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Magdalo on Oakwood's 4th yr: 'Nothing changed'

July 26, 2007 4:57pm

Two Oakwood mutiny leaders on Thursday said that "nothing changed" four years after the short-lived mutiny in Makati City.

“Definitely, nothing has changed. It even grew worse. We still have corrupt officials in government," Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, a former Navy lieutenant senior grade, said in a statement.

Trillanes is presently detained at the Marine headquarters in Fort Bonifacio.

The same sentiment was aired by Marine Capt. Nicanor Faeldon, another mutiny leader. Both officers are members of the Magdalo group.

“It is to my sorrow that no significant changes have taken place despite our warnings, our concerns and our acts in Oakwood,"Faeldon said in his website.

“The system is as corrupt as ever, the military is now more politicized than ever before and the highest executive in the land holds office in spite of the absence of a clear mandate. Even sadder, our soldiers are still needlessly dying out there," added Faeldon.

Trillanes, Faeldon and 17 other core leaders of the Oakwood group are facing a charge of coup d' etat before the Makati City regional trial court.

In addition, they also face trial before a military tribunal for conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman.

Trillanes said the many of those who took part in the Oakwood incident remained critical of the government.

“Its not being defiant for the sake of being defiant, Its about doing the right thing. We are just fulfilling our mandate as soldiers,"he said.

He pointed out that the misfiring of some 81 mm mortar during a clash between Marine soldiers and rebels in Basilan last July 10 “highlights the relevance of Oakwood. It showed that are grievance are true."

The ambush resulted in the killing of the 14 Marine soldiers, 10 of them beheaded and mutilated.

Told that a military court has convicted a few years ago Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia who had allegedly amassed huge amount of wealth while he was the military comptroller, Trillanes dismissed it, saying that the high command “produced a scapegoat."

Trillanes said they do not regret going to Oakwood even as he said their detention “brought us back to earth."

'It gave us the opportunity to be close to god and our families, to be more spiritual. We'll have to absorb all these things in a positive light. We will come out as better persons,"he added.

On the decision of some mutineers to enter into plea bargaining, he said that should not be looked into by the media as a compromise to government. He called it as a part of a legal matter and “we are encouraging everybody to do that."

On why he was not entertaining possibility of entering into the plea bargaining, Trillanes said: “My case is more complicated that the others." Trillanes lone case before the court martial is punishable by dishonorable discharge but he had been already deemed resigned when
he filed his candidacy in February. - GMANews.TV