by Manny Piñol
A former officer of the Philippine Marines who was among the ring leaders of the infamous Oakwood Mutiny in 2003 said he suspects that Sen. Antonio Trillanes is acting as an attack dog of a political group out to destroy leading presidential candidate Rody Duterte.
Former Marines Captain Nick Faeldon, who was one of the six officers jailed in the Intelligence Service of the AFP detention centre along with Trillanes in 2003 following a failed coup attempt, said he saw then Navy Lieutenant Senior Grade Trillanes receive a boxful of money from a congresswoman whose family was accused of corruption.
Faeldon said sometime in 2004, former Cong. Imee Marcos, now Ilocos Norte Governor, visited their detention cell along with her son and a lawyer.
They were ushered in by a Gen. Quevedo who was the ISAFP chief at that time.
“One afternoon Imee Marcos came with her son and Atty. Robles, lawyer ni Trillanes and they were escorted by ISAFP chief Gen. Quevedo,” Faeldon said.
“Noong nakaupo na kami, sabi ni Imee “Sonny (Trillanes) dala ko na ang request mo.” I saw her son carrying a box of Red Ribbon and when it was opened tumambad yong pera. I don’t know how much,” he said.
Faeldon said he was shocked that Trillanes asked money from the Marcoses, a family hounded by accusations of corruption.
“Pagbalik namain sa kulungan I told him ‘Next time na may transaksyon ka hwag mo na ako isama’,” Faeldon recounted.
Faeldon said he questioned Trillanes for soliciting money from known politicians which he said was a complete betrayal of the cause for which they staged the rebellion in the Oakwood Mutiny which was to denounce the corruption in the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
I contacted Faeldon early today after I saw a meme circulating in the social media insinuating that self-proclaimed anti-corruption crusader Trillanes received huge amounts of money from two big political families during the time he was in jail for his role in the infamous Oakwood Mutiny in 2003.
The meme obviously suggested that Trillanes, who has launched a relentless attack against leading Presidential candidate Rody Duterte, could be working for the interests of political groups and personalities for financial considerations.
Faeldon, who has become a friend after we were introduced to each other a few years ago, validated the suggestive meme.
Faeldon was detained the ISAFP detention facility in 2004 along with Trillanes, then a lieutenant senior grade in the Navy and four other officers – Marines Capt. Gary Alejano (now a Party-List Congressman), Army Capt. Gerardo Gambala, Army Capt. Milo Masterecampo and LtSg James Layug.
When asked the confirm the accusation in the meme that Trillanes, then a detainee received money from members of families who were also accused of corruption, Faeldon said that he personally witnessed the “transactions” between his fellow detainee and big name politicians.
Faeldon said he also personally knew of another instance when Trillanes received money from Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, who is now in a detention facility in Camp Crame also for corruption.
Faeldon, who escaped from jail several times the last was in 2007 and has recently yielded, said he decided to come out in the open to divulge what he knows about Trillanes in the face of the senator’s posturing that his attacks against Duterte are all part of his crusade against corruption.
“The Trillanes that I know is a bad and wrong messenger in the advocacy against corruption,” Faeldon said.
Faeldon said dealing with politicians tainted with issues of corruption has made Trillanes an unreliable advocate against corruption in government.
“If he received money from politicians whose families were tainted with corruption then, it would not come as a surprise that the same act could be repeated today,” he said.
Faeldon believes that the relentless attack Trillanes is waging on Duterte now is no longer about his advocacy against corruption but is already an act of corruption.
The former Marines officer said he is willing to have a face-to-face confrontation with his former cellmate to prove that he is telling the truth.
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