny’s realm and anything can happen.

              • NHerrera says:

                Don’t try too hard to make sense of it. There is none.

                Good advice to the oldies like me.

              • edgar lores says:

                NHerrera, No.

                We are here to make sense of it.

                I find that attitude a surrender to defeatism.

                If we do not make sense of it, then we are doomed.

              • Yes, but to make sense of it, you have to drop your own moral platform.

              • NHerrera says:

                I believe the Administration has a penchant of using its version of Dynamic Optimization a topic that has a scientific ring to it. The problem is the optimization is done with a very limited view of objective, time and space. This is exemplified in the Trillanes caper, but done too in other areas such as the economics of rice production and imports. “Boss, if we do this and this then we get this and this.” The Boss: “OK then, go.”

              • Yes, very reactive and short-term thinking. Agree.

              • NHerrera says:


                When Stephen, the first Christian to be martyred, was killed by being stoned to death, Paul was present. Paul supported the killing.

              • NHerrera says:

                Oops, wrong placement: the above should come after the comment of Will and my comment.

              • NHerrera says:


                My note does sound like defeatism. It is really a combination of things and not unadulterated defeatism. My continued following of TSH and associated comments as well as making my own comments — some of which I hope are sensible — may show that I have not given up. I try to put a technical spin to happenings in my spare moments, including Game Theoretic ones, but keep them to myself because sleep-inducing or pedantic and I am not satisfied. I also try some corny humor as some sort of sanity-defense mechanism. Count my quote of Joe’s note as one such (but one I still believe as having a measure of truth and usefulness in it — viewed at a certain angle) to keep this old man’s sanity [mine, not Joe’s 🙂 ]

              • I keep getting a crick in my neck from checking out all the angles. Might have to go back to beer. 🙂

              • NHerrera says:


  15. Ying says:

    Trillanes is the best example of a man of character. A character makes a person. Whatever position he will run during the election I’ll support him.

  16. Andres 2018. says:

    As i see it, Trillanes is not at all a man of morals (contrary to the claims of everyone here in TSoH).
    “Not a man of morals” means here that he is not afraid to take an ingenious method to attain his goal. I may be wrong to call him “not a man of morals”, but i could not find a more suitable description of a man who is willing to take a dirty road to get on his destination. Maybe his goal may justify his means, but then, i believe that a true man of moral will consider both the method and the goal. Why Trillanes is not a man of morals? You can see it on the things he did, the mutiny, the China backchanneling, and the supposed tandem with PDuterte when he was running for VP.

    • I think you confuse morals with laws. His mutiny and coup exercises were in protest of Arroyo corruption, which were the immoral deeds. His acts were moral. The back channel work was clearly done within the bounds of legal and moral authority, seeking and succeeding in pulling the Philippines and China back from a confrontational brink. It was China that acted immorally by refusing to abide by the agreement to withdraw all ships. We have no clear understanding of what Duterte and Trillanes talked about, but I presume you are making the point that Duterte is immoral, so Trillanes must be, too. Well, facts would support the first but not the second because we don’t know what they discussed. Many people have dealt with Duterte in Davao seeking votes from his region. That is politics, not immorality.

      Once again, you stretch the bounds of discussion into some netherworld of surreal thinking and trolling, and I’d advise you to give it up.

      • Andres 2018. says:

        No trolling here Joe.

        Mutiny. Yes i give you this, thats why i said i am maybe wrong to call it contrary to morals.

        China backchannel. I do believe that there is nothing wrong about back channels, it is a common practice. To recall, according to Aquino, Trillanes offered himself to do the backchannel with China which Aquino agreed. According to the Palace, the back channel efforts of Trillanes was of minimal success. What were the things agreed between PH and CN on that backchannel? It was the sequential withdrawal of Chinese vessels on Scarborough, sequential and not unilateral, thats why China retained three vessels on Scarborough. What was the condition that was agreed for China to pull out the remaining vessels? It is that Philippines will not raise the issue on the ASEAN Regional Forum held in Cambodia that time. This was all because of the effort of Trillanes’ backchannel, when the backchannel was ended Trillanes said that only three Chinese vessels remained on Scarborough. However, Philippines internationalized the issue in the ASEAN Regional Forum, crying foul of China’s intrusion on Philippine Territories. Why did the Philippines violated the agreement done during Trillanes’ back channels? It is because Aquino and his cabinets favored and voted for the wants of then DFA Sec Del Rosario. I believe you know this things about Del Rosario so i wont go any further. What the public know that time was that, Philippines and China agreed for a unilateral withdrawals of their vessels from Scarborough, Philippines withdraw but China did not, and so because China did not abide with the agreement Philippines filed a case on the Tribunal. I think this is also the information you know that i would understand you said China is immoral because they did not abide with the agreement. The public was made to believe that the deployment of numerous Chinese vessels in Scarborough was the reason why Philippines filed the case in the first place, and so, the anti-China sentiments brewed that time. However, the deployment of numerous Chinese vessels (where it should be only three vessels) was not the cause, but rather the effect of the Philippines flip-flopping between what was agreed in the backchannel of Trillanes and that of what the DFA did. If you judge that China is immoral since they broke what was agreed, they are not, it was the Philippines.

        Back to the morality of Trillanes, i would like to note that according to Aquino, it was Trillanes himself who ask for the job (Trillanes claimed it was the other way). There it rings the bell, did China approach Trillanes to be their man? And Trillanes willingly complied thats why there is the backchannel which if you look at it, very well favored with China’s objective? Further, Trillanes did not merely seek for votes their in Davao, he seeks Duterte’s tandem, very much possible if someone is looking to the possibility that both of them have common denominator that time, that is China. Note also, that between the word war of Trillanes and Enrile, the later called Trillanes a traitor to his country for Trillanes to say to China that the Philippines does not care about Scarborough Shoal (a more accurate statement base on the memos of the then ambassador to China is that Trillanes disclosed to China that the Philippines have no military capability to protect its coasts).

        Some of what i said especially in the backchannel with China were marked as “confidential” during that time. Feel free to research on the back channel issue maybe our conclusions will agree.

        • Interesting response, full of details which I presumed are received from the Chinese side directly. Senator Trillanes stated that the details of the pullout remain classified so I won’t even try to respond to that. But I’m not sure how China claims high moral ground by occupying a shoal that is clearly within the Philippine EEZ. As to the morality of Trillanes, I will take your view as a political position and not try to respond on something that I don’t have details on (Enrile). Others who are familiar with the incident may wish to respond.

          • Andres 2018. says:

            Additional information: None of the information i mentioned (prior to this) was from the Chinese side. This is the information from the Chinese side. On the heat of PH-CN Scarborough stand off, there was a meeting between a US diplomat and a Chinese vise foreign minister. The resolution of that meeting was that China will take into consideration the mutual withdrawal of Philippine and Chinese vessels on Scarborough. To China, it was not a done deal, it was just merely an option to consider depending on the result of Philippines (Trillanes) and China’s back channel. However, US take this as a completed deal with China, not knowing that the result of the back channel between Philippines and China is different than what the US believed. Back to the Philippines, Del Rosario received a call from the US, directing him to pull out the Philippine vessels from the Scarborough. And so, Philippines did follow, believing the US, disregarding the agreements done between Trillanes’ and China’s back channel. If you ask China, yes, US encourage the eventual disagreements between Philippines and China.

            • Thanks, Andres. I have no idea of how to verify what you say, and can only say that, from the Philippine side, the matter is classified and I have zero contacts with US officials. I am impressed with the details of what you report, which I suppose is within the range of reason, and not just something to be found in Ludlum novels. So we have five parties engaged in this scenario: Del Rosario, Trillanes, China, the US, and Aquino. Some seem to have had different information than others. China only knew what China knew. I’ll accept that as fact, to your advantage.

              • @Andres, I have removed you from the moderation bucket because I believe these last two comments from you are not trolling, and provide information that readers can take into their calculations. I do encourage you not to overreach to push a political agenda.

            • chemrock says:

              I think we should stop this useless issue of discussion. It’s a he-said-I-said-they-said dump. Nobody knows the real stuff. As to the 3 Chinese vessels remaining, it’s all BS. I stand by an old blog I wrote. Everybody left the vicinity shortly after del Pillar’s departure — it was typhoon season. The Chinese returned after that. That’s Act II.

            • Do you know anything about the OVP’s email being spoofed to send a nasty e-mail to Maria Ressa? It is disturbing that it happened after I gave you the link to the website here at TSOH when you were asking about the VP’s accomplishments. VP’s website is public but the coincidence of the mischief is what made me “shookt.”

  17. Delita Elloren says:

    What an eloquent piece of information/details.Thank you.

  18. andrewlim8 says:


    I got an advance copy of the President’s speech tomorrow, 11 Sept at 3pm, the hour of mercy.

    11 September 2018
    Manila, Philippines

    Magandang hapon.

    Druga, druga, druga, druga

    Tanginang inflation!

    Tanginang exchange rate!

    Druga druga druga druga

    Druga druga druga druga

    hi hi hi

  19. I see this saga as the reawakening of Filipinos to who they really are. SenTri demonstrates the power of the citizenry to stop injustice and the status quo by speaking truth to power. He comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable. He may have not win this round because the incumbent government is rigged heavily against his favor. This administration is heavily populated by people with fascistic tendencies. They consistently flout the prevailing law/Constitution but use it when it suit their vengeful and oppressive acts. SenTri is opening of the eyes of many to what Filipinos have become and some officials may choose to be righteous even in the face of overwhelming odds.

    The culture of fear and intimidation had been long the status quo in PH together with justice of convenience. It resulted in a culture of silence and apathy. Isn’t it time to bring back the “Bayan ng Magiting.”? PH is a land of patriots. Every Filipino should see the movies “Heneral Luna” and “Goyo” to refresh their memories of the valor and courage that is genetically programmed in all Filipinos.

    Mariah Carey’s song, “Hero,” says it all:

    “And then a hero comes along
    With the strength to carry on
    And you cast your fears aside
    And you know you can survive
    So when you feel like hope is gone
    Look inside you and be strong
    And you’ll finally see the truth
    That a hero lies in you”

    • Hey, JP!!!

      Been researching more on Senator Trillanes myself. I like etymology so I Googled “TRILLANES” but to no avail. Though I did find “LLANES” which is related to wool, so Spanish wool 😉 .

      “Tri- ” I’d assume is the prefix for 3, as in TRIREME, for the 3 levels of oarsmen.

      (the trireme design lasted even til https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Lepanto in 1571, for context Magellan landed in the Philippines in 1521, died there in 1522, the Battle of Lepanto was Catholic Europe’s stop of Ottoman spread, soon after Protestant Europe would be ascendant, after Catholic victory at the Battle of Lepanto the Catholics took their act on the road in attempt to invade England in 1588 where the Spanish famously lost their Armada, decimated.)

      So Senator Trillanes can be viewed a the trireme, the Mediterranean’s choice design. But is he ready for open ocean battle? Or maybe Trillanes is Queen Elizabeth, a new leader for a new Europe, a new shift of poer, whose speech at Tilbury is still celebrated by the Brits, worth the read IMHO:

      My loving people

      We have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit our selves to armed multitudes, for fear of treachery; but I assure you I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people. Let tyrants fear. I have always so behaved myself that, under God, I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and good-will of my subjects; and therefore I am come amongst you, as you see, at this time, not for my recreation and disport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live and die amongst you all; to lay down for my God, and for my kingdom, and my people, my honour and my blood, even in the dust.

      I know I have the body of a weak, feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm; to which rather than any dishonour shall grow by me, I myself will take up arms, I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field.

      I know already, for your forwardness you have deserved rewards and crowns; and We do assure you on a word of a prince, they shall be duly paid. In the mean time, my lieutenant general shall be in my stead, than whom never prince commanded a more noble or worthy subject; not doubting but by your obedience to my general, by your concord in the camp, and your valour in the field, we shall shortly have a famous victory over these enemies of my God, of my kingdom, and of my people.

      • The speech read both eloquently here:

      • Juana Pilipinas says:

        He sure could be the vehicle (trireme) for Filipinos to bring back the sanity in governance. PH used to have politicians steeped in fortitude and moral moorings. It is not ignorant of genuine good governance.

        “… is he ready for open ocean battle?” He is already in an open and merciless ocean. So far, he is still upright and not taking water. It is my hope that he will remain afloat and in the end, more seaworthy from surviving the perfect storm.

  20. Deutsche Welle has interviewed Trillanes: https://www.dw.com/en/philippine-senator-antonio-trillanes-president-duterte-wanted-me-killed/a-45429167

    BUT battle tanks have been seen on EDSA, and military trucks at Trinoma just hours ago..

  21. caliphman says:

    The Supreme Court hearing next week on Trillanes’s request for a TRO on his imminent arrest is a monumental test if there is hope for the survival of constitutional democracy in the Philippines. There are so many fundamental constitutional principles that are in conflict with Duterte’s amnesty nullification and arrest order that it would be premature to apprehend Trillanes before the SC rules on the constitutionality of the proclamation itself. The SC will be tested on whether its fealty to Duterte will overcome what clearly appears to be a fatally flawed proclamation issued based on errorneous facts and law. Duterte and Calida’s calculation is that the regime and the SC can weather the public outcry and protest of unfair, rigged political decisions just as it did with De Lima and Sereno. If Filipinos are content to just plod and survive with yoke of another dictatorship around their necks, then they are nothing but a country of thick-skinned carabaos.

  22. 18 possible senatorial candidates for the Liberal Party were named by Kiko Pangilinan. Who are your pick? Anyone not named that you feel can arrest the blooming red tide in PH? I, myself, want retired Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to be part of the line up. Maybe Kim Henares, and Grace Pulido-Tan too. Wouldn’t the Senate be a force to reckon with if these ladies join the ranks?


  23. Venilda Luceno says:

    This gives me hope. … for our country and for our countrymen.

  24. NHerrera says:

    Credit raters cautious on political noise

    Among the political noise are those associated with De Lima, Sereno, and lately, Trillanes.


  25. NHerrera says:

    Here is a relevant essay by one of our often referred to analyst-opinion writers, Heydarian:

    He writes about “Duterte’s Peak” coinciding with the Trillanes caper and referenced two theorists one a Russian, the other a German — Ivan Ilyin, Carl Schmitt. He writes:

    Drawing on Ilyin’s and Schmitt’s theses, it can be argued that Mr. Duterte has already reached the end of his political honeymoon. Likely, we are witnessing a “Duterte peak.”

    In mature democracies, political honeymoons tend to be around six months to one year … In tropical Philippines, however, honeymoons, both in the romantic and political sense, tend to be longer.

    In fact, they can extend well into the third year of the presidency, hence the usually strong performance of incumbent parties during midterm elections. Sure, the latest surveys show that Mr. Duterte’s approval ratings remain high. But his numbers are not historically exceptional when one looks at his predecessors in comparable stages.

    And this is where the true relevance of Mr. Duterte’s decision to recall a de facto warrantless arrest order against Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV comes in. It reflected the limits of his power to act arbitrarily from the bully pulpit of the presidency.

    Amid domestic backlash against his Beijing-friendly diplomacy, Mr. Duterte has also begun to recalibrate his foreign policy by adopting an increasingly critical stance on China’s militarization of the West Philippine Sea.

    Moreover, his federalism agenda, facing widespread criticism, seems to be going nowhere. And the uptick in inflation, combined with slowing growth and the falling currency, is undermining his support base among the masses.

    Of course, Mr. Duterte’s presidency can persist for years to come, and a revolutionary government is still a possibility. Years from now, however, historians may look at this moment as the beginning of the end of the arbitrary rule and “state of exception” under Dutertismo.


    • Micha says:

      Paranoia has set into the skull of the criminal from Davao. The incompetence in this administration is manifesting everywhere – from Pinol to Calida to Villar. Every attentive Filipino should realize by now this is not going to get any better.

      If duterte has any morsel of concern left for the well being of the country he should consider resigning now.

      Barring that, and if the seduction of power is just too strong to resist, and if the de Castro led supreme court hands a favorable ruling on 572, let a democratic and popular uprising begin!

  26. Rosita perey says:

    ” He is a rock in terms if character, in terms of work ethics, in terms of honor and honesty” and this is precisely why i admire Sen. Trillanes. These are the characters we need as president.

  27. mj says:

    I just hope Filipinos shall rise from a heavy blows of false promises of current governance

  28. mj says:

    I just hope Filipinos shall rise from a heavy blows of false promises of current governance

  29. Please note, for the record, that Senator Trillanes responded to Chemrock’s comments early in the thread. I’m sorry the system does not allow me to move the comments to directly follow Chemrock’s note, but it is well worth reading. In fact, I’ll repeat it here:

    In connection with the comment of Chemrock on September 11 at 11:45am, let me just provide the following clarifications:

    I met Duterte in April 2015, in Ortigas not in Davao. The meeting was set-up by our common friend to explore the possibility for a team-up in 2016. However, at the onset, Duterte said that he has no intention to run for the presidency. So, what was supposed to be an exploratory meeting turned into a social conversation. I took it as an opportunity to know the man beyond the myth because prior to this meeting, I only met him on a couple of political events.

    Unfortunately, during the entire conversation, Duterte never mentioned anything about his vision or even proposed solutions to our country’s problems. Instead, he spent the whole time bragging about the people he killed and the graphic details about how he killed them. It seemed as though he was trying to impress me since he assumed that, being a former soldier, I’d be into those kinds of things. But the effect to me was quite the opposite. I left that meeting with an impression that Duterte is a psychologically disturbed person or, more pointedly, a dangerous man with a hitman’s psyche.

    Prior to that conversation, what I knew of Duterte was only limited to his Dirty Harry reputation similar to that of Mayor Fred Lim. I was not yet aware of his actual murderous ways and his corrupt activities. It was only in April 2016 when we had the AMLC documents showing that he had billions deposited in his bank accounts.

    We were also unaware of the 2009 CHR investigation regarding the Davao Death Squad headed by then CHR Chairperson Leila de Lima, because we were still in detention during that time.

    After that meeting, I reported to my Magdalo companions about my conversation with Duterte and we made a collective decision that should he ever decide to run, we must do everything we can to prevent him from becoming the president of our country.

    • edgar lores says:

      More power to you, Senator.

      And may the Force be with you.

    • madlanglupa says:

      As someone said, PRRD was no more different from the hard-drinking lush uncle who boasted of conquests.

    • I really appreciate these on the ground, granular stuff, Joe , adds great texture (also this Andres2018 fella’s commentary, good stuff).

    • LG says:

      Thank u Joe.

    • LG says:

      God bless you and keep you safe, Senator. I pray no RCT issues a warrant of arrest.

    • NHerrera says:

      Thank you Joe for the blog that brought chemrock to comment to ask the important question; thank you Senator Trillanes for the timely and meaningful response. It takes a load off the minds of people here in TSH. And to echo the words of our colleague, edgar, may the Force be with you however you interpret that Force — the religious in us interpret it as the Divine Spirit. Our regards to your family and others who actively supported and continue to support you, including your Senate Colleagues.

    • chemrock says:

      @Senator Trillanes

      Thank you for the clarification. There is no reason to doubt the veracity. The monologue that you had to bear is simply in character of the gentleman from Davao.

      If you have to leave the Senate building, I wish you godspeed. Be that you are blessed, for you carry the burdens of the nation that many do not understand as they are unable to see the bigger picture beyond your personal predicaments.

      Just like Daniel, against whom wicked administrators and satraps could find no corruption nor negligence charges against him, they device a poorly concocted charge to place before the king. Chances are, just like Daniel, you too will have to face the lions in the den. I pray for you but I know someday there will be a King Darius who will throw those wicked perpetrators to the same lions.

    • sonny says:

      It is indeed satisfying to see that the good will that is pervasive in Joe’s blog & in-depth commentaries, is reaching the ears of people in the halls of power & authority. This gives hope to an otherwise dismal state of affairs that have been displayed for the past two years. Thank you, Joe and the TSH readership.

  30. Andres 2018. says:

    Last week, i am discussing with a DDS friend that this move of Team Duterte is all but a loss-loss. The arguments brought about by Team Duterte to support the allegation that Trillanes is void are all rebuttable. Initially, PDuterte issued an EO stating that Trillanes amnesty are void ab initio because of two reasons, he failed to submit his application and he did not admit his quilt on coup d etat and rebellion charges. Then, the burden of proof shifted to Trillanes for him to show his application form with indication that it was received by the DND because the records of DND are no where to be found. This argument is scrap, when you apply for any government clearances, the receiving clerk never give you a received copy your application, instead, the clerk will you give a claim slip after you complied all the requirements, the same would apply to Trillanes’ amnesty case. You cannot pressure Trillanes to produce an application form with a stamped received on it because he has none in the first place. Interestingly enough, Trillanes mentioned this argument and rebuttal on his press con last yesterday, September 10.

    The second argument, Trillanes did not admit guilt on coup d etat and rebellion charges in writing. If you look at it, this is a strong argument, non admission of the specific guilt on charges of coup d etat and rebellion. However, the fault of this argument is that Proclamation No. 75 of PNOY states not the admission on specific crimes of coup d etat and rebellion, rather, the “admission of participation in Oakwood and Manila Peninsula incidents…” True to the mandate of Constitution, it will be the President that will determine what offenses are to be granted with amnesty on, and its not even the specific crime of coup d etat and rebellion. The applicants, whom the amnesty where intended for, is not obligated to admit guilt on crimes not sited upon on the proclamation.

    And recently, since the previous two arguments are very much stupid and weak, comes the third argument. Trillanes amnesty is void because it was not the President who grant it, but the then Secretary of DND, Gazmin. This argument, is again bullcrap. Someone from Trillanes’ side may say, yes, the President delegated the granting of Amnesty to Gazmin, its delegation, Gazmin is the Secretary of DND, its fine. Actually, PNoy could not delegate the granting of amnesty, so if delegation of powers is the rebuttal of Trillanes’ camp, its losing rebuttal. However, the GRANTING of amnesty was never delegated in the first place! It was PNoy who signed the Proclamation No. 75 and not Gazmin. It was the Proclamation 75 that the Congress concurred with. What was delegated to DND was the acceptance, processing and approving of the applicants qualification, not the granting of amnesty. In fact, when Gloria Arroyo granted amnesty to the rebels, the same process was done, the acceptance and processing of applications of the rebels are delegated to the National Committee on Social Integration.

    PDuterte looks so stupid because of Calida and Panelo and maybe Roque’s foolish advices. PDuterte should not give in to the demands of vultures besides him for the sake of “utang na loob.”

    • LG says:

      Thank you Andres 2018.

      • Andres 2018. says:

        I believe that Team Duterte plans no longer to focus on the first and second argument. Hopefully, they realized that it was stupid. Their legal basis now lies on the third argument, the so called delegation of PNoy to Gazmin. If the Supreme Court will look at all the arguments and counter arguments, it would be difficult to make the voiding of Trillanes’ amnesty looks legal. Well, given that majority of the Justices are with Duterte, they should have a leaning, but they should make that leaning looks legal, and it would be very difficult for them, or even impossible.

        Conclusion: Win for Trillanes.

        Unsolicited advice: Time for Trillanes to make Duterte looks stupid, in a remarkable manner. If Trillanes missed this, its an opportunity loss.

    • chemrock says:

      Thank you Andres for being able to see the woods for the trees.

      Whilst I have no arguments against what you wrote here, and these are what almost every Filipino are focused on, and it’s a huge miscarriage of justice on the good senator who must now engage in legal battle, I consider them Cinderella matters. So the TRO denial by SC and the 2 RTC deliberations keep the nation on tetherhooks. They blur the real national issue that nobody talks about.

      The crying issue is we have a whole nation, with its chief executive, held to ransom by sheenigans concocted by a minor executive prepared to do great damage to the country in order to protect his self-interest in the corruption investigation into his commercial side dealings. That a chief executive is unable or unwilling to discern this, and a whole host of officials chose not to seek higher moral road but prefer instead to be willing instruments of this abhorrent act, demonstrates in no uncertainty, that this is a failed administration.

      • edgar lores says:

        Chemrock, thanks. Exactly my point.

        We had (have?) a hostage situation. And Senator Trillanes was the hostage.

      • LG says:

        Bongo Go’s projects are on the short list of Senator Trillanes to be probed. Newspapers are still into the sensations of the moment. Perhaps the opinion columnists in PDI will pick up and write about Calida’s alleged conflicts of interest, corruption and obstruction of judicial probe, that Chemrock I think suggests in his latest entry above.

        • The investigation of Bong Go is more cursory than the Calida inquiry, which I sense from Senator Trillanes’ remarks today will be pursued with determination. He sees the amnesty escapade as entirely the brainchild of Calida, and Calida broke laws to try to make Trillanes look guilty. It was dismaying to see the President, led by Panelo, today continue to pursue this nonsense, trying to pin culpability on Gazmin. How does he think the military will look at it if Gazmin, the guy who brought them ships and planes and pride, is named as some kind of conniver in coup attempts? I really wonder as to the thinking of this batch of attorneys without portfolio.

        • LG says:

          In my last sentence (my entry dated sept. 11, 2018 at 7:09 pm), I meant ‘legislative’, not ‘judicial’ probe.

  31. sup says:

    SC reject the motion for TRO..

    • Andres 2018. says:

      SC then played the Pontius Pilate, washing of hands eh? Well, thats the best thing that they can do in this situation, for the perspective of practicality. Let Team Duterte answers Trillanes’ petition. Let them argue with each other, wait for the one with the best arguments and then decide the case.

    • The basis was that the Duterte government has stated unequivocally that Senator Trillanes cannot be arrested without a court warrant, and the Department of Defense has said court martial actions would not be pursued without a court acting first. So there really is nothing to restrain. Senator Trillanes is assured of due process. The matter will go to Makato courts with hearings scheduled in Court 148 on the 13th and Court 150 on the 14th.

      • Plus, the petition seeking to nullify Proclamation No. 572 as unconstitutional will be deliberated by the SC after parties offer their comments (within 10 days). It is not known how the individual justices voted on the TRO.

      • Senator Trillanes in a media briefing just completed said the SC ruling was positive in that it showed the Court was acting independently. The court’s finding was carefully worded to give the President a way to save face, and protected Senator Trillanes’ right to due process. The Senator is seeking confirmations from the AFP and I believe also Executive to make sure that the understanding he is not subject to arrest is accurate. He may leave the Senate tonight or tomorrow if they receive the needed assurances. He thanked Senator Sotto and other senators for representing the Senate as an independent institution, and thanked all his supporters from around the world who prayed for him and offered words of encouragement. He refused to counter-attack Sal Panelo for whatever unkind things he said. Reporters laughed.

        He also described the President’s concerns about destabilization as “fantasy”.

        Also, he will go after Calida for breaking various laws in orchestrating the arrest order (e.g., falsifying documents).

      • LG says:

        May the RCTs be guided by the Divine Spirit, as well, for crystal clarity, in their decision to grant or not a search warrant.

      • NHerrera says:

        Indulge me with this note. From the unfolding events, the process of climbing-down that wicked tree is now a likely scenario. The important players seems acting reasonably well interpreting events and unstated explicit “signals” correctly.

        • LG says:

          Indulged, NH. Optimistic. The RCTs would not want to be besieged by protesters to a granted warrant of arrest. Or would they dare (on a call from you know who) to invite an uprising, thus providing basis for the declaration of a Rev Gov or something to the effect..

      • LG says:

        Hearings could be postponed because of Ompong.

  32. andrewlim8 says:

    ON DUTERTE’S WORD FOR THE DAY: ” Armed Stragol”

    Ano ba yung armed stragol?

    Yun ba yung labanan ng Avengers at ni Thanos?

    Yung obosan ng lahi? hi hi hi

  33. edgar lores says:


    1. Post on September 10, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    1.1. Claims that “Trillanes is not at all a man of morals” for 3 reasons

    o The mutiny
    o China backchanneling
    o Tandem with PDuterte when he was running for VP

    2. Post on September 11, 2018 at 11:01 am

    2.1. Backtracks on the mutiny charge and admits he was “wrong to call it contrary to morals.”

    2.2. Backtracks that “there is nothing wrong with back channels, it is a common practice.”

    2.3. Repeats charge of the tandem with Duterte.

    3. Post on September 11, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    3.1. Reveals that it Trillanes backchannel efforts are rendered useless because of Secretary Del Rosario’s roasting of China.

    3.2. In effect, Trillanes did well in backchanneling efforts.

    4. Post on September 11, 2018 at 11:26 am

    4.1. Senator Trillanes clarifies that he did not seek to run as the vice-presidential candidate for Duterte.


    5.1. Chemrock did question the morality of the mutiny and Trillanes’ meeting with Duterte. But his post was analytical and his tone was not judgmental.

    5.2. In contrast, the original post (item 1) was clearly judgmental and an attempt – a feeble one — to smear Trillanes. It turns out — mostly by the commenter’s admissions — that the claim that “Trillanes is not at all a man of morals” is bunkum.

    • The last posts by Andres reflect a detailed knowledge of the affairs of Scarborough. I have mused in the past, due to variations in style of expression, that he is actually a team of people, maybe holed up in the Chinese Embassy or some nondescript office building in Makati or that military internet center in Shanghai that was featured in the news a couple of years ago. However the latest iteration has a good feel for the tensions between Del Rosario and Trillanes, and an awareness that the sequencing of the pullout of ships was key to the understandings or misunderstandings that emerged. Perhaps we have been passed up the line of authority for more intricate, and therefore respectful, handling.

  34. karlgarcia says:

    Question to LCX,
    Do you hereby abdicate the title of Chief Troll to Andres2018?

    • I’m temporarily shelving the title, as I welcome forthright comments from both. But you are still Librarian, Chief Tanod, and whatever other titles you have earned through your yeoman’s work here.

    • LOL, karl… I think I’ll keep it for now even if honorary only (not official any longer), simply because Andres2018 has not yet proved tenacity & resilience, what many call ‘stick-to-it’ -ness. But I do bow down to his granular stuff (though no way of verifying, but adds to what analysts call counterfactuals) he actually reminds me of that Primer fellow (remember him?).

      • I’d at scope too, vastness of knowledge 😉 .

        As for,

        “Trillanes is not at all a man of morals” ; very similar to my, assume all these folks are dirrrty.

        Regarding how to judge the character of these politicians, before we lionize and/or canonize (as in saint manufacturing), ask about his/her lifestyle, does he/she get transported around town in a Roman litter? does he enjoy extravagance? OR is he the opposite of the norm? Use this guy as your litmus test, where does Senator or President ____________ , compare to old Pepe:

        As good a test of character as any IMHO, karl, all the morals and ethics can be faked, mis-interpreted, etc. Results and lifestyle much easier to verify, just have more tea or coffee or drinks at the guy’s residence.

        Here’s a good article for your consideration:

        Machiavelli came to be associated with an Elizabethan term, “Old Nick,” used to denote the devil. There is a subject of modern psychology, known as the “dark triad,” which focuses on three malevolent personality traits: narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism.

        However, this deeply negative image of Machiavelli did not always exist. In the 17th and 18th centuries, a more positive view of Machiavelli emerged, with authors such as the Republican James Harrington referring to Machiavelli as “the prince of politicians.” During the Italian Renaissance, humanist Giovanni Battista Busini fondly described Machiavelli as “a most extraordinary lover of liberty.”

        This praise might seem confusing; after all, the word “Machiavellian” denotes someone who is cunning and unscrupulous. How could a man so devious and pragmatic be called a lover of liberty? The answer lies with Machiavelli’s other book, known as Discourses on Livy, which presents a very different image of his political beliefs.

        • NHerrera says:

          Lance, I have to thank you for pointing the reader [me] to this other book of Machiavelli, “Discourses on Livy.” I have read “The Prince” sometime back but not DOL (although for some reason I recall the book mentioned somewhere but not pursued reading it). Clearly Machiavelli was a great thinker as shown by these two books.

          • “Those cruelties we may say are well employed, if it be permitted to speak well of things evil, which are done once for all under the necessity of self-preservation, and are not afterwards persisted in, but so far as possible modified to the advantage of the governed. Ill-employed cruelties, on the other hand, are those which from small beginnings increase rather than diminish with time. They who follow the first of these methods, may, by the grace of God and man, find, as did Agathocles, that their condition is not desperate; but by no possibility can the others maintain themselves.”
            Chapter VIII: Of Those Who By Their Crimes Come to Be Princes (“the Prince“)

            NH, even w/out Machiavelli’s “Discourses on Livy” , he’s still top— and reads rather un-Machiavellian, just pragmatic IMHO.

            “The Discourses on Livy (Italian: Discorsi sopra la prima deca di Tito Livio, literally “Discourses on the First Decade of Titus Livy”) is a work of political history and philosophy written in the early 16th century (c. 1517) by the Italian writer and political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli, best known as the author of ‘The Prince’ (c. 1513). The Discourses were published posthumously with papal privilege in 1531.” Keep in mind Magellan landed in the Philippines 1521 (dying there in 1522).

            I read it here, https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/m/machiavelli/niccolo/m149d/ (enjoy! reading Machiavelli is good for prostate health 😉 )


            “I divide my officers into four groups. There are clever, diligent, stupid, and lazy officers. Usually two characteristics are combined. Some are clever and diligent — their place is the General Staff. The next lot are stupid and lazy — they make up 90 percent of every army and are suited to routine duties. Anyone who is both clever and lazy is qualified for the highest leadership duties, because he possesses the intellectual clarity and the composure necessary for difficult decisions. One must beware of anyone who is stupid and diligent — he must not be entrusted with any responsibility because he will always cause only mischief.” — Kurt Freiherr von Hammerstein-Equord, Commander-in-Chief of the Reichswehr.

            “In any specific action we always have the choice between the most audacious and the most careful solution. Some people think that the theory of war always advises the latter. That assumption is false. If the theory does advise anything, it is the nature of war to advise the most decisive, that is, the most audacious. Theory leaves it to the military leader, however, to act according to his own courage, according to the spirit of the enterprise and his self-confidence. Make your choice, therefore, according to this inner force; but never forget that no military leader has ever become great without audacity.” — CARL VON CLAUSEWITZ, Die Grundsätze des Kriegführens (PRINCIPLES OF WAR), 1812

  35. NHerrera says:

    For those inclined to the bygone notions of chivalry and the associated positive knightly codes, there is a likelihood at some future time of a real Iginuhit ng tadhana [Destined by Fate] to replace or erase the ugly thoughts that phrase brings to mind.

    • NHerrera says:

      [Not putting one on a pedestal just yet, but while googling, the Marcos family embarrassment of soldier Marcos’ fake medals came to mind, and by association the made-up film in praise of Marcos, “Igunihit ng Tadhana.” Hence the note above.]

  36. karlgarcia says:

    Panelo: About our economy ………….
    Duterte: My economic managers are looking into it.

    • NHerrera says:

      I saw a part of that video in the news. In a functioning democracy, you will have a news organization, such as even the Trump-friendly Fox News interview Trump. Here it has to be that lawyer-dandy Panelo who works as a legal adviser to Duterte. Oh, well.

      • karlgarcia says:

        oh, well.

      • It was a public trial of trillanes and assorted irritants with one witness (Duterte), one prosecuting attorney Panelo), and no defense attorney. The prosecuting attorney led the witness with immaculate reasoning through a litany of complaints. It was boring and comical, and foolish for the waste of everyone’s time.

        • NHerrera says:

          Bull’s eye!

        • NHerrera says:

          Seems your lawyerly skills honed by the likes of John Grisham is coming handy here. 🙂

        • Ancient Mariner says:

          It was pure pantomime.

        • Panelo is no Barbara Walters, Christiane Amanpour nor Diane Sawyer. Not even a Aling Winnie or Abunda special. Bong Go is right when he said that it will be showbiz style tete-a-tete. Panelo mostly asked leading questions and then helped in substantiating PRD’s answers. It is more of a tit-for-tat on what SenTri dished during his media conferences. This administration knows that PRD is losing his mojo as people are getting to know the “real” Sentri.

          IMHO, the tete-a-tete exposed a lot of PRD shortcomings instead of bolstering his image. Why was it not done by a well-known Filipino political journalist? Is it because his sycophants want to control the conversation and to protect PRD from hard hitting questions? I have a feeling that the target audience of this tete-a-tete are his DDS followers. He has to give them red meat so they will have ammunitions to attack SenTri.

          Karl, could you please go to Facebook and see what you can see on the newsfeed about the SC TRO? Thank you. I am told that those with free Facebook could only see headlines. Is that true? If that is the case, free Facebook users are being disinformed. Here are samples of the local headlines and tell me what will you perceive if you can’t read the their context:

          SC junks Trillanes’ TRO plea vs Duterte proclamation ~ PhilStar

          Supreme Court denies Trillanes TRO petition ~ Sun Star

          SC denies Trillanes’ petition for TRO ~ Rappler

          DOJ ‘very happy’ with Trillanes’ defeat at SC ~ Inquirer

          • Yes, free FB users only see headlines and texts, they can’t read blogs or articles.

            Of course the tite sa tite was for DDS. They may turn even more fanatical soon.

            • Thank you, Ireneo. PH media must be aware of that but why are they not doing anything about it?

            • Irineo, the paragraphs below mentioned the armored tanks.

              “Duterte also warned soldiers against “colluding” with Trillanes’ group as coup rumors swirled in the capital early on Tuesday after army trucks and armored vehicles were seen rolling down Manila’s main roads.

              The military quickly denied there were “sizeable movements of military aircraft or armored vehicles”.

              “There is no cause for alarm,” military spokesman Marine Colonel Edgard Arevalo told reporters, adding these were “routine movements that are properly coordinated”.”


              • Very interesting, JP. Thanks!

                DU30 (and Senator Trillanes) should pay close attention to Machiavelli’s Book III Chapter 6, of “Discourses on Livy”, where he advises—

                “There is, then, no greater misfortune for a prince than that a conspiracy should be formed against him; for it either causes his death, or it dishonors him. If the conspiracy succeeds, he dies; if it be discovered, and he punishes the conspirators with death, it will always be believed that it was an invention of the prince to satisfy his cruelty and avarice with the blood and possessions of those whom he had put to death. I will, therefore, not omit offering an advice to princes or republics against whom conspiracies may have been formed. If they discover that a conspiracy exists against them, they must, before punishing its authors, endeavor carefully to know its nature and extent, — to weigh and measure well the means of the conspirators, and their own strength. And if they find it powerful and alarming, they must not expose it until they have provided themselves with sufficient force to crush it, as otherwise they will only hasten their own destruction. They should therefore try to simulate ignorance of it, for if the conspirators should find themselves discovered, they will be forced by necessity to act without consideration.”

                As chemp says “softly softly catchee monkey”…

                “But when conspiracies are feeble, they can and ought to be crushed as promptly as possible; in such case, however, the two instances we shall quote, and which are almost the direct opposites of each other, should not in any way be imitated. The one is that of the above-named Duke of Athens, who, to prove his confidence in the attachment of the Florentines to him, had the man who denounced the conspiracy to him put to death. The other is that of Dion of Syracuse, who by way of testing the fidelity of some one whom he suspected ordered Callippus, in whom he had entire confidence, to pretend to be conspiring against him. Both, however, ended badly; the first discouraged the accusers, and encouraged those who were disposed to conspire; and the other paved the way for his own destruction, and was, as it were, the chief of the conspiracy against himself, as was proved by experience, for Callippus, being able to conspire with impunity against Dion, plotted so well that he deprived him of his state and his life.”

            • edgar lores says:

              Irineo, your translation of the French idiom to Pilipino is impeccable.

          • Could be. His target was not the yellows who roasted him mercilessly on twitter. I may have popped off once or twice, as we missionaries are inclined to do.

            • As to your last point, I tweeted:

              I don’t get PH news as to why the press report “SC denied TRO”. That headline presents it in win/lose terms with Trillanes the loser when Trillanes was quite happy that the SC declared there were no remaining arrest initiatives and therefore no need for a TRO. He actually won.

              It got a lot of likes and retweets, indicating it resonates . . .

              • Did you put it on Facebook? If so, what was the reaction there?

                I see these clipped headlines as a problem especially to the opposition candidates for 2019. Free FB users do not know the context of the news stories because they only have access to the headlines and minimal texts (Thank you, Irineo). Isn’t that disinformation? I think Facebook PH and the media using it should do something to change that before the 2019 election period.

              • No. Yes, it is definitely disinformation. It leaves exactly the opposite emotional impression, and that is what has defeated the ‘yellow’ cause in the past, all the win/lose headlines.

  37. Rion says:

    Seems like the odds and statistics are against any future Trillanes presidency since no losing Vice Presidential candidate ever became President in our history since 1898… unless we’ve got another record-breaker in Trillanes this coming 2022… or 2028?

  38. Weng Ilagan says:

    Didnt vote for him the 1st n 2nd time that he run … i didnt like his arrogant demeanor … but duterte made him look “presidentiable” 😄

    • NHerrera says:

      I appreciate your frank testimonial. In a varied form others have expressed similar sentiments here. I believe your comment effectively summarizes what the blog article is about.

    • chemrock says:

      His perceived “arrogance ” has been mentioned by many who judge a book by it’s cover. They fail to mention those moments of arrogance were directed towards persons and at moments who deserved that attitude. He gave those who deserved his come-ippance. These book cover judges never see his demeanour when he helped save lives at sea, going out to face danger where others ran, just like Mar hitting the mud first even before Yolanda struck Tacloban whilst the mayor of the town flees.

      Book cover judges do not like stern looks, they prefer kisses, especially on the lips. Does’nt matter if one is married or not. Book cover judges will say the solgen has a beautiful smile.

      • chemp, I noticed this in general with Filipinos there, on one hand they’re put off by upstarts but also in the same breath seem to fawn over strongman-ism, macho bs, this very (at least to American eyes) clumsy attempt at manliness, ex. many Filipinos had guns or knives and liked to show off, but in reality have never shot or even trained in Filipino knife/blade fighting– related to your book cover , i suppose. Or what I call a very shallow understanding of virility or manliness.

        I think though from my light reading of Sen. Trillanes that he he has the ability to impregnate Filipino minds with seeds of his will, soon Filipinos’ minds will be pregnant with the thought of Trillanes. Just a cursory look thru his social media, I see he knows how to reach the low , the middle , and hopefully the high borns of the Philippines. He’s definitely making love to the Filipino people, those oppose to him seems he ‘s raping them, but planting his seeds just the same. Thus virile. That’s the true test of virility not kissing women on stage.

        • chemrock says:

          In reality I have Filipino gentleman friends. In general my mind’s impression is the average Pinoy is a swaggering Robin Padilla or the prancing attny Topacia. Loud mouth, in-your-face, boorish. If you don’t know Padilla, just watch any advertisements that featured him. And yeah, they all want to show off their guns. I once was in a room where an ex-military gun emptied his pockets to produce 3 pistols on the table. I walked out of the room. Did’nt impress me – was my message to my colleagues.

      • Is it because a lot Filipinos are also “headline readers” and do not bother to dig deeper into personalities and issues?

        I learned through Irineo that the free Facebook users only have access to headlines and minimal text. Therefore, the free Facebook users get incomplete information from the media regularly. This is a problem that needs to be resolved before the 2019 election as sensationalized media headlines can break or make a candidate in PH.

      • George Yao says:

        The mayor of Tacloban did not flee Yolanda. He went on vacation to, of all places, his beach resort to ride out the storm. He was on CNN soon after the storm showing how he and his family barely escaped with their lives, not realizing he was showing how stupid and negligent he was. It would have been karma if he had drowned along with so many of his constituents.

    • If you asked the press people covering him at the Senate, I doubt they would describe him as arrogant. I found him to be direct, not arrogant.

  39. chemrock says:

    The Philippines is now a circus of buck-passing antics. The Solgen who is the brains behind the attempt to re-arrest Sen Trillanes for decade old coups for which he had been pardoned on grounds that the amnesty was void because the senator did not sign some forms nor admitted guilt. Like an attacking force trying to capitalise on the element of surprise, fully weaponised police and soldiers with FJP bravado descended on the Senate to arrest the senator. In their glee they forgot to bring along an arrest warrant. Or perhaps the police had been used to break down doors in barangays and dragged out suspected drug users and pushers. They forgot they were knocking on the doors of legislators of the Law. Then old videos turned up in socmed showing the senator submitting the official forms.

    Solgen : “Don’t blame me — the AFP lost their documents”.
    AFP : “There was an office relocation (or renovation??) and documents were lost that time
    Duterte : “Don’t look at me. Calida is the one who want this done. I just sign the 572 Proclaimation. There will be no arrest without warrants. We let the courts decide”
    RTC Court 148: “Hold it. We are not going to issue arrest warrants. Wait till Sep 13, we’ll discuss this (Hehehe – let Trillanes run to SC first)”
    RTC Court 150 : “No way. We are not issuing arrest warrants on your say so Mr DOJ Secretary. Wait till Sep 14, we will discuss this. (Hehehe — we let Court 148 make the decision first?”.
    SC : “Since President has said he will not arrest without court warrant, Trillanes is not going to get arrested. There is nothing for us to restrain. We let the courts have their say. (Damn it, they think we are stupid or what)”

    This admin is a joke. The whole bumbling series of events make a Pink Panther script like a Shakespearean play, if not for the fact that Trillanes life is under serious threat had he been arrested. What are the chances of Trillanes’ survival when a President had been quoted by a self-confessed assassin to have ordered his assasination, when persons in police custody, back handcuffed, have the habit and incredible capability of wrestling the guns of police officers whilst in the police car. Not to forget persons in police lock ups have the magic skill of materialising weapons, only to be shot dead at the specific opportune time when CCT cameras are under service. Under such circumstances only a brave man like Robin Padilla will surrender to the police. I don’t think Trillanes is a coward, for he has shown great courage before in his involvement in sea rescue operations in the Navy. He has shown great courage in standing up to a tyrant. In this particular situation, he is appreciates the statistics of deaths in police custody.

    • NHerrera says:

      [Last paragraph] SHUDDER!

    • “He has shown great courage in standing up to a tyrant. In this particular situation, he is appreciates the statistics of deaths in police custody.” Would you conclude then, chemp, that he has Virtù ?

      Virtù is a concept theorized by Niccolò Machiavelli, centered on the martial spirit and ability of a population or leader, but also encompassing a broader collection of traits necessary for maintenance of the state and “the achievement of great things.” from Wiki

      • Virtù, for Machiavelli, meant not “virtue” as we understand it today, no not moral virtue, but strength, power, virility, control, the ability to bend reality to your will, the ability to impose your will on others. Machiavelli’s other category, Fortuna, meant not “fortune” in a sense of a fortune in wealth , but luck, chance, or fate, known-unknowns as well as unknown-unknowns, fog of war, all the things you can’t foresee or control.

        So essentially, Machiavelli’s formula for success is the maximization of virtù and the minimization of fortuna, or the conquest by virtù of fortuna. It seems Senator Trillanes can strike and beat fortuna just as well as DU30 can, he does seem more virile, full of virtù.
        We’ll see… http://www.derekbobo.com/blog/post/28-the-zen-master

    • George Yao says:

      Trillanes is staying put in the Senate. His sources told him the order to arrest him has not been rescinded.

      • Thanks for that info. It rather paints the Supreme Court as loose with their judgment, attaching finality to the President’s statement that there would be no arrest without warrant when everyone knows he generally does not mean what he says. So the Supreme Court can be painted as gullible.

  40. caliphman says:

    Let me note that the SC TRO decision was a mixed bag favoring Trillanes and Duterte/Calida. To clearly appreciate this, one must differentiate between the issue of whether and how Trillanes can be arrested and the more fundamental judicial issue of whether Duterte can actually render void the senator’s amnesty just by simple proclamation without Congress concurring. The court declined granting Trillanes a TRO against arrest, not based on the legal arguments questioning the proclamation and the finality of his amnesty, the latter stopping any reinstatement of the prior RTC cases.The TRO petition argued that any arrest, whether issued by the military or civilian courts, should be restrained because of these issues.

    What the SC decided was to decline the TRO, not by addressing the arguments submitted by Trillanes, and simply indicating that an arrest without a court warrant was unlikely because Duterte announced the regime would no longer do so. As a consequence, while Trillanes seems free to leave the Senate and not face immediate arrest, it is no reprieve as it is a matter of days until the two RTC courts decide whether or not to issue arrest warrants. If they do, then Trillanes will have to file an appeal with the SC if these lower courts find him guilty on the reinstated 2011 cases.That may have to be done while in jail and with a new CJ Duterte gets to choose.

    • NHerrera says:

      You have, in two short paragraphs, clearly put together what the issue is facing Trillanes now (though I believe the others had covered similar thoughts, but scattered in the blog). Trillanes has to continue to nourish both mind and body for the binary eventualities. I understand he exercises regularly, and that is good as it may take time out from the turmoil in his mind. I understand though that in some, the best thoughts come when doing something outside paper, pen or computer/ smartphone, like shaving, etc.

      • “There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. When meeting with a sudden shower, you try not to get wet and run quickly along the road. But doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses, you still get wet. When you are resolved from the beginning, you will not be perplexed, though you will still get the same soaking. This understanding extends to everything.”

        Tsunetomo Yamamoto, The Hagakure: A code to the way of samurai

  41. Danniel din says:

    Very interesting article. I also saw him lately as a man who can lead this country. The question is how can he sustain this momentum til next presidential election? And how about his machinery, he is not a Roxas or an Aquino.

    • Good question about his machinery. He is a part of the united opposition which includes LP, Akbayan, Magdalena, and other groups. I suspect that will hold together until 2022 so he will have good support for whatever role he is assigned.

  42. Tony Cruzat Villanueva says:

    If that is his destiny I will vote for him.

  43. edgar lores says:

    On what basis though can the RTC courts issue an arrest warrant?

    Surely not on the basis of the Proclamation Order with its faulty reasoning that the amnesty was void ab initio. And re-opening the cases would constitute double jeopardy.

    Wouldn’t the RTC courts have to await a decision by the SC on the finality of the amnesty?

    Chicken and egg situation?

    • I’ve not seen the paperwork filed withe the courts published anywhere so it’s hard to know the reasoning. The SC said the courts were the proper place to deal with the legalities of amnesty. They’d do constitutionality of the President’s order.

    • Edwin Lacierda posted this tweet this morning:

      In the cases before the Makati RTC, the courts can only entertain “absence of an amnesty application” as the basis for the revocation. It is the only basis found in Proclamation 572. Others being invoked have no probative value. If the Proclamation does not contain it, trash it!

      • edgar lores says:


        1. From Proclamation Order 572, there are two relevant WHEREAS claims:

        o Whereas Trillanes “did not file an amnesty application form…”
        o Whereas Trillanes “never expressed his guilt…”

        1.1. Both claims have been disproved by the Senator and by the DND.

        1.2. The Gazmin theory cited by Duterte in the tete-a-tete is not in the Proclamation. Per Lacierda’s comment, this theory cannot be entertained by the RTC courts.

        1.3. It would seem from the above that the RTC courts cannot grant the DOJ request for a warrant of arrest.

        1.4. I think the constitutionality of amnesty revocation is not for the RTC courts to decide but for the SC. The RTC courts can only “judge the factual basis for voiding the amnesty” per Caliphman’s explanation.

        3. On this issue, I find it curious that the Constitutional provision cited by the Proclamation is Section 19, Article VII. This section says nothing about the power to revoke a grant of amnesty: And even if it did, the president cannot unilaterally revoke it since amnesty requires congressional concurrence.

        “Section 19. Except in cases of impeachment, or as otherwise provided in this Constitution, the President may grant reprieves, commutations, and pardons, and remit fines and forfeitures, after conviction by final judgment.

        He shall also have the power to grant amnesty with the concurrence of a majority of all the Members of the Congress.”

        3.1. Note that amnesty is not found in the first sentence and, therefore, can be granted before “final judgment.”

        • I can’t claim any particular expertise on the finer points of law in the Philippines, which I recognize can become the main issue or be abandoned with reckless disregard depending on the political conclusion needed, but it seems to me the two RTC courts, in denying the requests for immediate warrants, as much as said ‘Hold on there, bubba Calida, what are the facts here? The amnesties were signed, sealed, and delivered by all three branches of government, Executive, Legislative, and Judicial, and now we are supposed to throw all that out for one guy out of a 100 because of technicalities that are more the province of DOD record keeping than the Senator?”

          If they rule in the government’s favor, we can know that judges in the Philippines are intellectually bankrupt and politically enriched.

  44. sup says:

    It’s a stragol…….just when i want to become a vegetarian the double the prizes. 🙂

  45. caliphman says:

    The original RTC cases were dismissed when Trillanes was granted amnesty. If the amnesty is legally voided, then the original court proceedings would be resumed instead of Trillanes being prosecuted on the same charges again in new and separate court cased. The latter instance would be double jeopardy and not allowed by the constitution.

    The SC is a reviewer of cases heard in lower courts and is not a trier of facts. The RTC courts get to decide first whether the proclamation is constitutional and based on the evidence presented, judge the factual basis for voiding the amnesty and reaching a verdict on Trillanes’ guilt and innocence. If the courts rule that the case for voiding the amnesty is strong and that facts strongly support his guilt, then the RTC court is likely to issue a warrant of arrest.

    As I mentioned above, Trillanes if found guilty can appeal the lower court verdicts to the Supreme Court. The SC gets to confirm if the facts and the constitution allow Trillanes’ amnesty to be voided and the guilty or innocent RTC verdicts.

  46. chemrock says:

    In the blame everybody but your own incompetence mood, the President said Noynoy erred in granting the Trillanes’ amnesty. I wonder if he thought the same of Arroyo’s amnesty granting freedom to the killers of Noynoy’s father.

  47. Milo C. Basilio says:

    God works in mysterious ways when He allowed Duterte to become President in order to reward the Philippines it’s greatest President ever in the person of Sen. Trillanes. That Diehard Duterte Supporters have not the slightest clue. No one can fathom God’s wisdom. I myself have always wondered why God allowed Digong the monster to become our President, now the answer is very clear to me.

  48. Nolita Balanza says:


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