A few years ago, a senator blew his top at a commission on appointments hearing, when he found out that a lot of soldiers about to be promoted to the rank of general, have not even heard of Sun Tzu, the most renowned guru of military warfare!- Que barbaridad!
I don't know if Navy Lt SG. Antonio Trillanes landed at the top or tail end of his class. But if it's an indication of how the military academy is developing master tacticians, it doesn't look good. This idol of a number of soldiers is certainly being beaten, over and over again, by civilians.
Yesterday, while I was busy preparing for a meeting, an American businessman texted, “What’s happening?”
“About what?”, I answered.
“Trillanes is marching with armed men in Ayala”
Oh no! Grrr!!!!
The whole thing was surely planned. Sans any radio or TV info, here’s how I think the scenario was going to unfold:
- Senator Trillanes to march towards Ayala.
- He’s to be protected by his Magdalo friends.
- Organized groups to walk initially with him.
- They are to call for an uprising of the masses.
- By the time they arrive at the Aquino monument (Ayala). They would have grown to a few hundreds/thousands.
- Military units loyal to him and his group will follow.
- Hundreds of thousands of civilians will gather with him and force President Arroyo to resign.
- They hope to start a repeat of EDSA 1 and what better way than to do it by the monument inspired the events that led to it.
- If Gloria will not resign, she will be forcibly evicted.
Looking at the events as summarized on TV last night, here’s what actually happened:
1. Senator Trillaness and General Danilo Lim were attending a court trial in Makati.2. Lawyers for the government realized that something was going to happen. Trillanes, Lim and others were whispering to each other. That was something out of the ordinary because it is prohibited by court rules.3. A prosecutor narrated that when Gen. Lim was at the stand and being cross examined, one of the accused ( Navy Lt SG layug) stood up went in front, grabbed a surprised Lim,and told everyone, “Walang gagalaw! (nobody moves)”
4. The prosecutors complained and the judge ordered the court sheriff to restrain Layug. The Sheriff ordered the Military Police (MP) inside the court room to restrain the accused officers. The MP’s did not budge.
5. Trillanes and some of the accused walked out of the courtroom and proceeded towards Makati Avenue. Along the way, media men asked Trillanes if this was something planned and he denied it saying, “If this was planned, we would not be walking now".
However, their moves perfectly fitted the scenario that I predicted. It was hardly spontaneous.
6. While marching, he was calling for the people to join him. Statements such as “The time is now” and “Sumama na kayo” were aired over the radios and in one footage, I remember seeing a footage of the Trillanes group walking and somebody with a bullhorn (Megaphone) was asking the people to join them. Other footages also showed military men with M-16 automatic rifles guarding the group’s route. Red arm bands with the rebel group’s insignia also appeared.
7. By the way, a very old former vice president Teofisto Guingona was with the group and he made a TV statement,
“Sinubukan naming gawin and legal means, pero walang nangyayari.. (we tried the legal means to resolve this but nothing happened)”As a Filipino, I can tell that the tone of the sentence did not end with a period. It was an open ended statement that insinuated something like, “Now, we will try the extra legal means”
Clearly, this was something planned in advance.
8. The group forcibly entered the Manila Peninsula Hotel and had a press conference. Gen Lim read from a prepared statement and copies of the declaration were distributed to the media. Judging from the contents of the letter, they recognize ERAP as the duly recognized president. I think, they intend to make him their titular figurehead should they win.
9. Trillanes was later joined by some civilians that include one or two catholic bishops and a priest. During the day, Trillanes made a number of brave declarations such as,
9. When told of the 3PM police deadline to surrender, he said,
10. However, he made sure that they will have some safety nets. He ordered his men not let the hotel guests leave. What a moron.
"Don't let the guests leave. Don't restrain them," Trillanes said in Filipino.
11. When the government forces assaulted, rammed a tank at the hotel’s main door through the lobby, gassed the place and fired shots, he was observed to talk with lips trembling and tears in his eyes. The statement became a cowardly,
12. Trying to salvage some honor for himself, he said,
Spoken like a man. However, with several flip-flops just his conflicting statements in the Oakwood fiasco, this is not to be relied upon. His fellow cowards, escape.
In my analysis, what happened was another of Trillanes’
master strokes, err.. master miscalculations.
What he succeeded in doing was simply:
- Send this economy several steps backwards like what he did in Oakwood.
"There is no popular support any more for changing leaders on the streets. We are only two years away from elections. There was no point in this, the whole country loses."
“Despite Arroyo's unpopularity in Manila, there seems little prospect of her falling before her term expires in 2010. Trillanes, while remaining a focus for opposition, has the most disputatious claims to lead a divided Philippines opposition, which has little unity of purpose, and backing from Washington, London and Tokyo has bolstered Arroyo among the economic class.”
- Overestimate himself for nth time. His messianic complex made him falsely predict that the military will not move against him. Had he not given up and had the media not stayed with him, he would have been killed.
- Prove that again, he was abandoned. The help that he was banking on from his politician friends, huge crowds, military and the massive defections from the civilian government, the police and military did not come.
“But no popular support appeared and as teargas was fired into the building, the final fiasco became inevitable.”
If I was his commanding officer when he was in the military, I would not have promoted this guy to captain. According to his imagined arch rival (Gen Esperon), Trillanes never had a field assignment and I think it’s good. With his lousy way of assessing the environment, friends and enemies, he would have led a number of soldiers to their deaths.
By the way, with his fondness for expensive hotels, I will look for investors who will put up a luxury hotel in an isolated island. Do your "Sarswela" there, next time.
For the meantime, the threat continues.