PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — Cashiered Magdalo mutiny leader, Navy Lt. Senior Grade Antonio Trillanes IV filed his certificate of candidacy for the Senate Tuesday morning, prompting Armed Forces officials to declare him resigned from the service.
Trillanes told reporters his resignation from the AFP would not mean his release from detention or halt court martial proceedings against him and other Magdaló officers.
A member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) class of 1995, Trillanes led some 300 junior officers and men in occupying the Oakwood Premiere Suites in Makati City on July 27, 2003.
Trillanes said his supporters would “launch a proxy campaign” nationwide for him
He also said his campaign would “maximize technology—TV, radio, print, text [SMS] and the Internet.”
Trillanes, 35, is running as an independent candidate but told reporters that “I am willing to run under the UNO [United Opposition] if offered a slot.”
He expressed confidence that running as an independent can be an advantage, saying that “you can get to push your own advocacies.”
With the advent of new technology and lifting of political ad ban, Trillanes said, launching a nationwide campaign would neither be a problem.
“With these new developments, the traditional practices of ‘miting de avances’ and handshakes have become passé,’” he stressed. “Now, information about a candidate and his message can reach voters all over the country through available media, which could even prove faster than any political caravan.”
Trillanes further said that he would also utilize his “grassroots” machinery of relatives, friends and supporters who can do the necessary legwork for a campaign, which now covers 77 of the 79 provinces in the country.
According to Trillanes, he has already prepared a legislative program for his proposed bill covering his advocacies on anticorruption, poverty alleviation, peace and order, and education.
Meanwhile, AFP Public Information Chief, Lt. Colonel Bartolome Bacarro said that Trillanes is ‘automatically separated’ from the military service after formalizing his intention to run for public office.
“It’s a law and once you have filed your candidacy [automatically] you are deemed separated from the service. In the case of Trillanes it’s separated from the service,” Bacarro told defense reporters in a briefing.
But even if Trillanes is now officially separated from the service, the military will continue to hold him under detention since he is facing a court martial trial.