An interview by questionnaire with Prof. Sonny Trillanes

By Wilfredo G. Villanueva 

Wilfredo G. Villanueva (WGV): You’re active in socmed, particularly Facebook. Is this our platform or weapon of choice? 

Prof. Sonny Trillanes (ST): Facebook is the primary platform available for me right now being in the private sector. 

WGV: Will it reach our target audiences? 

ST: I hope so, but realistically I know it won’t. It is a vast ocean of socmed users out there. 

WGV: Can we fire for effect already? 

ST: The thing about socmed now is it creates its own timing. One post can go viral, but a similar one may not. In short, it can’t be forced. Even the troll armies used by the other side can’t manufacture viral posts the way they did in 2016.

WGV: How’s your family? 

ST: My family is doing okay so far. Healthy and safe pa naman lahat. 

WGV: Nothing to be worried about? 

ST: My 88-year old mother is still bedridden because of advanced-stage Parkinson’s, but otherwise she’s relatively healthy.

WGV: Your dog? 

ST: We have three dogs now, two Chow-chows and a Shih Tzu. They’re doing great, too. Stress relievers namin sila.

WGV: Getting your share of good living, good sleep, enough exercise to shore up your immune system? 

ST: I have been sleeping at least six hours the past week since the ECQ (Enhanced Community Quarantine) began, which is a great thing for me kasi before, mga four to five hours lang. As for exercise, I walk at least 12,000 steps a day.

WGV: How’s PMA? No drama? Sailing along placidly in troubled waters? Still a formidable force, a long, gray line ready to defend the Constitution? Apolitical and such?

ST: The PMA community, particularly the retirees and those outside the service, is much more vibrant now than the first four years of this administration. Most are now openly expressing disappointment and criticism toward Duterte’s incompetence and corruption. Halos wala nang nagdedefend sa kanya. Nakakahiya na kasi talaga. Although, I would have preferred that the EJK (extra-judicial killings) issue was the red line, but I’m still happy that they’ve seen the light. As for the active (officers) they may not be as expressive, but pareho ang sentiments nila. They are mainly focused on their respective duties, and they will surely be faithful to their constitutional duty of being the protector of the people and the state.

WGV: Will Sec. Lorenzana stick to his guns, possibly taking it upon himself to continue to speak out for us who are chafing at the bit because of Chinese cabbage strategy? 

ST: I believe Sec. Lorenzana will try to do the right thing until Duterte tells him not to. Once that happens, he switches to becoming a good soldier and follows his commander-in-chief. 

WGV: Do you see things coming to a head? 

ST: It may come to a head similar to what happened in 2012 in Scarborough. Let’s just hope that there won’t be any miscalculations from both sides that would lead to an irreversible situation.

WGV: As a leading figure of the opposition, is everything proceeding according to plan and strategy? Are we proactive or reactive? 

ST: The opposition is led by and united behind Vice President Leni Robredo. In relation to 2022, any plan or strategy would only be formulated once she decides to run for the presidency. The basic reason for this is that she could only pick the campaign planners, strategists and staff after she has decided to run. Close-in campaign staff are personal choices kasi these are positions of trust, and the campaign plan and strategy should be reflective of the principal. Understand that VP Leni has been focused on the pandemic, so 2022 is not yet a decision priority for her. In the meantime, we are in a holding pattern.  

WGV: How do you size up civil society?

ST: Civil society has slowly regained its unified voice the past two years. At first, it was also one of the sectors bullied by Duterte into submission. A significant part of it was even coopted early on by the administration. Umasa rin sila.

WGV: Is civil society part of the solution or problem? 

ST: Civil society is essential to any plan to win in 2022 and, more importantly, it should be an integral part of the post-Duterte governance. 

WGV: Do you have a Plan B in case VP Leni has other goals? 

ST: Yes. We simply cannot lose by default.

WGV: Are you open to a run for the presidency? 

ST: Yes, but only if VP Leni decides not to run for president. As I mentioned, we simply cannot lose by default.

WGV: Are you fully cooperating with 1Sambayan to put up a unified slate for 2022? 

ST: 1SAMBAYAN is a much broader coalition than what the opposition has been able to assemble to date. We would need it as a vehicle if we are to beat the Duterte alliance of evil.

WGV: Are you still the same angry young man willing to stake his life for principle? If you have mellowed, how have you mellowed? 

ST: Not so angry and not so young anymore, but essentially the same person who has been fighting for our country and people.

WGV: Your favorite political thinkers or authors? Who do you relate or identify with?

ST: My favorite political icon is Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey. 

My favorite military icon is Gen. Douglas MacArthur. 

The author who had the biggest impact for me is Eric Hoffer. His book, The True Believer, is what we used as our guide for the formation of the Magdalo group.

WGV: What are the lessons we learned in campaign for Otso Diretso? 

ST: A lot. I just can’t enumerate them at the moment without offending my allies. All of us made mistakes in that campaign and I only hope we learned from them. 

As far as silver linings go, there were a lot, too. 

WGV: The Palawan plebiscite vote surprised everyone. Too early to celebrate the demise of the Duterte magic, but it does give us elbow room. We see an awakened electorate. We walk into 2022 with parity and new-found confidence. True? 

ST: Very true. The tide is turning, if it hasn’t already. The Palawan vote showed how civil society can move people into action against well-entrenched interests. It’s a big win against money politics at the local level. Have faith, the Filipino people will deliver in 2022. They always have.

WGV: Talk to your followers? 

ST: We are surely living in one of the darkest moments in our nation’s history. A once-in-a-century global pandemic coupled with the most incompetent president ever to rule our country and results are very predictable: widespread deaths and suffering; economy in shambles; widespread poverty; massive corruption and trillions in debt. These are on top of the damages Duterte has done in his first few years in office: the slaughter of thousands of Filipinos through the EJKs; the plunder of our public coffers; the destruction of our democratic institutions; and the proliferation of his brand of indecency, vulgarity and hate into society. FUBAR. That’s what Duterte did to our country.

However, like our ancestors before us, we will also rise as a people and redeem our national soul. Twenty twenty-two will be our turning point as a nation reborn. Only this time, armed with the lessons of the past, we will never again relapse into complacency and just build and rebuild until we have actualized our collective vision for our country.


*FUBAR – Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition. World War II military slang popularized in movie Saving Private Ryan. 

**Photograph from Rappler. Senator Trillanes refutes cases filed against him by the Duterte Government in 2018.

20 Responses to “FUBAR*”
  1. Karl Garcia says:

    again ty for this

  2. rosie says:

    nice 1 sen3 …. hope that people was awakened.. He had done big damage to the. country and there are still lots of blind followers!!

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      There will be people who will love country above all else, walking blessings. May God’s blessings be upon us.

  3. Ansel Castillo says:

    We had a lot to learn for for the demise that we are in to. We pray that we will not keep repeating that same mistakes.

    • kasambahay says:

      the same mistakes, the same stance, the same outcome . . . wil’s ‘Will Sec. Lorenzana stick to his guns?’ got me. of course lorenzana sticks to his gun time and again, and is very generous to china. same with foreign sec locsin. both sticking to their bulletless guns, lol!

      despite all their posturing, layas na, leave our seas, be gone, etc. both lorenzana and locsin never give deadline like china must leave within 10 days! or leave within 7 days on the 24hundredth hour to be exact.

      too generous in their demand are both lorenzana and locsin, two sides of a coin. still giving china much much leeway.

      without specifying the date and time or the meridian, locsin’s missive ‘leave now’ to china has no teeth.

      and lorenzana keeps on repeating the same never ending dance and many have noticed.

      • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

        Maybe six million of us have to be gassed so that we will finally realize that “This land is mine.”

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Every nation has a learning curve. This is ours. Thanks, Ansel.

  4. Karl Garcia says:

    Off topic.

    Plug ko lang article for the Maritime Review.

    Amending the National Defense Act and the Philippine Navy

  5. Micha says:

    Pasintabi lang po, pag paumanhin kagalang-galang na mga ginoo – ito po ay isang OT.

    My favorite economist, Stephanie Kelton, is going mainstream in Bloomberg, Business Insider, Forbes Magazine, and yes, even Wall Street Journal – that purveyor of naked capitalism. Today she has this featured article in the Times. Ma’m Leni and Sen. Trillanes might well consider adopting MMT ideas as we come into 2022 A.D. (After Digong).

    • Karl Garcia says:

      If my article gets published tomorrow or Monday, I started it with MMT.
      Maybe a few sentences about it.
      Tagal na din nating napag uusapan sana nga ikonsidera na ng kinauukulan.

      • kasambahay says:

        hmmm, micha seems passionate about mmt. maybe, next time she comes for a visit, she can give free mmt lecture sa UP. or she can contact via email professor trillanes with an offer of giving free mmt lecture sa UP. she must be ready to give glimpse via email attachments of slides she’s going to present just in case. the rest, bahala na siya. I’m presuming magaling ang sales pitch niya and will put forward a killer mmt presentation.

        I can imagine many interested parties attending her lecture and if successful, micha can then do the same with ateneo, and other universities. hard work, but if she’ll put in the hard slug, excel at questions and answers, has the biblical wisdom of solomon, she may just see mmt adapted in our country.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          Malay mo kasama pa nya si Stephanie Kelton.

          • LCPL_X says:

            I notice d if you simply revisit all the chemp/Micha arguments in the commentary you’ll have a pretty solid understanding of MMT, all those links and Micha’s analysis vis a vis Philippines, and Bernie and Biden’s trillions of dollars for projects.

            IF karl wants to , he can compile all those links to the articles with all the Micha and chemp debates, plus RHiro too (he spanked me once when I asked some stupid economics questions), SO all elected officials in the Philippines can just click and read.

            I’m gonna write Pope Francis and see if we can get Micha as patron saint of MMT in the Philippines, or simply the person who brought salvation to the archipelago via monetary sovereignty.

            Biden is for sure laying down MMT. He’ll go down in history a Trillions Joe. The Philippines should indeed follow.

      • Micha says:

        Not all countries are created equal. Because the Philippines has debt denominated in foreign currencies and we import goods and services payable in foreign currencies, we are not 100% monetarily sovereign.

        We need to work on that part of our sovereignty alongside territorial, military, or political sovereignty.

  6. Estelita NAVARRO says:

    Very strong words…hit me to the core of my Filipino soul…

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Thank you, Estelita, for the appreciation. Sonny Trillanes does that. He speaks to the Filipino soul.

  7. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    Concluding statement of the interviewer:

    Information is not coming to us at, say, 80kph on the highway. It is coming at Mach 2+, and it is up to us to process data at the speed of sound. But patriots like Sonny Trillanes hover for a while at manageable speeds, patiently and persistently delivering their messages of hope and deliverance. Actually, we need three percent on either side, to determine our destiny. Will Nazi Philippines finally deliver us to the gas chambers of China, Marcos, and Duterte or will the enemies of totalitarianism and kakistocracy fight to the last man and woman to defend what is ours with nothing but principle and conviction?

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