Branch 148, Makati RTC
06 March 2008
I am supposed to testify as a defense witness today in connection with my coup d’etat case at the Makati RTC. However, after much reflection, I decided to forego my testimony and write this letter instead.
There are a few undisputed facts in this case: 1) That on July 27 2003, I, together with 300 other officers and men, spoke the truth; 2) No person was harmed; 3) No property was damaged and 4) Not a single shot was fired. Yet, after almost five years in detention, we still stand accused of committing a crime that could have us incarcerated for life. Is this just? No. Did I ever regret my actions? No.
Now, the prosecutors have allowed themselves to be used as instruments to further this injustice and the presiding judge may yet be pressured into convicting us, but everyone in this court room knows — deep in their hearts — that we are not criminals and definitely not a menace to society. On the contrary, we, the accused, have rendered faithful service to our Motherland.
We have lived by the ideals of our alma mater, the Philippine Military Academy â€“ COURAGE, INTEGRITY and LOYALTY. The physical and moral courage to stand up against what is wrong and to fight for what is right; the integrity to resist the lure and trappings of power and wealth, and the unbending loyalty to God, Country and People.
The question now is “Why are we in prison?” Indeed, why are we in prison when the truth we spoke of on that faithful day has been validated time and again through the despicable revelations of crime and corruption committed by GMA and her cohorts? Why are we in prison when through the recent elections, the Filipino people affirmed the justness of our cause?
In my search for the answer to these questions, I came across Henry David Thoreau’s essay on civil disobedience, and I quote: “Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.”
Today, I refuse to participate any further in this travesty of justice just as the GMA administration has lost all moral authority to render any judgment over me and my companions. Do your worst, for we have already been acquitted by the people.
SEN. ANTONIO F. TRILLANES IV