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Trial vs 17 soldiers in Feb. '06 mutiny to continue

gryphongryphon Banned by Admin PExer
10/27/2009 | 11:48 PM

A military court on Tuesday denied the motion of 17 officers, including two senatorial aspirants in the 2010 elections, to dismiss the mutiny charges filed against them in connection with the alleged plan to overthrow the Arroyo government in February 2006.

The court thumbed down the contention of the accused that the evidence presented against them do not sustain the charge of violation of Article of War 67 (Mutiny).

The 17 are led by former First Scout Ranger Regiment commander Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim and Marine Col. Ariel Querubin. Both had expressed their intention to run for the Senate in next year’s elections.

Also considered leader of the group is former Marine commandant Maj. Gen. Renato Miranda.

"After due deliberation, the court resolved to deny the motion of the accused," said Col. Marian Aleido, member of the panel hearing the case, in dismissing the motion for finding of not guilty.

The defense panel filed the motion last October 15 shortly after the prosecution formally rested it case. Under the military justice system, the defense panel can file such motion once the prosecution rests its case.

The court had earlier granted the motion of 11 other accused due to lack of evidence against them.

The court had deferred ruling on the 17 pending review of the evidence against them. The 17 had been mentioned by witnesses who took the stand and in the documentary evidence of the prosecution.

Also implicated in the failed uprising are Cols. Orlando de Leon, and Armando Banez; Lt. Cols. Achilles Segumalian, and Custodio Parcon; Majs. Jason Aquino and Jose Leomar Doctolero; Capts. Isagani Criste, Montano Almodovar, James Sababan, Joey Fontiveros, William Upano, and Dante Langkit; and 1Lts. Homer Estolas and Belinda Ferrer.

Defense lawyers said they will file their motion for reconsideration in 10 days.

The accused reportedly planned to march to EDSA Shrine on Feb. 24, 2006, join the ranks of the anti-government protesters, and subsequently withdraw support from President Arroyo.

The plan prompted President Arroyo to sign Proclamation No. 1017 that put the country under a state of emergency on February 24, 2006. This action invoked Section 18, Article 7 of the Constitution, which gives her the authority to use the police and armed forces to prevent any anti-government activities or rebellion.

The proclamation was lifted on March 3, 2006 after a public outcry. - GMANews.TV

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