A hasty pardon PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 22 October 2010 11:32

I would not support a pardon for Mr.Antonio Trillanes and cohorts under any circumstance. Ostensibly he and his companions did what they did, which was to mount an attempt to take over the government of the Philippines, as a protest against all the corruption within the military establishment of which he was a member.

While I sympathize (or should that be empathize?) with his frustration and his disgust with all that he said is going on in the military, that is not reason to enough to do what he did. Any student in freshman philosophy will tell us that “the end never justifies the means”.

Mr. Trillanes was then one who had access to arms and being an officer he had soldiers under him who had the obligation to obey him as a superior. A retired colonel told me recently that  he had the experience of being charged as a rebel soldier. He was an ordinary soldier at the time and his officer participated in a coup attempt. They were given orders and, as is the tradition in the  military of “obey first and complain later”  he and his fellow soldiers simply obeyed. They found out later that they were involved in a coup attempt. He said that they were all pardoned after an investigation was carried out.

Mr. Trillanes was not an ordinary soldier forced into a situation of having to obey his superior officer. He was an officer then and one of the leaders of the plot.

The justification that his having won a senate seat even under detention does not make him less guilty of what he did. Certainly in our country the fact of someone being voted into office is not a guarantee of anything significant about the person except the fact that something about him caught the imagination of the voters, who will cast their vote for a candidate on the basis that generally escapes more rational minds.

Mr. Trillanes’ arrogance and recalcitrant personality  were amply showed when he attempted to take over   the Manila Peninsula Hotel. How he was able to simply walk out of his court martial to do this  is still a “mystery” to this day.

However, the main character in the latest episode in this still ongoing drama is not Mr. Trillanes. It is our very own admired Pres. Benigno Simeon Aquino,  although I must say for myself  that the admiration is a little less. I do not expect Pres. Aquino to see Mr. Trillanes as I do. But I  have reason to ask on what basis he could have pardoned Mr. Trillanes. To grant  a presidential pardon is a prerogative of the office. But the case of Mr. Trillanes was still being decided by the Supreme Court. Should the court find Mr. Trillanes innocent of the crime/s he has been charged with, what is there to pardon?

Pres. Aquino has made  a number of poor decisions lately. If he continues on this path, he will be a good example of the contention that honesty and integrity are not all that make for a good president. And he is still on his way to his second 100 days in office. What a long journey this will be.