Senator Antonio Trillanes IV
MANILA - Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Tuesday justified leading armed uprisings against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, saying Filipinos celebrate their rebellions against colonizers and bad leaders.
Speaking at ANC's Harapan 2013 forum on senatorial candidates, Trillanes said rebellions against those in power are part of history's lessons.
"Lesson na pinag-aaralan even ng elementary students," he said.
"We celebrate about 22 rebellions against Spanish colonizers. Iyon po ang lesson," Trillanes said.
"Pagka may Presidente kang nananamantala, kailangan kang tumayo. Iyan ay right ng Filipino, to stand up for your right," he added.
Trillanes, a Philippine Military Academy graduate and former Navy lieutenant senior grade, led 300 junior officers in the Oakwood mutiny in 2003.
Four years later, he and other soldiers facing coup d' etat charges took over the Peninsula Manila hotel in Makati City to reiterate their call for Arroyo's ouster.
He was detained for more than 7 years but was given amnesty by President Benigno Aquino in 2010.
Not a political butterfly
He is now seeking reelection under the administration Team PNoy ticket.
Trillanes said he never shifted political allegiances despite backing fellow Senator Manny Villar in the last presidential elections.
"There was never any shift in political ties. We chose Manny Villar. After President Aquino won, there was a coalition," he said.
Trillanes said he has not changed despite serving a term as senator.
"Wala pong nagbago. We remain the same person nakita nila noong 2003. Nag-iba lang battlefield," he said.
Trillanes pointed at Aquino's directive when asked about his controversial "backchanneling" role during the height of the tension between the Philippines and China over Scarborough Shoal.
"That is a foreign policy decision of the President. Everybody unites behind the President," he said.
"The situation dictated that we open a back channel. It was coincidental that I was the one," he added.
Trillanes also mentioned his legislative record during the forum hosted by ABS-CBN News anchor Lynda Jumilla.
He said he is most proud of the Armed Forces Modernization Law and the Salary Standardization Law.
He said the laws he authored indirectly help businesses in creating investor and employee confidence.
If he is reelected, Trillanes next plans to draft legislation on healthcare, poverty, and education.
"If you choose well, this country will be great," he said.