Antonio Trillanes IV - Manila Peninsula Incident

Manila Peninsula Incident

On the morning of November 29, 2007, Trillanes, Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim, Capt. Nicanor Faeldon and other Magdalo (mutineers) officials walked out of their trial and marched through the streets of Makati City, calling for the ouster of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. They then had a meeting on the second floor of The Peninsula Manila Hotel along Ayala Avenue. Former vice-president Teofisto Guingona joined the march to the Manila Peninsula Hotel, as well as some soldiers from the AFP.

3 P.M. Deadline

Thirty soldiers who stood on trial for the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny walked out of court and set up a meeting at The Peninsula Manila Hotel, where they called for the ouster of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. They had been joined by former vice-president Teofisto Guingona, who called the gathering a "New Edsa".

Arroyo called for an emergency Cabinet meeting as she took a chopper back to the Palace amid tight security. Novaliches Catholic Bishop Antonio Tobias, Infanta Bishop Emeritus Julio Labayen, and Fr. Robert Reyes joined the Antonio Trillanes IV group, while Exec. Sec. Eduardo Ermita and Ignacio Bunye rushed back to MalacaƱang. PSG sealed off the Palace, while troops secured the north and south Luzon expressways.

A website forthwith appeared, proclaiming General Lim and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV as the leaders of the incident. The website entry read: "Senator Antonio Trillanes, Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim, Magdalo soldiers, their guards and the people have started marching towards Makati triangle. We presently find in existence a dangerous concept where the armed forces now owe their primary allegiance and loyalty to those who temporarily exercise the authority of the executive branch of the government rather than to the country and the Constitution they have sworn to protect. That is a concept we defy and struggle to eradicate. If you believe you are a man of will and courage with unselfish motives and brave enough to fight against such tyranny, rise up and be counted!"

The Philippine National Police (PNP) gave Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim until 3 pm to surrender, as it evacuated guests and personnel inside the Manila Peninsula Hotel.

The PNP general also ordered later the evacuation of the press in the hotel. Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim, stated, "We make this fateful step of removing Mrs. Macapagal-Arroyo from the presidency and undertake the formation of a new government."

Security forces were scheduled to arrest members of the group at exactly 3 pm. Judge Oscar Pimentel, Makati Regional Trial Court, issued the arrest order, and Director Geary Barias, National Capital Region Police Office director, stated: "Arrests will be made at 3 pm"

After 3 pm, police director Geary Barias of the National Capital Region Police Office left The Peninsula Manila Hotel, since he was asked to leave by troops supportive of Trillanes. Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV dismissed the PNP 3 pm deadline, saying, "Believe me, nothing will happen after three o'clock."

At least 50 Special Weapons and Tactics commandos lined up outside to assault the Manila Peninsula Hotel in Makati City to enforce the arrest of rebel soldiers. Sporadic warning shots were heard from the police outside the hotel, as smoke was seen coming from the hotel seconds after the shots. (4:01 pm) The Palace asked reporters to move out of the hotel, as armored personnel carriers arrived. Hundreds of guests scrambled to vacate, and Trillanes said they will 'wait and see' Bishop Julio Labayen appealed: "Please do not storm the place, so nobody gets hurt." (4:37 pm)

Firing stopped at 4:30 pm GMA crew, and other media personnel were trapped in the hotel, while the Palace appealed to the media and the public to stay away from Makati. Tear gas was fired into the hotel lobby as government troops advanced. Soldiers surrounded the hotel at 5 pm).

The armored tank then destroyed the main facade of the Manila Peninsula Hotel to allow the troops to enter.

Chief Justice Reynato Puno, who had just arrived from Guam, stated that he would not head a caretaker government if President Arroyo was removed from power, for he wants to insulate the judiciary from politics. Prominent businessmen denounced Trillanes and Lim.

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