Antonio Trillanes

From Encyclopedia Britannia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Antonio Trillanes IV
Sonny Trillanes.jpg
Trillanes in 2015
Senator of the Philippines
In office
June 30, 2007 – June 30, 2019
Chair of the Philippine Senate
National Defense and Security Committee
In office
July 22, 2013 – July 25, 2016
Preceded byFrancis Escudero
Succeeded byGregorio Honasan
Chair of the Philippine Senate
Civil Service and
Government Reorganization Committee
In office
July 26, 2010 – June 30, 2019
Preceded byPanfilo Lacson (Acting)
Personal details
Antonio Fuentes Trillanes IV

(1971-08-06) August 6, 1971 (age 51)
Manila, Philippines
Political partyMagdalo
Other political
Nacionalista (present)[1]
UNO (2007-2012)
Spouse(s)Arlene G. Orejana
ResidenceCaloocan City
Alma materPhilippine Military Academy (BA)
University of the Philippines Diliman (MA)
ProfessionSenator and Legislator of the Philippines and former Navy lieutenant[2]
WebsiteOfficial Website
Military service
Allegiance Philippines
Branch/servicePhilippine Navy
Years of service1995–2003 (8 years)
Battles/warsCPP-NPA-NDF rebellion, Moro conflict, Oakwood mutiny

Antonio Fuentes Trillanes IV (Tagalog pronunciation: [triʎɑːnɛs], born August 6, 1971),[3] is a retired[4] Navy officer who served as a Senator of the Philippines. He was a vice presidential candidate in the 2016 Philippine presidential elections.

Early life

Trillanes was born and raised in Caloocan, to Philippine Navy Captain Antonio Floranza Trillanes, Sr. (PMA Class '59) of Ligao City, Albay, and Estelita Dia Fuentes from Ivisan,[5] Capiz. He is brother of Antonio Jr. and Antonio III.


His elementary years were spent at Siena College, Quezon City from 1975–1983, and from 1983–1987, his secondary education was at Angelicum College in Quezon City. In 1990, while a fourth[6] year BS in Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE) student from De La Salle University on Taft Avenue, Manila, he took and passed the PMA entrance examination.

He formally entered into public service the following year as a cadet in the Philippine Military Academy where he graduated cum laude in 1995, while earning a degree in BS Naval System Engineering. Other awards he received while in PMA are the Mathematics Plaque, Physical Science Plaque, and the Tambuli Award for electrical/electronics engineering.

In 2002, Trillanes took up his graduate studies at the National College of Public Administration and Governance at UP Diliman, and got his master's degree in Public Administration, Major in Public Policy and Program Management.

For the duration of the masters program, he received two University Scholar Awards for obtaining two semestral GPAs of 1.0 to 1.25 and a College Scholar Award for obtaining a semestral GPA of 1.25 to 1.50.[7]

In 2014, he attended the National and International Security program at the Harvard Kennedy School[6] in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.[8]

Military career

He was one of the Navy personnel who risked their lives to secure thirty-two (32) persons during a daring search and rescue operation for the survivors of the ill-fated M/V Princess of the Orient at the height of a super typhoon in 1998. As a Navy Officer, he had a five-year sea duty experience logging-in a Total Miles Covered (TMC) of 35,316.78 nautical miles. During which time, his unit was responsible for the apprehension of dozens of smugglers, illegal loggers, poachers, human smugglers and illegal fishermen in numerous maritime law enforcement operations conducted in the waters of Batanes, Ilocos, Cagayan, Isabela, Zambales, Scarborough, Quezon, Bicol, Palawan, Mindoro, Romblon, Iloilo, Cebu, Zamboanga Peninsula, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-tawi, Davao and Maguindanao. He was involved in numerous naval operations in support of ground operations directed against the Abu Sayyaf and other lawless elements. As procurement officer of the Naval Training and Education Command, Philippine Navy, he reformed the procurement system, which resulted to the accumulated savings of more than P4,000,000.00 in favor of the government. He participated in 22 naval exercises conducted with local and foreign navies. He is a recipient of 23 assorted merit medals, campaign ribbons and badges.[7]

Political career

Oakwood Mutiny

Trillanes was known for leading the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny when he and 321 junior officers and enlisted men[9] of the Armed Forces of the Philippines who called themselves "Bagong Katipuneros" took over the Oakwood Premier Ayala Center (now Ascott Makati) serviced apartment tower in Makati City as protest for alleged rampant corruption of the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration in the Philippine government - in the Armed Forces of the Philippines.[10] He was detained for almost seven and a half years.[11]

Manila Peninsula siege

Trillanes filed his certificate of candidacy on February 7, 2007, to run as an independent senatorial candidate despite being detained for complicity in a failed coup d'état. Later, he accepted an invitation from the Genuine Opposition party (GO) as one of its guest candidates to field against the Arroyo administration. He campaigned successfully, while in jail, through the social networking site, Friendster. Trillanes was proclaimed Senator-elect on June 15, 2007 by the Commission on Elections. He is the 2nd youngest senator after Benigno Aquino, Jr. elected at the age of 35 (his partymate Bam Aquino joined him as youngest senator elected in 2013)

On July 23, 2007, Trillanes' motion for an "arrangement" with the Makati RTC that would allow him to fulfill his duties as a Senator while under detention, and to allow him to attend the SONA, remained unacted upon. A week after, judge Oscar Pimentel denied Trillanes' plea to be granted leave from detention to attend Senate sessions, and to set up an office inside Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City where he had been detained.[12] In response to Trillanes' continued imprisonment despite his election as Senator, former University of the Philippines president Francisco Nemenzo, Jr. and former vice president Teofisto Guingona, Jr. of civil society launched the "Paglingkurin si Trillanes [Let Trillanes Serve] Movement" in Pasay City on August 23, 2007. Akbayan Representative Risa Hontiveros, Ana Maria Nemenzo of the Freedom from Debt Coalition, opposition leader Jose Alcuaz, and Trillanes' spokesperson Sonny Rivera, were present.[13]

In the Senate election held in May 2007, Trillanes successfully launched a nationwide campaign from his prison cell as he ran and won a seat in the Philippine Senate on a shoestring budget.[6] He was elected to the Senate as guest candidate for the anti-administration[14] Genuine Opposition ticket, and assumed office on June 30, 2007. He made history[11] for being the first Philippine senator to be elected while in jail when more than 11 million people voted him into office.[6] On November 29, 2007, Trillanes, together with the soldiers facing coup d'état charges in connection with the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny, marched out of the courtroom while attending a hearing[15] towards the Peninsula Manila hotel in Makati City, to reiterate their call[16] for the ouster of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.[17]

Notwithstanding calls from civil society groups to allow Trillanes to serve as Senator pursuant to his election, Judge Oscar Pimentel denied Trillanes's petition to attend Senate sessions on September 20, 2007, for lack of merit, ruling that his incarceration would not be a bar to fulfilling his duties as a Senator.[18] His petition, having been denied by the lower court, Senator Trillanes filed a petition with the Supreme Court of the Philippines, asking that his petition to be allowed to attend Senate sessions be granted. Representing him was his lawyer Reynaldo Robles. Included in said petition was a request that he be allowed to receive visitors in his jail at Fort Bonifacio.[19]

On October 17, 2007, the Supreme Court of the Philippines, in an en banc resolution, directed the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and Makati Regional Trial Court Judge Oscar Pimentel to comment within 10 days on Senator Antonio Trillanes IV's petition.[20] These requests were however later overshadowed by Trillanes' decision to stage another action against Gloria Arroyo's administration. On November 29, 2007, the senator led a siege, this time at the Manila Peninsula Hotel in Makati. After walking out of his court hearing, he and Brigadier General Danilo Lim led their supporters to the hotel where they staged another coup d'état calling on the public to join them. Six hours later, after military teams surrounded the hotel and armored personnel carriers broke through the hotel's front doors, Trillanes and his companions surrendered.


On December 20, 2010, Trillanes was given provisional freedom pending the recognition of the court's amnesty declaration of President Benigno Aquino III.[21] Under Proclamation 75, Secretary of National Defense Voltaire Gazmin granted amnesty to Trillanes and other military personnel who participated in the coup d' etats. He was able for the first time to enter the Senate and perform his duties as a senator.

After formalizing his re-election bid in October 2012, Trillanes filed his certificate of candidacy for 2013 elections at the Commission on Elections main office in Manila. He ran under the banner of the Nacionalista Party, which was allied with the ruling Liberal Party in the 2013 midterm elections.[22] Trillanes was ranked ninth out of the out of the 12 winning senators. Trillanes was proclaimed senator-elect on May 20, 2013 by the Commission on Elections[23] with an official tally of 14,127,722 votes.[24]

At the Senate, he is one of the most productive senators in terms of number bills, resolutions and committee reports filed,[25] totalling to 1,490 bills and resolutions, 97 of which have been passed into law from 2007 to present.[6]

He ranks 1st[26] based on the total number of:

  • National Bills passed into law (as Principal Author) (2010-2019)
  • National Bills passed into law (as Principal Sponsor) (2010-2016)
  • Total number of bills and resolutions filed (2010-2019)
  • National bills passed into law (2007-2019)[26]

On June 4, 2019, the Philippine Senate adopted Resolution No. 157 to express gratitude and appreciation to Trillanes for his invaluable contributions to the Senate and the nation during his term as senator. He has served as Senator for two (2) consecutive terms (2007-2013 and 2013-2019) and registered the most number of legislative measures enacted into laws as principal author and principal sponsor.[27]

Vice-presidential campaign

Trillanes declared his intention to run for higher office as vice president in the 2016 national elections.[28] Trillanes, started his vice presidential campaign during the MAGDALO Coalition's general assembly at the Amoranto Sports Complex in Quezon City, and declared his candidacy on October 3. 2015. Trillanes and the Magdalo group has formally showed support to the presidential bid of fellow senator Grace Poe.[29]

Trillanes paid several advertisements featuring schoolchildren and snippets of videos of Rodrigo Duterte, including one video showing him dropping the finger, on May 5, 2016 on ABS-CBN, which sparked controversy and adverse reactions. The broadcasts were described as "black propaganda." [30] Alan Peter Cayetano petitioned the Taguig regional trial court, and they soon placed a temporary restraining order (TRO) to stop the airing of the anti-Duterte ads for 72 hours. Cayetano told GMA News that the political advertisement was part of a conspiracy devised by the Malacañang and other candidates against Duterte.[31]

Trillanes eventually lost the 2016 vice presidential race to Liberal Party Candidate Leni Robredo.

Criticism and controversies

Rivalry against Duterte

Before the 2016 election, he alleged that former Davao City Mayor and incumbent president Rodrigo Duterte had an account in the Julia Vargas branch of BPI (allegedly Php 211 M) according to him.[32][33]

Likewise President Duterte, alleges that Trillanes closed his accounts in DBS Bank days before going to Singapore and then showed that there were no such accounts. This became a source of polemics in social media such as Twitter and Facebook.[34]

Since then, Trillanes become a rival of Duterte. Duterte's common law wife, Honeylet Avancena, defended Duterte against Trillanes' controversies.[35] On February 13, 2018, Trillanes was declared as persona non grata by Davao City officials.[36]

On July 19, 2019, the PNPCriminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) filed charges against Trillanes and other members of the opposition for "sedition, cyber libel, libel, estafa, harboring a criminal, and obstruction of justice".[37][38][39] On February 10, 2020, Trillanes and 10 others were indicted for "conspiracy to commit sedition" over an alleged ouster plot against President Rodrigo Duterte.[40][41][42]

Revocation of amnesty by President Duterte

On August 31, 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Proclamation No. 572, revoking Trillanes's amnesty.[43][44] Duterte ordered the Department of Justice and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to review all criminal cases in relation to the 2003 Oakwood mutiny and 2007 Peninsula siege.[43] Shortly after that, Trillanes told to the reporters that he would not evade the case and he also told to Duterte that he is not afraid of him.[45] The amnesty (Proclamation No 50) was granted by then-President Benigno Aquino III and later issued Proclamation 75 superseding Proclamation no. 50 back in 2010.[45]

On September 7, the DOJ filed the application for an arrest and hold departure against Trillanes and it was signed at Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 by Acting Prosecutor General Richard Fadullon as "very urgent".[46]

Opposition politicians expressed condemnation over the revocation of the amnesty: Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano, who also lead the mutiny with Trillanes,[47] calls it "political persecution" of Duterte critic and he also slammed Duterte for what was called a "clear act of revenge" against Trillanes.[48] Akbayan Representative Tom Villarin called the revocation "highly preposterous" and "clearly a political vendetta."[48] On September 7, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay said in an interview that the decision against Trillanes is similar to the case of Senator Leila de Lima, who was detained for allegedly violating the drug trafficking law almost a year and a half ago.[49][50] Supporters of Trillanes gathered outside the Senate and held a vigil.[51] Duterte severely lambasted Trillanes by describing the latter as "corrupt" and accused him of "abandoning" the military for his personal interests.[52]

On October 22, The Regional Trial Court in Makati denied the government's petition to have Trillanes arrested, saying the coup d'etat case against the senator was already dismissed on September 21, 2011, and that the dismissal was "final and executory".[53]

Personal life

Trillanes is married to Arlene G. Orejana, a former member of the Philippine Military Academy corps of professors — a PMA Class 1997 graduate herself — and together they have had three children; Francis Seth, Thea Estelle, and Alan Andrew (who died at 21 days old).[6]


  2. Official Facebook Page of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. "Antonio Sonny Trillanes IV Basic Info". Retrieved February 21, 2013.
  3. "Senator Antonio "Sonny" F. Trillanes IV". Retrieved February 19, 2013.
  4. Merueñas, Mark (October 13, 2010). "Trillanes camp: Amnesty won't set bad precedent". GMA News. Retrieved December 25, 2010.
  5. Official Facebook Page of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. "Antonio Sonny Trillanes IV Basic Info". Retrieved March 4, 2013.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Official Website of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. "ANTONIO "SONNY" F TRILLANES IV". Archived from the original on February 5, 2013. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Senate of the Philippines' Official Website. "Senator Antonio "Sonny" F. Trillanes IV Biography". Archived from the original on March 6, 2013. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
  8. Harvard Kennedy School Official Website. "Harvard Kennedy School Contact Us". Retrieved May 5, 2015.
  9. "Who is Antonio Trillanes IV?". Retrieved February 19, 2013.
  10. ", Magdalo History". Archived from the original on March 10, 2013. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
  11. 11.0 11.1 People's Tonight. "P-Noy supports Trillanes!". Archived from the original on October 28, 2012. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
  12. "GMA NEWS.TV, Makati court junks Trillanes plea to attend Senate sessions". July 30, 2007. Retrieved May 18, 2012.
  13. ", 'Let Trillanes Serve Movement' launched". Retrieved May 18, 2012.
  14. Paul Michael Jaramillo. "Trillanes joins Villar in Nacionalista Party". Retrieved March 4, 2013.
  15. Anna Liza T. Villas. "Court Defers Trillanes Hearing". Retrieved February 19, 2013.
  16. Jojo Malig. "Court Defers Trillanes Hearing". Retrieved February 20, 2013.
  17. "Trillanes: Filipinos celebrate rebellions". Retrieved November 28, 2007.
  18. "GMA NEWS.TV, Court rejects Trillanes appeal to attend Senate sessions". September 20, 2007. Retrieved May 18, 2012.
  19. "Abs-Cbn Interactive, Trillanes asks SC to allow him to attend Senate sessions".
  20. ", AFP, judge told to answer Trillanes's bid to exercise duties". Retrieved May 18, 2012.
  21. "Makati court grants Trillanes temporary release". Retrieved December 21, 2010.
  22. Marc Cayabyab. " Trillanes formalizes Senate re-election bid". Retrieved March 5, 2013.
  23. Matikas Santos. " Trillanes receives certificate of proclamation from Comelec". Retrieved May 20, 2013.
  24. Rappler. " Official tally of votes for the 2013 senatorial race". Retrieved October 14, 2013.
  25. Mario Casayuran. " Trillanes is Senates most productive". Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  26. 26.0 26.1 Official Facebook Page of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. "Antonio Sonny Trillanes IV Page Info". Retrieved August 24, 2015.
  27. Senate of the Philippines' Official Website. " Expressing appreciation to Senator Trillanes IV ". Archived from the original on March 6, 2013. Retrieved September 12, 2019.
  28. JDS GMA news. " Trillanes to run for higher office in 2016". Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  29. "Trillanes announces VP run, supports Poe's presidential bid". GMA News. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  30. Ranada, Pia (May 6, 2016). "Anti-Duterte ad by Trillanes riles up Duterte supporters". Rappler. Retrieved May 7, 2016.
  31. Macas, Trisha (May 6, 2016). "Taguig RTC issues TRO vs anti-Duterte ad". GMA News. Retrieved May 7, 2016.
  33. "Ang Network Marketing Scam… -".
  34. "Duterte: Trillanes closed SG account online days before trip".
  35. "If Duterte orders killings, why is Trillanes still alive? – Honeylet".
  36. Ager, Maila (February 13, 2018). "Trillanes on 'persona non grata' tag: Truth hurts". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
  37. "Robredo, ilang taga-oposisyon kinasuhan ng PNP-CIDG ukol sa 'Bikoy' videos". ABS-CBN News (in Tagalog).
  38. "Sedition raps: Solons, bishop hit 'stupid' PNP". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  39. "Trillanes blasts sedition charges against opposition figures". ABS-CBN News. "The filing of cases against key members of the opposition are clear acts of political persecution and harassment by the Duterte administration meant to stifle democratic dissent," Trillanes said in a statement.... ..."Anu't-ano pa man, haharapin ko ito at gagamitin kong pagkakataon na mailabas ang kaugnayan ni Duterte sa ilegal na droga," Trillanes said."The filing of cases against key members of the opposition are clear acts of political persecution and harassment by the Duterte administration meant to stifle democratic dissent," Trillanes said in a statement. "Anu't-ano pa man, haharapin ko ito at gagamitin kong pagkakataon na mailabas ang kaugnayan ni Duterte sa ilegal na droga," Trillanes said. (Whatever happens, I will face this and take this opportunity to prove Duterte's links to illegal drug operations.)
  40. "DOJ clears Robredo, indicts Trillanes and 10 others for 'conspiracy to commit sedition'". GMA News. February 10, 2020. Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  41. "DOJ clears Robredo, charges Trillanes in sedition case". Rappler. February 10, 2020. Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  42. "Trillanes, Bikoy face sedition raps for linking Duterte to drug trade". ABS CBN News. February 10, 2020. Retrieved February 10, 2020.
  43. 43.0 43.1 "Duterte revokes Trillanes' amnesty 'effective immediately'". Rappler. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  44. "Calida inquiry triggered review of Trillanes amnesty requirements —AFP spokesperson". GMA News.
  45. 45.0 45.1 "Trillanes vows to face arrest: 'Mr Duterte, hindi ako takot sa iyo'". Rappler. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  46. "DOJ seeks Trillanes warrant in another court". Rappler. Retrieved September 8, 2018.
  47. "Gary Alejano, mutineer and ex-Marine, leads impeach bid vs Duterte". Rappler. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  48. 48.0 48.1 "Revocation of Trillanes' amnesty 'clear act of revenge' – Alejano". Rappler. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  49. Reformina, Ina (February 23, 2017). "De Lima ordered arrested by RTC". Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  50. "Arrest order vs Trillanes 'very similar' to De Lima, says ex-SolGen". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  51. "Taga-suporta ni Trillanes, patuloy ang vigil sa labas ng Senado". ABS-CBN News (in Tagalog).
  52. "Duterte pounces on Trillanes: 'Corrupt,' 'abandoned military'". September 8, 2018. Retrieved September 9, 2018.
  53. News, ABS-CBN. "Court junking of Trillanes arrest a 'huge political slap' to Duterte gov't- NUPL". ABS-CBN News (in English). Retrieved October 25, 2018.

External links