Peninsula Standoff

So a jailed senator being tried for a previous attempted military mutiny walks out of his hearing, joins with his band of rebel soldiers and political supporters, and once again initiates another mutinous standoff in a swanky Makati hotel, with Guingona calling on the people to start yet another EDSA-style revolution.

Bad move, bad timing. As with the Oakwood Mutiny, they’re once again trying to get their message across via the intimidation of foreigners. Plus, from the photos I’m seeing, it’s raining rather hard right now — not particularly conducive to spontaneous mass protest gatherings, and certainly not weather that curries the good graces of all the Peninsula hotel guests who just had to be evacuated into the storm. (Anyway, “Makati Avenue People Power” just doesn’t have the ring that “EDSA Revolution” did.)

Once again, Trillanes is doing it wrong, hoping to goad the public into a widespread protest big enough for the military to decide that it is “the will of the people,” but doing it outside the rule of law via petty grandstanding and scare tactics. He petulantly speaks out from an insubstantial, contradictory platform of threatened violence — all against a political opponent whose wrongdoings, while serious, are of somewhat dubious verifiability, nowhere near the egregiously oppresive kleptocratic tyranny of the Marcos regime.

This might be a good time to hark back to the Open Letter to Trillanes, a.k.a. “We’re not, like, tanga naman.”

More info: Manila Metroblogging, Inquirer, ABS-CBN News, Kelvin Lee, Underside, Amee.

You can also view the rebel soldiers’ website (if its limited bandwidth on free hosting lets you) and get news via free streaming Filipino radio stations.

At the time of this writing, Arroyo’s troops have begun raiding Peninsula Hotel with gunfire, but it’s almost 4AM here in DC and I need to get some sleep. Let me know how it goes.

Update: Gloria smacks down another Trillanes mutiny attempt, then proceeds to systematically squander the political capital gained from this victory by arresting journalists covering the spectacle and establishing a seemingly-draconian but actually pretty ham-fisted curfew over the area, probably to try and quell Friday’s planned protests.

(Mall explosions, congress bombings, multiple typhoons, an earthquake, and now this new coup attempt. I can’t wait to visit again!)


  1. Fatima says:

    The pseudo-mutiny actually rated a mention in The Age (online)… but it was actually more embarrassing than having the Philippines appear regularly in their Odd Spot section, which features kooky-haha things around the world (like dead men turning up at their own funerals).