The bible of Philippine politics

Trillanes v Gordon: Better a winless mutineer than a pathetic ‘kapit-tuko’

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Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is not ashamed of his 0-2 record in mounting coup d’etat which Senator Dick Gordon pointed out in an an ugly tit-for-tat in the Senate Thursday.

Trillanes pointed out in the hearing that at least he was motivated to launch the coup attempts – the Oakwood mutiny in 2003 and the Peninsula Siege in 2007 – with far more noble reasons than Gordon who took over Subic’s Administration Building 229 in 1998 in a bloody ‘last stand’ to remain in power over the former American naval base.

The exchange between the two started when Trillanes chastised Gordon for his “irrational ruling and behavior” as chair of the blue ribbon committee.

Trillanes dissed Gordon for making the committee a “one man show” and mocked him for his non-stop monologues which he called “not normal.”

Trillanes claimed that this was part of Gordon’s efforts to stonewall him from pursuing the connection of presidential son, vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, and presidential son-in-law, abogado Mans Carpio, to the “Davao Group” which allegedly facilitated the smuggling of P6.4 billion worth of shabu into the country.

But Gordon was not one to let Trillanes’ name calling go unanswered.

Gordon fired back with this zinger: “The trouble with this gentleman (Trillanes) is that if he doesn’t like this thing, he wil conduct a coup. And then he will be forgiven and go to the Senate. And conduct another coup and he will be forgiven again.”

But Trillanes there were more things worse than having a winless record in mutinies, specifically Gordon’s refusal to vacate his post as chair of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority as ordered by then newly-elected President Joseph Estrada.

“E dito nagbarricade ka sa Subic just to hold on to your positon that is more pathetic,” said Trillanes.

This is Asiaweek’s Tony Lopez account of Gordon’s “last stand”:

“At dawn on July 26, commandos stormed Subic’s Administration Building 229 to ferret out Gordon’s supporters who had been keeping vigil there. Within 30 minutes, this symbol of Gordon’s authority was in government hands. But the volunteers launched a counterattack, with sticks, stones, broken bottles and molotov cocktails. At the end of the melee, two firetrucks were in flames, the police had sustained 22 casualties, and 73 of Gordon’s backers had been hurt. Gordon was finally ejected from the offices, and he and his supporters withdrew to the nearby Building 255.”

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