Senator Antonio Trillanes IV (they apparently keep track of the male names in their family much like European royalty), erstwhile coup plotter and Oakwood loudmouth, has been testing the political waters and found much to his liking. He looked a bit dazed and unbelieving at his proclamation two weeks ago. But the implications of his sudden reversal of fortune has meanwhile sunk in and he has been exhibiting his usual bluster. Apparently he expects the Senate “to amend its rules to accommodate his peculiar situation”. Translation: He expects to be released from the military stockade soon and given over to the custody of the Senate.
He has threatened to renew initiatives for Madame Arroyo’s impeachment and at his his recent oath-taking, called Migs Zubiri a “cheat” whom he would not deign to share the hallowed walls of the Senate with. His chest-thumping and shrill self-righteousness is nothing new and is in fact a common trait among PMAyers whom I know well, not a few from my own family. I can usually take their messianic pronouncements in good humor but the good senator has the makings of a boor and a major bore, and his near-hysterical persona has become tiresome. And to think I voted for him, in sympathy for his lost cause and as a weak protest against the Gloria administration.
No worries, though. He will soon be put in his proper place by his veteran Senate colleagues. Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago has in fact given him fair warning. He should shut-up, watch and learn or risk having his balls cut off (figuratively, of course) by the feisty Sen. Santiago.
Amado Doronila frets that the election of Trillanes has “created a political monster and thrown into the lap of the political system a sizzling time bomb with a short fuse”. I don’t think so. For now, Trillanes is a lightweight, as political monsters go. He might morph (ala Transformers) into a crazed megalomaniac soon enough, but not if Miriam, JPE, Gringo et. al. can help it.
And Sen. Trillanes should thread carefully in calling for an investigation of perceived financial anomalies in the AFP. It has been rumored that his family has benefited from such questionable transactions.
Furthermore, Trillanes himself, despite his supposed idealism, can be ruthless if it suits him. Lawyer Roel Pulido, who stood by the him and the Oakwood mutineers during the bad times, was unceremoniously dumped when the going got better.
Trillanes’ election has, naturally, caused some dismay among the upper echelons of the Armed Forces. A general of my acquaintance deplores the fact that every military detainee may now employ the tactic of running for elective office, even at the barangay level, to escape liability for their actions. Once elected, they automatically lose their military status and, as civilians, can claim to be beyond the pale of the military justice system.
My only real worry is that Trillanes will be co-opted by the system immediately and lose his only real value as a senator, which is to be a thorn on the side of the Arroyo administration.