PMA alumni from Mindanao put out newspaper ad vs Trillanes
MANILA, Philippines – Some graduates of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) from Mindanao bought a full-page newspaper ad on Friday, September 14, “ostracizing” opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and calling for his "ouster" from the PMA Alumni Association Inc. (PMAAAI).
But Trillanes, whose amnesty was recently voided by President Rodrigo Duterte, said some signatories in the paid ad thought they were just signing an attendance sheet when their signatures were collected in 2017.
The "PMAAAI-Eagle Fraternal Chapter" published a whole page newspaper advertisement in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Friday. A black-and-white full-page ad in the Inquirer costs about P183,000 on weekdays, according to Inquirer insiders.
The group said Trillanes, a former Navy officer and a member of PMA “Marilag” Class of 1995, is a “disgrace” and a ”great embarrassment” to the institution, as well as a “very unworthy role model” to the Cadet Corps of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
The group also said Trillanes’ actions were contrary to the PMA’s motto of courage, integrity and loyalty “thereby seriously damaging the honor and prestige of this revered institution.”
“His pattern of behavior shown in several instances: a coup plotter during the Oakwood Mutiny in 2003 and the Manila Peninsula Siege in 2007; a senator with abrasive behavior during Senate hearing; a Filipino citizen with utter disregard and rudeness to authorities such as the Office of the President is an obvious display of conduct unbecoming of a public official and questionable mental health, fond of creating discord and divisiveness instead of his supposed duties to create policies to establish a well-ordered society,” read the paid advertisement.
The PMAAI-Eagle Fraternal Chapter said its members include those now in government and business, as well incumbent police and military officers.
Among the signatories in the paid ad are Dangerous Drugs Board chairman Catalino Cuy of PMA Class 1981; retired Philippine National Police Deputy Director General Ramon Apolinario of Class 1985; and former PNP chief and now Bureau of Corrections Director Ronald dela Rosa of Class 1986.
Trillanes dismissed the move, saying the Eagle Fraternal Chapter is just a Davao-based group and not recognized by the PMAAAI.
"There is no such official chapter ng PMAAA. Eagle organization, sila iyon, mga PMA-er iyon (they are PMAers) but there is no such recognized chapter of the PMAAA," Trillanes said.
The senator also claimed that a “significant number” of signatories approached him and his group to say they were unaware that their signatures would be used for the paid ad.
What they originally signed, Trillanes said, was an attendance sheet on October 17, 2017.
"Pinapauna na nila, attendance sheet daw ang pinirmahan nila nong October 17 . So hindi po totoo iyan (They said that what they signed was an attendance sheet on October 17, 2017. So that is not true), unless you can interview each and every one of them and they will stand by what was published," Trillanes told reporters on Thursday, September 14.
"Gusto nila palabasin na galit sa akin ang mga PMA-er," he said, adding he respects PMAers’ opinions.
But for Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, the group’s statement "reflects the overall sentiment of the military."
Duterte initially ordered the AFP to arrest Trillanes, but both changed their tune later.
Duterte, in a recent interview with chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo, expressed dismay at the armed forces and even dared them to find a new president.
Roque said Duterte's rare outburst at the military was a sign of "confidence" from the commander-in-chief. – Rappler.com