The Final Report of the Fact-Finding Commission: VI: The Failed December 1989 Coup: Who?

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VI

THE FAILED DECEMBER 1989 COUP: WHO?

Who staged it?

This is the first question that is asked when a coup d’etat occurs. In the Philippines, because the same groups of plotters led by the same key conspirators surfaced again and again in the seven coup attempts after the historic EDSA People Power Revolt, this question is no longer asked with a sense of urgency. Media have served to satisfy the curiosity of the public. However, the conclusions that one can derive from media reports are not sufficient for purposes of establishing legal accountability or for recommendations to deter coups in the future.

The Fact-Finding Commission’s mandate includes the identification of military personnel and civilian personalities, including public officials and employees, who may be involved in the failed December 1989 coup attempt. The Commission is tasked to turn over to the appropriate prosecutorial authorities all pertinent evidence when in the course of its investigation it finds that there is reasonable ground to believe that an individual appears to be liable for a criminal offense in connection with the coup.

This chapter provides statistical data for a general profile of the coup participants, particularly the military rebels. It also focuses on the leaders. Civilian personalities who were probably involved in the coup are discussed separately. The chapter ends with the Commission’s recommendations on what in its judgment should be the appropriate action in each case.

It is not, however, the duty of the Commission to determine whether they are guilty of participating in the coup. The Commission is required under RA No. 6832 to find out if the evidence in its possession is sufficient to create a reasonable ground to believe that one appears to be liable for an offense in connection with the coup. Reasonable ground exists when there is a rational basis to conclude that an individual was indeed involved. The function of the Commission is neither to prosecute, indict nor convict, but only to provide leads for investigatory and prosecutorial agencies to pursue them in accordance with the requirements of due process.

A. Sourcing of Evidence

To fulfill its mandate, the Commission took the testimonies of 332 witnesses in open or closed-door sessions, and received the sworn statements or affidavits, or caused the re-affirmation of sworn statements or affidavits earlier executed, of 226 witnesses. The Commission also obtained various records and documents, produced before it either during its sessions or in the taking of the sworn statements, or by virtue of subpoenas duces tecum or official requests, which were then marked as Exhibits. The latter included documents from, but not limited to, (1) the Office of the AFP Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel (J1), (2) the Office of the AFP Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence (J2), (3) the AFP Office of The Inspector General (AFPTIG), (4) the Investigating Committees of the Major Service Commands, (5) the AFP Special Investigating Committee (AFPSIC), and (6) the Department of Justice (DOJ).

From the above oral and documentary evidence, the names of individuals probably involved in the failed December 1989 coup were gathered and classified either as military or civilian participants.

B. Creating the Data Base for Military Participants

Considering the sheer number of military personnel involved, two types of computer data bases were made to facilitate evaluation and analysis. The first, described as Masterlist of Military Officers Probably Involved in the Failed December 1989 Coup, is attached to this Report as Appendix J. The other, known as the Masterlist of Enlisted Personnel Probably Involved in the Failed December 1989 Coup, is attached as Appendix K of this Report. Appendix K-1 is the Masterlist of OCS Students Probably Involved in the Failed December 1989 Coup.

An analysis of the officers’ data base was undertaken to obtain a better profile of the principal leaders and unit heads involved in the coup.

The computer data base for the officers includes the name listing and the particulars for each name such as rank, serial number, service command, unit of assignment, personnel status, source of commission, present disposition, category of involvement, nature of participation, reference, and the status of investigation with recommendations of the Commission whenever appropriate.

Present Disposition shows the present whereabouts of the subject—whether at-large, detained, released, resigned, or cleared after investigation.

Category of Involvement identifies the individual listed as any of the following:

(a) Implicated means that the Commission’s records show that the individual participated in the coup by direct action;

(b) Sympathizer means that the individual indirectly supported the coup by some outward act such as orally expressing support for the rebel cause, e.g., by tendering his resignation or by inverting the flag;

(c) Suspected means that the name of the individual appeared in one or more documents submitted to the Commission showing some involvement in the coup but his specific participation is not clear.

Under the column of Nature of Participation, the Commission describes the acts committed by the military personnel involved. The descriptions were made on the basis of testimonies, sworn statements and affidavits, and other exhibits submitted to the Commission. This column is the basis for the Commission’s recommendations as to what further action should be taken, if any, for each military personnel listed as probably involved. It must be noted that other government agencies, particularly the military and the DOJ, have already taken steps towards the prosecution, or the release of some of those in the list.

Reference indicates the basis for the involvement or the nature of the participation.

The action taken by military authorities on each of those appearing in the list are indicated under the column Status of Investigation. This column shows the status of the military’s investigation. There are four Masses under this category:

(1) For PTI (Pre-Trial Investigation) means that the case has been transmitted to the Trial Judge Advocate General (TJAG) for PTI pursuant to Article of War (AW) 711 and Section 35(a), Manual for Courts-Martial (MCM)2 and for trial before a General Court-Martial (GCM) for violation of AW 67,3 AW 944 in relation to Articles 6 and 248 (Murder) of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), and AW 965 and for such other violations and crimes as may be found during the course of the PTI;

(2) For GCM (General Court-Martial) means that a PTI had been conducted and that violation/s liable to a GCM had been committed;

(3) Released with Reprimand means that the case was closed and the person released was given a reprimand by his commanding officer and/or a forfeiture of base pay in favor of the government pursuant to Section [a] [1] [b] [4] MCM as amended;6

(4) Cleared means that the case has been dropped or closed by AFPSIC and approved by the Chief of Staff;

(5) Under Investigation means that the person is currently detained either in stockade, house arrest, or camp arrest by order of a Commanding Officer and/or a General Order of the most senior officer while his case awaits resolution; and

(6) Referred to DOJ means that the case of the person, being a retired or dismissed military personnel, has been referred to the Justice Department.

Those released with reprimand and cleared would have to (a) undergo a seminar on military discipline (AFPRG 131 dated 7 November 1974) and on crimes against public order (Article 134 – 142, RPC), and (b) pledge support to the Constitution, the duly constituted authorities, and the AFP chain of command verbally and in writing and in appropriate ceremonies before they are restored to duty status.

C. General Profile of Coup Participants

The report from the AFPSIC dated 30 April 19907 gives a total number of 2,290 (470 officers and 1,820 enlisted men) military personnel allegedly involved in the December 1989 failed coup. For consistency in comparison, the number of enlisted personnel deemed cleared by the AFPSIC was not included as the Commission’s own figures already excluded such data. The Commission’s own tally sheet, which includes retired, resigned, and dismissed officers, has a total of 2,911 (469 officers, 70 officer candidates and 2,372 enlisted men), which is 27.1 percent more than the listing of the military referred to in the above. Of the 469 officers, 238 were classified as implicated, 40 of whom have been released after study of their cases by the AFPSIC or the AFPTIG and the meting out of appropriate penalties, where necessary. Majority of those classified as sympathizers, about 40 of the total of 69, were from the 4 ID. More than one-third (162) of the officers remain in the suspected category. The Commission did not include in its list those cleared without penalties, except for 20 cleared cases where the Commission recommends that they be reviewed.

The above total of 2,911 military personnel is 130.5 percent more than those in the August 1987 episode which had 1,263 participants.8 The total number in the December 1989 incident exceeds the combined rebel manpower of 1,683 for of all the four coup attempts in 19879 as shown in Table VI-1.

Table VI-1 — Comparison of the Total Number of Probable
Participants in the 1987 and 1989 Coup Attempts
and AFP Population Profile in 1987 and 1989

Service 

Command

No. of Military Personnel Probably Involved in the 1987 & 1989 Coup Attempts Population Profile by Service Command, 1987 and 1989**

1987*
(all four attempts)

1989

No. of Men in 1987

No. of Men in 1989

PA
PN
PC
PAF
Not Identified

928
64
353
218
120

1,611
844
328
115
13

61,907
21,811
38,860
14,536
0

67,531
23,887
47,352
14,901
0

TOTAL

1,683

2,911

137,114

153,671

*Figures do not include the cleared enlisted personnel.
**Summary of the Historical Profile of the AFP from 1987-1990, Exh. “SSSSSS” – Commission.

Among the major service commands, the Philippine Army (PA) contributed the biggest number to the rebel military group. As shown in Table VI-1 above, the Army accounted for 55 percent of military personnel probably involved (MPPI) in both the 1987 and 1989 incidents. Such a result could be expected since the Army has the largest population in terms of personnel as shown in the same table. The reverse is true with respect to the Philippine Air Force (PAF). It has the least number of men, which therefore accounts for the smallest number of MPPI in 1989. Operationally, the coup plotters will naturally target the Army for its vast number of infantry men and the Air Force for the destructive power of its fighter planes with only a small number of pilots needed to fly them.

Much more revealing are the data on the service command which has the lowest number of MPPI. In the 1987 coup attempts, the Philippine Navy (PN) had the least number of MPPI. In 1989, however, the Navy had the second highest number of MPPI due to the involvement of the Philippine Marines.

An interesting comparison is the increase of MPPI in the 1987 and 1989 failed coup attempts as shown in Table VI-2. The MPPI from the Army almost doubled. The main cause is the direct participation of the First Scout Ranger Regiment (FSRR), several Ranger companies, and several Ranger battalions. The participation of rebel Marines gave rise to a 1,218.8 percent increase in MPPI from the Navy. There is also the notable decrease in Air Force MPPI in the December 1989 failed coup. This highlights the steadfastness of most of the Air Force officers and men in resisting rebel attempts to use them and their aircrafts against the government.

Table VI-2 — Increase of MPPI and Number of
Military Personnel, 1987 – 1889

Service 

Command

1987

1989

Increase(%) 1987-1989

No. of Men

No. of MPPI

% of Participants Over Men

No. of Men

No. of MPPI

% of Participants Over Men

No. of Men

No. of MPH

PA
PN
PC
PAF
Not Identified

61,907
21,811
38,860
14,536

928
64
353
218
120

1.5
0.3
0.9
1.5

67,531
23,887
47,352
14,901

1,611
844
328
115
13

2.4
3.5
0.7
0.8

9.1
9.5
21.9
2.5

73.6
1,218.8
(7.1)
(47.2)

 

TOTAL

137,114

1,683

1.2

153,671

2,911

1.9

12.1

73.0

It is obvious that the December 1989 coup plotters targeted the Scout Rangers and the Marines for recruitment. The plotters were only too aware of the distinct culture of cohesiveness of these units, and their extreme loyalty to their commanders.

Table VI-3 below provides a breakdown of the aggregate number of military personnel probably involved in the December 1989 coup.

Table VI-3 — Total Number of MPPI in the Failed
December 1989 Coup, by Service Commands

Service
Command

Officer

Enlisted
Personnel

OCS

TOTAL

PAPNPC

PAF

Not Identified

255

101

75

33

5

1,324

734

249

61

4

32

9

4

21

4

1,611

844

328

115

13

TOTAL

469

2,372

70

2,911

As thus shown, out of the 2,911 MPPI, 469 were officers. More than half were from the Army. As stated earlier, the list includes officers who had retired, resigned, or been dismissed. The ratio of officers to the total number of military personnel is 1:5, i.e., one out of every six MPPI was an officer. This is a marked increase in officer participation when compared to 1987 which had one officer out often MPPI.10

Majority of the OPI in the last coup, 304 or 64.8 percent, are under detention. Seventy three, however, remain at-large. The rest have been cleared, released or resigned; a number have yet to be investigated.

Of the officers involved in the 1989 coup, 77 were repeaters meaning they were involved in at least one other previous coup attempt. Among the enlisted personnel, at least 123 were found to have been involved in the 1987 coup attempts. Repeaters among officers and men comprise 6.9 Percent of the total MPPI in 1989.

An observation made in the Commission’s first Interim Report was that the operational execution of the failed coup attempts before 1989 was in the hands of junior officers. A similar case is noted for the December 1989 incident where officers with ranks of lieutenants and captains form 73.8 percent of the total number of officers probably involved (OPI). This confirms the reports that the recruiters were concentrating on battalion and company commanders as part of the strategic and tactical mobilization and deployment of forces plan for the coup.

Table VI-4 — Rank Profile of Military Officers Probably
Involved in the December 1989 Coup

Rank

Service command

PA

PN (PNM)*

PC

PAF

Not Identified

TOTAL

BGen/CommodoreColonel/CaptainLt Col/Cmdr

Maj /LCdr

Capt/LTSG

1LT/LTJG

2LT/Ens

3

6

16

21

78

79

52

1 (0)

10 (0)

9 (3)

19 (5)

28 (14)

20 (14)

14(12)

1

3

8

10

28

14

11

2

2

8

4

8

6

3

3

2

7

21

41

54

145

121

80

TOTAL

255

101

75

33

5

469

*Figures are abstracted from that of the Philippine Navy.

Table VI-5 — Source of Commission of Military Officers
Probably Involved (OPI) in the December 1989 Coup,
PMA or Non-PMA

Service Command

PMA

Non-PMA

Total No. of Officers from PMA

No. of OPI From PMA

% of PMA

Total No. of Non-PMA Officers

No. of Non-PMA OPI

%of Non-PMA

PAPNPC

PAF

Not Identified

1,044

602

220

370

108

39

44

16

3

10.3

6.5

20.0

4.3

3,766

2,022

3,909

1,867

145

63

31

17

3

3.9

3.1

0.8

0.9

TOTAL

2,236

210

9.4

11,564

259

2.2

Another interesting data is the comparison of figures of OPI who are either PMA or non-PMA graduates. Although PMA alumni comprise only 15 percent of the AFP officer corps, a segment of them were very visible and quite active in the past coup attempt.11

A little over nine percent of officers from the PMA are listed as OPI in the December 1989 coup attempt while only 2.2 percent of officers who are non-PMA are OPI (See Table VI-5).

While indeed the major players of the December 1989 coup came from the country’s premiere military school, the figures bear out the fact that rebel PMA alumni is an aberration, not the norm. Nevertheless, the figures should provide directions for the national and military leadership in concentrating their efforts in reforms.

Table VI-6 below shows a list of officers involved in at least two of the seven post-EDSA coup attempts.

Table VI-6 — Officers Involved or Investigated in At Least
Two of the Seven Failed Coup Attempts
after the EDSA Revolt

NAME

JULY

NOV

JAN

APR

JULY

AUG

DEC

Involved
More than Twice

1986

1986

1987

1987

1987

1987

1989

1. ABADILLA, ROLANDO

X

X

X

X

X

5

2. ABENINA, EDGARDO M.

X

X

3. AGUINALDO, RODOLFO

X

X

X

3

4. ALBANO, JERRY

X

X

5. AMARILLE, ROLAND C.

X

X

6. AMON, ELMER

X

X

7. APOLINARIO, RAMON C.

X

X

8. AROMIN, SAULITO

X

X

X

3

9. AVENIDO, ANSELMO JR. S.

X

X

10. AVENIDO, PACIFICO JR. A

X

X

11. BAILEN, ROSALJNO R.

X

X

12. BALTAZAR, FERNANDO E.

X

X

1

13. BATAC, VICTOR

X

X

X

3

14. BAYANGOS, TITO

X

X

15. BERNARTE, DANTE

X

X

16. CABAUATAN, REYNALDO

X

X

X

X

4

17. CAPAYCAPAY, MARIO G.

X

X

18. CARAIG, HERNANDO JR. D.

X

X

19. CRUZ, JOSE S.

X

X

20. DACLAN, ROMEO

X

X

21. DARIO, PAUL POMPEYO M.

X

X

22. DE GUZMAN, ROLANDO

X

X

X

23. DELA CRUZ, ANTONIO

X

X

24. DIONEDA, LEOVIC R.

X

X

25. DOROMAL, WILHELM

X

X

26. DUQUE, SERGIO JR. S.

X

X

27. EBUEN, NEON D.

X

X

28. ECHEVARRIA, JAIME

X

X

29. ELEFANTE, ROMEO G.

X

X

X

30. ESCCTO, ARMANDO

X

X

31. FUSILERO, TIBURCIO

X

X

32. GAURAN.ANDY

X

X

33. GENETE.WILFREDO M.

X

X

34. HONASAN, GREGORIO

X

X

X

3

NAME

JULY

NOV

JAN

APR

JULY

AUG

DEC

Involved
More than Twice

1986

1986

1987

1987

1987

1987

1989

35. IRIZARI, ROLANDO

X

X

36. JAVIER, AGRIPINO B.

X

X

37. KAPUNAN, EDUARDO

X

X

X

3

38. LAZARO, RODOLFO S.

X

X

39. LEGASPI, OSCAR B.

X

X

X

3

40. LEGIRALDE, FIDEL JR. E.

X

X

41. UNA,DOMINADORA

X

X

42. LUCAS, JAIME T.

X

X

3

43. LUMIBAO, RENATO V.

X

X

X

44. MALABANJOT, EDMUNDO D.

X

X

45. MALAJACAN, MARCELINO

X

X

46. MAUGAUG, PROCESO L.

X

X

47. MAMARIL, DANIEL V.

X

X

48. MANAED, DEMETRIO S.

X

X

49. MARANON, ROQUE JR. S.

X

X

50. MATILLANO, EDUARDO S.

X

X

51. NICOLAS, PEDRO V.

X

X

52. NOVERAS, CLIFORDO

X

X

53. OCHOSA, JOSE REYNALDO

X

X

54. ORDONEZ, REYNALDO O.

X

X

55. ORQUINA, RODOLFO L.

X

X

56. PABALE, ELMER C.

X

X

57. PANELO, GREGOR MENDEL

X

X

58. PANTE, CONSTANTE V.

X

X

59. PURUGGANAN, ABRAHAM

X

X

60. QUERUBIN, ALLEN TEODORO

X

X

61. RAFAL, REYNALDO S.

X

X

62. RAFANAN, ABRAHAM

X

X

63. RANAY, ROMEO

X

X

64. RASCO, EUSEO T

X

X

65. RIVERA, REYNALDO D.

X

X

66. ROBLES,REX

X

X

67. SAMPOL, JESUS

X

X

68. SANARES, NESTOR B.

X

X

69. SANCHEZ, LUISITO G.

X

X

70. SANDALO, CECIL EZRA

X

X

71. SANTOS, MANUEL D.

X

X

72. SARMENTA.CEFERINO JR.

X

X

73. SILVA.ELY T.

X

X

74. TOR, RODOLFO A.

X

X

75. TURINGAN, FELIX

X

X

X

3

76. VALEROSO, DIOSDADO T.

X

X

77. ZUMEL, JOSE MARIA

X

X

X

3

Sixty-six officers participated twice, nine officers thrice, one was implicated in four attempts, while another, ex-Col Rolando Abadilla, the current Vice Governor of Ilocos Norte, was allegedly involved in five coup attempts, but excluding December 1989. Sixty-three officers were involved in both the August 1987 and 1989 attempts. Seventy-one officers implicated in 1989 were also involved in previous coups.

D. The Leaders of the December 1989 Failed Coup

The December 1989 failed coup is no doubt the most serious and costliest attempt against the Aquino government, involving the most number of troops. This could be attributed to the tactical alliance forged between the RAM – Honasan Faction (RAM-HF) and the Loyalists. The latter refer to officers identified with the group of BGen Zumel and Gen Fabian Ver.

D.1. RAM-HF/MND Connection

The overall planning and plotting of the December 1989 coup appear to have been principally handled by ex-Lt Col Gregorio Honasan PA. The operational, tactical, and implementation responsibilities appear to have been placed in the hands of the core group of the RAM-HF, namely, Lt Cols Victor Batac PC and Eduardo Kapunan PAF, ex-Capt (PN) Felix Turingan, Ex-LCmdr (PN) Jaime Lucas, ex-Lt Cols Oscar Legaspi PAF and Billy Bibit PC, and Maj Abraham Purugganan PA. All of them, except Bibit, were implicated in previous coup attempts. The members of this core group are representative of the four major service commands of the AFP. All are graduates of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), Classes ’65 – ’78.

The involvement of Honasan, Batac, Kapunan, Lucas, Legaspi, and Turingan is traceable to February 1986. They were also involved in the November 1986 “God Save The Queen” plot and the 28 August 1987 coup attempt.12 Honasan, Batac, Kapunan, Lucas, Legaspi, and Turingan had spent the major part of their military service with the Ministry (now Department) of National Defense (MND) under then Minister Juan Ponce Enrile.13 Three years after his graduation from the PMA, Honasan was detailed to the MND beginning 1 September 1974 until Enrile was removed from his position in November 1986. By then, Honasan was Enrile’s Special Assistant on Security Matters.

Batac, Kapunan, and Turingan started their assignment at the MND in 1979. By September 1986, Kapunan was a member of the security group at the Office of the Minister. Turingan, on the other hand, was Chief of the Information Management Office (IMO) and Legaspi was Senior Aide-de-Camp to Minister Enrile.

Other major players in the last coup who are identified with the RAM-HF are Honasan’s other classmates, Lt Cols Tiburcio Fusilero (who also served at the MND) and Marcelino Malajacan. Lt Col Ericson Aurelio, Col Alexander Noble, and Cmdr Proceso Maligalig also featured prominently in the last attempt. Aurelio, while at the MND from November 1984 to April 1986, was also consultant on security and police matters of the Export Processing Zone Authority under Atty Renato Cayetano, who was then Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry and now a law partner of Enrile. Maligalig was also assigned to MND during Enrile’s incumbency. Enrile paid for his tuition fees at AIM where he graduated in 1982.14 Maligalig and Noble belong to PMA Class ’69.

Other officers in the MPPI list who served at the MND during Enrile’s incumbency are Lt Col Reynaldo Rivera, ex-Lt Andy Gauran, Navy Capt Jesus Durian, and Lt Rolando Cal.15

Batac, Honasan, Kapunan, and Legaspi were classmates at the PMA (Class ’71). Except for Legaspi, these PMAers are also graduates of the Asian Institute of Management (AIM).

The other classmates of Honasan in the MPPI list are Lt Cols Levy Zamora, Diosdado Tabamo, Teodorico Viduya, Reynaldo Rivera, Eduardo Matillano, Neon Ebuen, and Rafael Galvez.

Bibit and Aurelio were classmates at the PMA (Class ’72). Their other classmates who were involved in the last coup are ex-Lt Col Rodolfo Aguinaldo and Majs Alfredo Oliveros, Rodolfo Tor, and Leuvino Valencia. The latter could be the link with the 3rd Scout Ranger Battalion which took over the Legaspi Airport as this unit was under him from February 1987 to September 1989, as was Capt Jaime Junio of the 14th Scout Ranger Company who led the attack against the PAF Repeater Station in Tagaytay City.

Purugganan’s links with Honasan may have begun when the former was the commanding officer (CO) of the 7th Scout Ranger Company stationed in Isabela and the latter was the CO of the Special Operations School of the Philippine Army Training Command (SOS PA TRACOM) at Port Magsaysay in Palayan City, Nueva Ecija. Both were at Camp Vinaldo during the August 1987 coup attempt. Honasan made full use of his SOS position. Also implicated in the last coup were Capts Edmundo Malabanjot, Fidel Legiralde, and Dominador Lina, all reservists. The three were course directors of Scout Ranger Training Classes at the SOS.16

D.2. Honasan/GCFI Network

There can be no doubt that some members of the Guardian Centre Foundation, Inc (GCFI) were used by Honasan during the December 1989 coup attempt.

Honasan leads the list of the incorporators of the Foundation.17 Rodolfo Morit, Jr is the second in the list. Three other incorporators – SSgt Nicanor Cagurangan, MSgt Rogelio Attunaga, and MSgt Leovides Montehermoso – were with Honasan at the MND Security Group during Enrile’s incumbency as Minister of National Defense.

It may be recalled that Honasan signed as an instrumental witness to the Articles of Incorporation of the Guardians Brotherhood, Inc (GBI).18

During the December 1989 coup, Morit met his brother-Guardians at the Bureau of Corrections in Muntinlupa. In the evening of 30 November, he brought 26 prison guards (all Guardians) and four civilians to the Baltao Subdivision in Parañaque. In the early morning of 1 December, they were picked up by Gamos, Vice President Laurel’s Chief of Security, and brought to the Velayo Sports Complex fronting the Manila Domestic Airport terminal where they were to be provided with firearms.

In the morning of 30 November, 30 to 40 GCFI members from Baguio City led by the chapter president, Assistant City Prosecutor Elmer Sagsago, went to the North Harbor, allegedly to attend a GCFI conference. At the same meeting were some 40 heavily armed men in military uniform and others in civilian attire. These men reportedly asked Sagsago and his group to join in the coup activity. Sagsago, however, claimed that they refused to do so and that he and the rest of the GCFI-Baguio Chapter members left in groups of two or three. The leader of the armed group was ex-Capt Dante Pimentel, also a GCFI member.

P/Capt Job Gavino, Station Commander (STACOM) of the North Harbor Port Police was contacted by RAM-HF core group member Bibit at 7:30 a.m. of 30 November. In his testimony before the Commission, Job Gavino admitted that he is a member of the GCFI.

The rebels who attacked and ransacked the Civil Relations Service (CRS) office of the late CRS Chief BGen Oscar Florendo in the early morning of 1 December were also Guardians. They were led by Dante Pimentel who used to be the Finance Officer of CRS. He has resigned his commission.19

D.3. The Loyalists

The Loyalist rebels who played prominent and visible roles and listed in the MPPI were, at one time or another, assigned to the Presidential Security Command (PSC) and/or the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) under Gen Fabian Ver. They include Zumel, Cols Anselmo Avenido, and Luisito Sanchez, Navy Capt Danilo Pizarro, Lt Cols Arsenio Tecson, Rafael Galvez, Jacinto Ligot, Jerry Albano, Romelino Gojo, and Maj Alfredo Oliveros. Tecson and Gojo are both classmates of Col Irwin Ver, son of Gen Ver, at the PMA.

Pizarro was at one time the commanding officer of Ang Pangulo, former President Marcos’s presidential yacht. LCmdr Perfecto Pascual was already assigned to the PSC when Pizarro joined the unit.

Capt Danilo Lim, on the other hand, used to be Zumel’s aide-de-camp when the latter was the PMA Superintendent.

Thus, while they were linked to Ver and Marcos, Oliveros, Galvez, and Gojo also have special links with Honasan. Galvez and Albano were Honasan’s classmates at the PMA. Oliveros was in the batch behind Honasan’s class and Gojo is a Honasan kin.

D.4. Abenina – The Middleman

Although there were indications of possible collaboration in past coup attempts between the Honasan group and the Loyalists, there was, for the December 1989 coup, a need for a more effective alliance. Both groups had the same objective — to remove President Aquino from power. Considering, however, that they were opposing forces during the EDSA Revolt, someone had to act as middleman. That role was tailor-made for BGen Edgardo Abenina, a known supporter of the rightist movement who was implicated and charged for involvement in the 28 August 1987 attempt.20 BGens Abenina and Zumel were classmates at the PMA (Class ’58). Abenina was Regional Command (RECOM) 7 commander during the August 1987 attempt, when he revealed his support for the rebels by inverting the Philippine flag at his headquarters. Charged with him were Avenido, Fusilero, and Tor.

D.5. BGens Comendador and Blando and Commo Calajate

A surprise to the AFP was the participation of BGen Jose Comendador, Commander 2nd Air Division, BGen Marcelo Blando, Commanding General (CG) 7 ID, and Commo Domingo Calajate, Commander AFP Logistics Command (LOGCOM). According to Chief of Staff Gen Renato de Villa, Comendador could have been recruited by Fusilero. Blando’s pro-rebel stand was not known until he was at Greenhills Commercial Center, although the rebel Rangers at Fort Bonifacio expected his arrival there as early as 1 December. Blando used to be the CG of the FSRR. It must be noted that in a meeting with de Villa on the Monday preceding the coup, Blando pledged his loyalty to him. Calajate, in turn, attended the Command Conference called by de Villa at 5:30 p.m. on 30 November at the headquarters’ of the Intelligence Service of the AFP (ISAFP).

D.6. Other Major Participants

The details of the activities of the other major participants in the December 1989 coup attempt like Fusilero, Bibit, Noble, and the officers of the various units which moved against the government are discussed in Chapter V and their names, category of involvement, and nature of participation are shown in Appendix J.

The following military officers are presently facing general court-martial proceedings:

NAME

SERIAL NO.

PMA YEAR

1. BGen Jose Comendador 0-4392 AFP

1959

2. BGen Marcelo Blando 0-4522 AFP

1960

3. Capt Danilo Pizarro 0-4747 PN (GSC)

1963

4. Capt Manuel Ison 0-4826 PN (GSC)

1964

5. Col Luisito Sanchez 0-5311 PA (GSC)

1967

6. Lt Col Romelino Gojo 0-5609 PN (M)

1970

7. Lt Col Tiburcio Fusilero 0-5834 PC

1971

8. Lt Col Jacinto Ligot 0-5639 PA

1970

9. Lt Col Arsenio Tecson 0-5641 PA

1970

NAME

SERIAL NO.

PMA YEAR

10. Lt Col Rafael Galvez 0-5870 PA

1971

11. Lt Col Ericson Aurelio 0-6258 PA

1972

12. Lt Col Franklin Brawner 0-5836 PA

1971

13. Maj Alfredo Oliveros 0-6250 PA

1972

14. Maj Leuvino Valencia 0-6248 PA

1972

15. Maj Cesar de la Pefia 0-6878 PN (M)

Integree

16. Capt Danilo Lim 0-7667 PA

WP 1978

17. Capt Elmer Amon 0-8406 PAF

1981

18. Capt Vergel Nacino 0-8413 PAF

1981

19. Capt Florencio Flores 0-106045 PA

Reserve

20. Capt Benigno Junio 0-109991 PA

Reserve

21. 1Lt Joey Sarroza 0-8758 PAF

1983

D.7. Enlisted Personnel

A total of 2,372 enlisted personnel were involved in the failed December coup and the category of their involvement is listed in Appendix K.

D.8. Civilian Participants

While a coup is primarily a military operation, the task of the Commission is to examine all the involvements in the December 1989 attempt including those of civilians. Thus, the Commission followed up on several leads about possible civilian participation.

The DND Special Investigation Committee (DND SIC) in its Third Egress Report21 mentioned foreigners as allegedly involved in the coup. One name mentioned was Eito Eikiuchi, who was described as a “likely coup supporter/participant.”

The Commission took note of the sworn statements of former CG Southern Luzon Command BGen Alejandro Galido which named several civilians, including Homobono Adaza, Baby Asistio, Rafael Ayoste (deceased), Cherry Cobarrubias, Enrique “Henry” Cojuangco, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, Eduardo Figueras, retired BGen Romeo Gatan, Lito Gorospe, Cesar Lopez, former First Lady Mrs Imelda Marcos, Rico Mendoza (alleged friend of Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, Jr), Luis Tabuena, Joaquin Venus, Jr, and a certain Mel Verano.22

D.8.a. Cases Filed Before the DOJ

The Commission, likewise, obtained copies of the complaints or charges, and the supporting documents, filed with the Department of Justice against civilians allegedly involved in the coup attempt. Classified among civilians are retired, resigned or dismissed military officers. As of 29 August 1990 the following civilians have been charged before the DOJ23

Abenina, Edgardo Jr.Adaza, HomobonoArillo, Cecilio

Balueg, Crisostomo

Canoy, Reuben

Castro, Edgardo

Cepe, Bienvenido

Cruz, Danilo

Dee, Pablo Jr

Enrile, Juan Ponce

Garcia, Arthur

Gracia, Rolando de

Gorospe, Lito

Henson, ChitoMagsaysay, VicentePanlilio, Erlinda

Panlilio, Rebecco

Pestano, Medardo

Puyat, Vicente

Recto, Rafael

Rodriguez, Joaquin

Serrano, Audie

Uyson, Harry

Venus, Joaquin Jr

Verano, Crismel

Veroy, Leopoldo and Mrs

Gavino, Job with:Abundo, RonnieArriola, Antonio

Coching, Manuel

Domingo Ernesto

Manuel, Armando

Lt Col Rodolfo Aguinaldo

Lt Col Dante Bernarte

Lt Col Billy Bibit

Sgt Lambino Bicos

BGen Felix Brawner

Capt Antonio de la Cruz

BGen Jaime Echeverria

Lt Col Gregorio Honasan

Navarro, ArturoPilapil, AugustoTamayo, Matias

Tamayao, Francisco

Villanueva, Renato

Lt Col Oscar Legaspi

LCmdr Jaime Lucas

Capt Roque Maranon, Jr

Lt Col Eduardo Matillano

Lt Col Rodolfo Tor

Maj Lyle Tugbang

Capt Felix Turingan

 

Matillano, Tor and de la Cruz were charged with Rolando de Gracia, Chito Henson, Pablo Dee, Jr, Harry Uyson, and John Does for illegal possession of ammunitions and explosives in furtherance of rebellion.24 The Department of Justice dismissed the cases against Uyson, Dee, and de la Cruz and referred the case of Matillano to the military authorities for appropriate action. The President waived court-martial jurisdiction over Tor and de la Cruz. In its Resolution in the case against Recto, et al,25 the DOJ excluded/absolved Edgardo Castro and Joaquin Rodriguez for insufficiency of evidence.

The cases against Job Gavino, Antonio Arriola, Matias Tamayo, Manuel Coching, Ronnie Abundo, Francisco Tamayao, Augusto Pilapil, Renato Villanueva, Ernesto Domingo, Arturo Navarro, and Armando Manuel were dismissed by DOJ, without prejudice, for lack of evidence.26

The case against BGen (Ret) Jaime Echeverria was similarly dismissed by DOJ.

As of 29 August 1990, the DOJ had filed the following information

1. People of the Philippines vs Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, Gregorio Honasan, Rebecco Panlilio and Erlinda Panlilio (Criminal Case No. Q-90-10941, RTC, Quezon City) for Rebellion with Murder and Frustrated Murder, filed on 15 February 199027,

2. People of the Philippines vs Senator Juan Ponce Enrile (Criminal Case No. 90-777, RTC, Makati) for violation of PD No. 1829, filed on 15 February 199028

3. People of the Philippines vs Felix Brawner, Jr (Criminal Case No. Q-90-10944, RTC, Quezon City) for Rebellion with Murder and Multiple Frustrated Murder, filed on 22 February 199029

4. People of the Philippines vs Rodolfo Aguinaldo (Criminal Case No. Q-90-10942, RTC, Quezon City) for Rebellion with Murder and Frustrated Murder, filed on 21 February 199030

5. People of the Philippines vs Rafael Recto, Lito Gorospe and Cecilio T. Arillo for Rebellion with Murder and Multiple Frustrated Murder, filed on 16 April 199031

6. People of the Philippines vs Felix Turingan, Oscar Legaspi and Jaime Lucas (Criminal Case No. Q-90-11239, RTC, Quezon City) for Rebellion with Murder and Frustrated Murder32

7. People of the Philippines vs Dante Bernarte (Criminal Case No. Q-90-11670, RTC, Quezon City) for Rebellion with Murder and Multiple Frustrated Murder, filed on 3 April 199033

8. People of the Philippines vs Medardo Pestano, Jose Ma Carlos de Leon Zumel, Crismel Verano, Joaquin Venus, Jr, Homobono Adaza, and Edgardo Abenina, Jr (Criminal Case No. Q-90-11855, RTC, Quezon City), for Rebellion with Murder and Frustrated Murder, filed on 19 April 199034

9. People of the Philippines vs Vicente Puyat (Criminal Case No. 851-M-90, RTC, Malolos) for Illegal Possession of Firearms and Explosives in furtherance of Rebellion, filed on 24 April 199035

10. People of the Philippines vs Lyle Tugbang (Criminal Case No. Q- 90-12209, RTC, Quezon City) for Rebellion with Murder and Frustrated Murder, filed on 2 May 199036

11. People of the Philippines vs Danilo Cruz (Criminal Case No. Q- 90-12595, RTC, Quezon City) for Rebellion, filed on 8 June 199037

12. People of the Philippines vs Billy Bibit, Arthur Garcia, Audie Serrano, Crisostomo Balneg, and Bienvenido Cepe (Criminal Case No. Q-90-10943, RTC, Quezon City) for Rebellion with Murder and Frustrated Murder, filed on 27 February 199038

13. People of the Philippines vs Rolando de Gracia, Chito Henson, and John Does (Criminal Case No. Q-90-11755, RTC, Quezon City) for Illegal Possession of Ammunition and Explosives in Furtherance of Rebellion filed on 6 April 199039

14. People of the Philippines vs Rolando de Gracia, Chito Henson, Lamberto Bicos, Rodolfo Tor, and John Does (Criminal Case No. Q-90-11756, RTC, Quezon City) for Attempted Homicide, filed on 6 April 199040

15. People vs Roque Maranon (Criminal Case No. 5305, RTC, San Fernando, Pampanga) for Rebellion – in connection with the 28 August 1987 attempted coup – filed on 14 May 199041

16. People of the Philippines vs Reynaldo Cabauatan, Jose Maria Zumel and Gregorio Honasan (Criminal Case No. Q-90-12993, RTC, Quezon City) for Rebellion – in connection with the 28 August 1987 coup – filed on 18 June 199042

17. People of the Philippines vs Reynaldo Cabauatan and William Quitolvo (Criminal Case No. Q-90-12994, RTC, Quezon City) for Rebellion – in connection with the 27 January 1987 coup attempt – filed on 18 June 199043

18. People of the Philippines vs Reynaldo Cabauatan (Criminal Case No. 90-8491, RTC, Manila) for Rebellion – in connection with the July 1986 coup – filed on 18 June 1990.44

As regards the others, the Commission pursued some leads to gather evidence. Some “informants” who wrote letters could not be contacted at the addresses given; others who appeared to testify before the Commission denied any role in the coup. “Eikiuchi”, the Japanese mentioned in the DND SIC Report, is actually Eito Ikeuchi, a Filipino citizen (with a Filipina mother and a Japanese father) who was born in the Philippines. Ikeuchi is a martial arts instructor at the PMA and a member of the GCFI, Baguio Chapter.

D.8.b. Eduardo (Danding) Cojuangco, Jr.

Being the estranged cousin of President Aquino and one of the Twelve Disciples, Twelve Apostles or the Rolex 12 of former President Marcos, and having left with the Marcoses at the height of the EDSA Revolt, it was inevitable that there would be speculation as to Eduardo (Danding) Cojuangco’s possible involvement in the coup.

Although the Commission did not uncover any direct evidence that Danding was a plotter or participant, the staging of the coup a few days after his mystery-shrouded arrival, in the light of some facts which surfaced during the hearings or which were unearthed through subpoenas duces tecum, raises reasonable ground to believe that he had prior knowledge of the staging of the coup.

In addition to the detailed discussions on the probability of his arrival on 23 November 1989 in Malita, Davao del Sur from Kota Kinabalu in Chapter V, the following facts further aid reasonable minds to such conclusion:

1. Danding got his passport when his counsel inquired from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) whether or not the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) had lifted the hold order on him. The DFA checked with PCGG. The letter of inquiry was drafted by Edgardo Castro, then Acting Director of the Passport Division. The first and second letters to PCGG went unanswered. He persevered with a third letter which was answered in the affirmative. The telex to the Philippine Consulate in Los Angeles with instructions to issue the passport was again drafted by Edgardo Castro.45

Incidentally, the same Castro did not report to his office on 1 December; instead, after lunch, he went with a group headed by Rafael Recto to PTV-4. He testified that he had been listening to the radio that morning. Therefore, he clearly knew that PTV-4 was held by the rebels. His excuse for going there was to help look for Recto’s daughter, Plinky. He knew Plinky worked for ABS-CBN, not PTV-4, but during their stay at the ABS-CBN/PTV-4 complex, not one in their group went to ABS-CBN to look for Plinky. Not one in their group asked any of the persons they met for the whereabouts of Plinky. None in their group even looked at the parking lot of Channel 2 to see if Plinky’s car was there. On the other hand, witness Orlando Fontanilla swore that he overheard Recto asking about a press conference in PTV-4.

2. In his sworn statement, Galido declared that he had a meeting with Henry Cojuangco where the participation of Danding in the planned coup was discussed.

3. Danding is close to BGen Zumel as they both served under or were close to Marcos.

4. As to when and where he landed when he returned home was never disclosed by him. Although he was given the fullest opportunity when he testified before the Commission on 11 May 1990 to make such a disclosure if only to end speculations and unravel the mystery surrounding his arrival, he deliberately refused to do so. Although he has the opportunity to deny the imputations made against him in the sworn statement of Galido, the Commission is not aware that he has publicly done so.

5. Since he was given a proper Philippine passport, it is difficult to understand why he had to enter the country covertly, particularly since as a political and public figure, he presumably would want to rally his followers to his side.

D.8.c. Vice President Salvador Laurel

The actuations of Vice President Laurel are discussed in Chapter VII.

D.8.d. Other Civilian Participants

The Commission finds reasonable ground to believe that in addition to those charged before the DOJ, or whose cases had been dismissed by the DOJ, the civilians named below may also be liable for offenses in connection with the failed December 1989 coup.

1. Diane Aguas

she is linked to one Franco Sanchijo and Cherry Cobarrubias,46

2. Roger Borja

one of the four civilians who, with 26 prison guards (members of the Guardians) of the Bureau of Corrections in Muntinlupa, were brought by Rodolfo Morit, Jr in the evening of 30 November 1989 to the Baltao Subdivision, Parañaque, from where they were picked up by Gamos in the early morning of 1 December and brought to the Velayo Sports Complex near the Manila Domestic Airport terminal where they were to be provided with firearms by the group of Gamos,47

3. Nicanor Cagurangan

the Founder Barorot of GCFI, per sworn testimony of Elmer Sagsago given on 5 May 1990, who was expected to meet the GCFI members gathered at the PPA, North Harbor, in the evening of 30 November 1989; an incorporator of GCFI with Honasan and Morit,48

4. Francisco Casio

he was among those who barricaded the Moriones and the Zaragosa gates of the North Harbor and was seen in the company of rebel soldiers,49

5. Edgardo Castro

he was Acting Director of the Passport Division at the DFA when Danding Cojuangco’s application for a passport was approved; did not report to his office on 1 December; went with Rafael Recto to PTV-4 which he knew was occupied by rebels ostensibly to look for Recto’s daughter Plinky,

6. Cherry Cobarrubias or
Serafia C. Cobarrubias

she is implicated in the sworn statement of Galido; she arranged an overseas call between Mrs Marcos and BGen Galido; per the testimony of Luis Tabuena, she is very close to the Marcoses and she also arranged his meeting with Galido at the Mandarin Hotel on 6 September 1989; per admission of BGen Tadiar, she attended the meeting at a house in Times Street, Quezon City between Tadiar, Galido and Cesar Lopez; and on 29 November 1989, she checked in at the Philippine Village Hotel, although she has a house in Quezon City and at Greenhills, Mandaluyong,

7. Gabriel Cruz

president of the Odessa Fishing and Trading Corp, of Navotas, Metro Manila, together with Rufino Tiangco, majority stockholder and chairman of Odessa, one Artemio Tan, and one Rudy Jimenez. He provided a fishing vessel of the corporation, the Lady-Vi-T-1, to ferry the rebel troops of the 24 IB and the 68 IB under rebel officers, Maj Oliveros and Lt Col Tecson, respectively, from Limay, Bataan, to Sangley Point and back to Bataan on 1 December 1989,50

8. Pepito Dalivenancio

captain of the fishing vessel Lady Vi-T-1, for piloting the same to ferry the above rebel troops from Limay, Bataan, to Sangley, Point, and back to Bataan,

9. Danny Fonbuena

he was among those who barricaded the Moriones and Zaragoza Gates of the North Harbor with container vans and cargo trucks,51

10. Eduardo Franco

one of the four civilians who, with 26 prison guards (who are members of the Guardians) left the Bureau of Corrections, Muntinlupa, in the evening of 30 November 1989, and were brought by Morit, Jr to the Baltao Subdivision, Parañaque, Metro Manila, from where they were picked up by Gamos early morning of 1 December and thereafter brought to the Velayo Sports Complex near the Manila Domestic Airport Terminal, where they were to be provided with firearms by the group of Gamos,52

11. Manuel Garces, Jr

Founder of the Guardians Chapter at the Bureau of Corrections, Muntinlupa, who headed the 26 prison guards of the Bureau of Corrections and four civilians who were brought by Morit, Jr to the Baltao Subdivision in Parañaque,

12. Jun Hizon

a gun club member who participated in the coup; photo and TV footages show that he was, with others, among heavily armed civilians at the Coastal Road during the coup,

13. Don Honasan

brother of Gregorio Honasan, someone answering to his description was identified by a CIS officer on a TV footage taken at the vicinity of the Manila Domestic Airport terminal during the coup; a friend of Rufino Tiangco,

14. Eito Ikeuchi

an instructor of the PMA, a member of the GCFI, Baguio chapter, who came all the way from Baguio City on 30 November 1989 to attend an alleged meeting of the Guardians at the PPA Building at North Harbor, Manila, at which occasion the participants were given firearms,

15. Rudy Jimenez

with Rufino Tiangco, Gabriel Cruz, and Artemio Tan, he, acting as alleged encargado of Artemio Tan and introduced as such to the captain of the fishing vessel by Tiangco, provided the fishing vessel Lady-Vi-T-1 which ferried the rebel troops of the 24 IB and the 68 IB from Limay, Bataan to Sangley Point and then back to Bataan,

16. Cesar Lopez

mentioned by Galido in his sworn statement (confirmed by Tadiar and Mapalo in their sworn statements before the Commission) as having been present at the meeting of Tadiar and Galido at a house in Times Street, Quezon City, which was likewise attended by Cherry Cobarrubias,

17. Rodolfo Morit, Jr

one of the incorporators, with Gregorio Honasan, of the GCFI;53 he also contacted and brought the 26 prison guards of the Bureau of Corrections, Muntinlupa, who are members of the Guardians, and four civilians to the Baltao Subdivision, Parañaque, Metro Manila in the evening of 30 November 1989 from where, early morning of 1 December, they were picked up by Gamos and brought to the Velayo Sports Complex near the Manila Domestic Airport Terminal where they were to be provided with firearms;54 per testimony of Elmer Sagsago, Morit is known as the Magic Hermes of GCFI who was also expected by the GCFI members at the PPA office, North Harbor, in the evening of 30 November,

18. Isidro Mutya

a former PAF Major who was with Lt Col Neon Ebuen at MAB in the morning of 1 December 1989,55

19. Rolando Pascual

one of the four civilians who were brought by Morit, Jr with 26 prison guards of the Bureau of Corrections, Muntinlupa to the Baltao Subdivision, Parañaque, in the evening of 30 November 1989,56

20. Romeo Rivera

a friend of Rufino Tiangco; incumbent president of the Philippine Rifle and Shotgun Association where Jackie Enrile is chairman; a friend of Honasan since 1979; a godfather of one of Honasan’s children; in turn, Honasan is the godfather of one of Rivera’s children; arms, ammunitions, and communications equipment were found by the military in his house during a raid after the coup; reportedly spotted with rebel troops in Sta Mesa, Manila during the coup,

21. Buggy Sacco

one of the four civilians brought by Morit, Jr, together with 26 prison guards of the Bureau of Corrections, Muntinlupa to the Baltao Subdivision, Parañaque in the evening of 30 November 1989,57

22. Elmer Sagsago

an Assistant Prosecutor of the City of Baguio, President of Baguio Chapter of GCFI who, with Ikeuchi and Sgts Ocon and Mendez, left Baguio City in the morning of 30 November 1989 to attend an alleged meeting of GCFI members at the PPA Building, North Harbor, in the evening of the said date at which meeting the participants were provided with firearms; before the meeting, he met 30 to 34 GCFI members from the PMA among whom were Sgts Jaime Camacho and Alimbuyao,58

23. Luig Tabuena

implicated by Galido; he admitted that he met Galido and Cherry Cobarrubias at a room in Mandarin Hotel on 6 September 1989 and that he is close to Imelda Marcos,

24. Artemio Tan

with Rufino Tiangco, Gabriel Cruz, Rudy Jimenez, and Capt Pepito Dalivenancio, he provided the fishing vessel Lady Vi-T-1 which ferried the rebel troops of the 24 IB and 68 IB from Limay, Bataan to Sangley Point and back to Bataan on 1 December 1989,

25. Rufino Tiangco

chairman and majority stockholder of the Odessa Fishing and Trading Corp, who, with Artemio Tan, Gabriel Cruz, Rudy Jimenez and Dalivenancio, provided and facilitated the use of the fishing vessel Lady Vi-T-1 to ferry the rebel troops of the 24 IB and the 68 IB from Limay, Bataan to Sangley Point and back to Bataan on 1 December 1989; he knows Gregorio Honasan; is a friend of his brother, Don, with whom he continues to have dealings in the cement business; he was the one approached by Artemio Tan for the charter of Lady Vi-T-1 and the one who introduced, in a note, to Capt Dalivenancio that Rudy Jimenez is the encargado of Tan; he is also a friend of Romeo Rivera,59

26. Jesus Toloso

among those who barricaded the Moriones and Zaragosa gates of the North Harbor;60

27. George Yap

a member of the PC Regional Security Unit 6, Bacolod City, who was called twice from Room 1701 of the Holiday Inn during the time that Bibit occupied the same from 28 November 1989; he went into hiding after the coup,

28. Job Gavino with

Ronnie Abundo, Manuel Coching, Ernesto Domingo, Armando Manuel, Augusto Pilapil (ex-Capt Dante Pimentel), Renato Villanueva, Matias Tamayo, and Francisco Tamayao

he was contacted by Billy Bibit at 7:30 a.m. of 30 November but did not report it until much later and he was seen with rebels; the rest were seen by witnesses with rebel soldiers barricading the Moriones and Zaragosa Gates of the North Harbor, and

29. The 25 other prison guards

of the Bureau of Corrections of Muntinlupa who were with Manuel Garces, Jr and Morit, Jr and four civilians in the evening of 30 November 1989 whose investigation by the Department of Justice had been recommended by the Commission per its Resolution No. 089 promulgated on 4 July

The Commission recommends to the DOJ for investigation the civilians below.

1. Mrs Angelina Isip Abenina

wife of BGen Edgardo Abenina who, on 1 September 1989, purchased from the Riviera Filipina, Inc a 257-square meter lot (Lot 5-A, Block 19) at Loyola Heights, Quezon City for P1.5 million.61 A house with a Tax Declaration for a fair market value of P441,600 is located on this lot. It appears, however, that on 15 September 1989, BGen Abenina sold for P1 million a lot at Masikap Street, Diliman, Quezon City,62

2. Enrique (Henry) Cojuangco

in the sworn statement of BGen Galido, he represented his brother, Eduardo Cojuangco, Jr, who, according to Galido, wanted to return and support a takeover of the government; he was on board aircraft RP-410, piloted by Capt Jose Castillo (who had piloted Cojuangco, Jr several times in the past) which landed at the Malita airstrip of the Cojuangcos in Davao del Sur in the afternoon of 22 November 1989 from Bacolod City. This plane left for Manila at 4:33 p.m. the following day at about the same time another aircraft, CRP-585, piloted by Capt Morales and Capt Vergiere, was coming from Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia,

3. Doroteo Gaerlan

original owner of the barge Ray Patrick G-V, which was used to bring the rebel troops of the 24 IB and the 68 IB from the Marsteel wharf in Limay, Bataan to the waiting fishing vessel Lady Vi-T-1 on 1 December 1989,63

4. Rico Mendoza

mentioned by Galido in his sworn statement, a close friend of Eduardo Cojuangco, Jr,

5. Mabel Imperial Tecson

wife of Lt Col Arsenio Tecson; deposited P200,000 with the Union Bank (Cubao, Quezon City Branch) on 5 December 1989; she explained that the money represents proceeds of the sale of a condominium unit; it turned out, however, that there was no sale made by her as the unit belonged to Urban Planners and Development Inc which sold it to Edgardo Mangahas for P330,000 on 24 August 1989,64

6. Amaro Ungotan

the patron of the barge Ray Patrick G-V which was used to bring the rebel troops of 24 IB and 68 IB from the Marsteel wharf of Limay, Bataan to the fishing vessel Lady Vi-T-1 on 1 December 1989,

7. Lourdes G. Unson

daughter of Doroteo Gaerlan and vice president of MGG Marine Services Inc, operator of the barge Ray Patrick G-V, which was used to bring the rebel troops of the 24 IB and 68 IB from the Marsteel wharf at Limay, Bataan to the waiting vessel, Lady Vi-T-1,65

8. Ruben Reyes

operations coordinator of MGG Marine Services, Inc.

E. Let Justice Be Done

Quoting the Explanatory Note of House Bill No. 30233, the Commission stated on page 32 of its Interim Report No. 3 thus

… a coup d’etat is reprehensible because “its key leaders, contrary to their oath of office, take undue advantage of their key positions within the establishment to overthrow the very government they had pledged to uphold, protect and defend. In the case of the military, they draw their pay from the government and they enjoy the legal monopoly of the gun and other instruments of mass violence. In the case of civilian officials, they occupy positions of leadership which enable them to usurp the powers of government.”

Because of the failed December 1989 coup, 99 were killed and 570 were wounded in action; and combined financial losses would be in the order of P800 million to P1 billion.

However, as stated in the preceding chapter, loss of lives, loss of confidence, and damage to our international image are worth far more than the financial losses.

The basic principles of justice then demand that those responsible for the coup answer for the consequences of their acts.

Accordingly, all military personnel which moved against the government in the failed coup of December 1989 must be prosecuted for violations of the appropriate provisions of the Articles of War as amended (CA No. 408 as amended), such as Articles 67, 68, 84, 94, 96 or 97, and should be imposed the commensurate penalty, taking into account the following considerations

(a) whether the personnel was involved in the planning or plotting of the coup,

(b) whether the personnel is a repeater, in the sense that he was involved in one or more previous coups,

(c) the extent of the damage inflicted or caused by the illegal move,

(d) the length of time the personnel resisted the government forces, and

(e) in respect to junior officers and the enlisted personnel, the defense that they merely followed the orders of their commander should not be taken at face value and, where the movement of the unit appeared to be clearly illegal from the beginning, such as the attack on Malacañang or Camp Aguinaldo, or where such movement to another zone or area followed an attack of a camp and at a time when the coup was already known, such a defense should not be accepted. To illustrate, troops of the MBLT 4 which left Fort Bonifacio to attack Villamor Air Base (VAB) in the midnight of 30 November 1989 and who, after taking control of VAB, proceeded to attack Camp Aguinaldo or the PTV-4 complex should not be heard to plead innocence on the theory that they merely followed the orders of their commanders. The same rule should apply to rebels who did not offer to surrender even if they already knew that their movements were unauthorized and were directed against the government. The same rule should apply to the Rangers who went to Makati after having the opportunity to surrender in the morning of 2 December.

As to civilians against whom the Commission finds reasonable ground to believe that they are probably liable for offenses in connection with the failed coup, or those whom the Commission endorses for further investigation, the latter recommends to the Department of Justice their immediate investigation and prosecution should the requisite quantum of evidence be gathered. The evidence already obtained by the Commission against them would, pursuant to Section 1 (c) of RA No. 6832, be turned over to the Department.

ENDNOTES

(1) Article of War 71: Action Upon Charges – A thorough and impartial investigation shall be made before any charge is referred to a general court-martial for trial, in A Manual for Courts-Martial, Armed Forces of the Philippines (Published by the authority of the President of the Philippines, 1987), p. 253.

(2) Section 35(a): Investigation of Charges – Aside from what is provided in AW 71, this provision also indicates the proper procedure in investigating cases, in Ibid, p. 26.

(3) Article of War 67: Mutiny or Sedition – Any person subject to military law who attempts to create or who begins, excites, causes, or joins in any mutiny or sedition in any company, party, post, camp, detachment, guard, or another command shall suffer death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct, Ibid, p. 234.

(4) Article of War 94: Various Crimes -Any person subject to military law who commits any felony, crime, breach of law or violation of municipal ordinance which is recognized as an offense of penal nature and is punishable under the penal laws of the Philippines or under municipal ordinances, (a) inside a reservation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, or (b) outside any such reservation when the offended party (and each one of the offended parties if there be more than one) is a person subject to military law, shall be punished as a court-martial may direct. In imposing penalties for offenses falling within this article, the penalties for such offenses provided in the penal laws of the Philippines or in such municipal ordinances shall be taken into consideration (As amended by Presidential Decree 11660), in Ibid, p. 240.

(5) Article of War 96: Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and Gentleman – Any officer, cadet, flying cadet or probationary second lieutenant, who is convicted of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman shall be dismissed from the service (As amended by Republic Acts 242 and 516), in Ibid, p. 242.

(6) Section 108 a(l) and b(4): Punishments – Forfeiture of pay of not more than one half of one month’s base pay per month for three months, in Ibid, p. 121.

(7) Seventh Progress Report on the Failed December 1989 Coup d’Etat from the AFP Special Investigating Committee to the Acting CSAFP, dated 30 April 1990, and its attachments, Exh. “N-AFPSIC”.

(8) Fact-Finding Commission (FFC), Observations and Recommendations on Military Justice as Related to Coups, Interim Report No. 1, 12 May 1990, p. 20. A total of 1,681 military personnel were allegedly involved in the August 1987 attempt, 418 of whom were cleared.

(9) Ibid.

(10) Ibid.

(11) NARAA, “The Philippine Coup d’Etat and NARAA Resolution No. 7” (Metro Manila: NARAA, 21 February 1989).

(12) First Progress Report of the Department of National Defense (DND) Special Investigating Committee, dated 26 December 1989, Exh. “B-DND”.

(13) List of Military Officers on Detached Service With the Ministry of National Defense from 1970 to 1986, Exh. “MMMMM-Commission”. Hereinafter referred to MND List from 1970 to 1986.

(14) Sworn Testimony of Cmdr Proceso Maligalig before the FFC, 12 March 1990.

(15) MND List from 1970 to 1986, op. cit.

(16) Report on Camp Aguinaldo Incident during the August 1987 Coup Attempt, dated 8 February 1990, Exh. “000-5-A”-Commission.

(17) Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC Reg. No. 132118, Articles of Incorporation of the Guardian Centre Foundation, Inc, dated 15 April 1986, Exh. “B-l-Guardians”. Hereinafter referred” to as GCFI Articles of Incorporation.

(18) Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC Reg. No. 123899, Articles of Incorporation of the Guardians Brotherhood, Inc, dated 10 December 1984, Exh. “A-Guardians”.

(19) CRSAFP Command Report on December 1989 Coup, submitted by BGen Oscar Florendo, dated 6 February 1990, Exh. “A-Florendo”.

(20) Sworn Testimony of Gen Renato S. de Villa, CSAFP before the FFC, 7 April 1990.

(21) Third Progress Report of the Department of National Defense Special Investigating Committee submitted by Undersecretary Leonardo Quisumbing, dated 26 December 1989, Exh. “D-DND”.

(22) Sworn Statement of BGen Alejandro Galido, former CG SOLCOM AFP, given before Col Benjamin Libarnes PC of AFP CIC, Exh. KKKKKK-2″-Commission.

(23) Progress Report on the Status of Rebellion Cases submitted to the FFC by Silvestre H. Bello III, Undersecretary of Justice, dated 4 September 1990, Exh. “E-1-DOJ”.

(24) Department of Justice Resolution in the Case Sgt Sagario and AFP vs Lt Col Matillano, et al, IS No. DOJ-SC-90-002, dated 17 April 1990, Exh. “U-DOJ”

(25) Department of Justice Resolution in the Case NBI vs Rafael Recto, et al, IS No. DO J-SC-90-005, dated 17 April 1990, Exh. “C-J Rodriguez”.

(26) Department of Justice Resolution in the Case Philippine Ports Authority vs JobGavino, et al, IS No. DOJ-SC-90-007, dated 7 March 1990, Exh. “E-Salialam”. Hereinafter referred to as Gavino Case.

(27) Marked as FFC Exh. “F-DOJ”.

(28) Marked as FFC Exh. “F-1-DOJ”.

(29) Marked as FFC Exh. “G-DOJ”.

(30) Marked as FFC Exh. “H-DOJ”.

(31) Marked as FFC Exh. “I-DOJ”.

(32) Marked as FFC, Exh. “J-DOJ”.

(33) Marked as FFC Exh. “K-DOJ”.

(34) Marked as FFC Exh. “L-DOJ”.

(35) Marked as FFC Exh. “M-DOJ”.

(36) Marked as FFC Exh. “N-DOJ”.

(37) Marked as FFC Exh. “O-DOJ”.

(38) Marked as FFC Exh. T-DOJ”.

(39) Marked as FFC Exh. “U-1-DOJ”.

(40) Marked as FFC Exh. “U-2-DOJ”.

(41) Marked as FFC Exh. “P-DOJ”.

(42) Marked as FFC Exh. “Q-DOJ”.

(43) Marked as FFC Exh. “R-DOJ”.

(44) Marked as FFC Exh. “S-DOJ”.

(45) Sworn Testimony of Edgardo Castro before the FFC, 25 April 1990.

(46) Various documents marked as FFC Exhs. “B-Aguas” to “P-Aguas”, inclusive.

(47) Sworn Testimonies before the FFC of Director Meliton Goyena, Bureau of Corrections, 25 June 1990; and Manuel Garces, Jr, 10 July 1990.

(48) GCFI Articles of Incorporation, op. cit.

(49) Report on the North Harbor Incident submitted by the Station Commander, Coast Guard Station Manila to the Commandant, Philippine Coast Guard, dated 4 December 1989, Exh. “B-3- Garrido”. Hereinafter referred to as North Harbor Incident Report. Gavino Case, op. cit.

(50) Various documents marked as FFC Exhs. “A-Rufino Tiangco” to “I-Rufino Tiangco”, inclusive. Hereinafter referred to as Tiangco Exhibits.

(51) North Harbor Incident Report, op. cit.; Gavino Case, op- cit.

(52) Goyena Testimony, op.cit.; Garces Testimony, op. cit.

(53) GCFI Articles of Incorporation, op. cit.

(54) Garces Testimony, op. cit.

(55) Sworn Statement of AM Dominino Recla before the FFC, 4 June 1990.

(56) Goyena Testimony, op. cit.; Garces Testiomony, op. cit.

(57) Sworn Testimonies given before the FFC of Elmer Sagsago, Assistant Prosecutor, Baguio City, 5 May 1990; Eito Ikeuchi, 17 April 1990; Sgt Rodolfo Ocon, 31 May 1990; Sgt Rodolfo Mendez, 31 May 1990.

(58) Sagsago Testimony, op. cit.; Ikeuchi Testimony, op. cit.; Ocon Testimony, op. cit.; Mendez Testimony, op. cit.

(59) Tiangco Exhibits, op. cit.; Sworn Testimonies before the FFC of Rufino Tiangco, 10 August 1990; Gabriel Cruz, 20 August 1990; Pepito Dalivenancio, 16 August 1990.

(60) North Harbor Incident Report, op. cit; Gavino Case, op. cit.

(61) Copy of the Second Page of the Deed of Absolute Sale of Property between Riviera Filipina, Inc and Angelina Abenina, dated 1 September 1989, Exh. “HHHHH-9”-Commission.

(62) Copy of the Deed of Absolute Sale of Property between Edgardo M. Abenina and Dante Lantin, dated 15 September 1989, Exh. “HHHH-1”-Commission.

(63) Sworn Statement of Ruben Reyes, Operations Coordinator, MGG Marine Services, Inc, before the FFC 19 September 1990, Exh. “A-Gaerlan Shipping”; Sworn Statement of Atty Renato Unson before the FFC 24 September 1990, Exh. “B-Gaerlan Shipping”. Hereinafter referred to as Unson Statement.

(64) Various documents marked as FFC Exhs. “D-Puyat” to “G-Puyat”, inclusive; North Harbor Incident Report, op. cit.; Gavino Case, op. cit.

(65) Unson Statement, op. cit.