MANILA - Senators Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan, Antonio Trillanes IV, and Manuel Villar on Saturday expressed support for detained Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim's plan to run for a national post, mostly likely a seat in the Senate, in 2010.
Honasan, a former military rebel who launched several unsuccessful coup attempts against the Aquino government, said Lim is very well capable of serving the country.
"Kilala ko naman si Gen. Lim, matino yan nun nasa serbisyo pa siya. I'm sure he can serve the country very well," he said.
For his part, Trillanes pledged the Magdalo group’s support for Lim. Both of them led a botched rebellion at the Peninsula Manila in Makati City in 2007.
"I'll ask all of my supporters to give the support they gave to me in 2007 and transfer it [to Lim]. And, if they can, give more support to General Lim," said Trillanes.
Former Senate President Villar said Lim was open to joining the Nacionalista Party, which Villar has rebuilt for his presidential bid in 2010.
“Pero syempre, isang importanteng bagay ang pagpapasya ni General Lim. Kung gusto nya sa amin s’yempre paguusapan naman namin yan," he said.
Lim, Honasan, and Villar were sponsors in the wedding of Sen. Trillanes' older brother, Antonio Jay Trillanes II, in Camp Aguinaldo on Saturday.
Authorties gave Lim and Trillanes clearances to attend the event.
Lim earlier declared his intention to run for a “national elective position” in 2010 should the elections push through.
“The option to run for a national elective post in 2010 is seriously being considered. But first, we have to make sure that there will be an election in 2010,” Lim said in a statement.
Lim, who now heads ten military-related groups such as the Magdalo and the Young Officers Union, has been detained since 2006 after being linked to failed rebellions under the Arroyo administration.
The military officer said he is flattered by the offers made by various opposition parties to join them.
“I have received invitations from different opposition groups to join them and I am grateful that I am being considered as a positive addition to their respective parties. However, the decision to run has to be made first,” Lim replied, when asked which party he will choose.
Do the right thing
When asked to comment about the constitutional assembly pushed by the House of Representatives, Lim said members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) should do the “right thing”.
“I stand by my statement that AFP personnel should follow their conscience and do the right thing, should this Administration insist on trampling upon the Constitution we have sworn to follow and respect,” he said.
In a statement he issued on June 4 after the House of Representatives approved a resolution convening a constituent assembly for charter change, Lim said the "Con-Ass Resolution has erased whatever doubts we have about GMA’s true intention of holding on to power beyond 2010."
"This is not the first time she has trampled upon the Constitution we have all sworn to follow and respect. The EDSA Dos in 2001 was a coup d’etat that we, as an organization, took part in to oust a duly elected president. The 2004 election cheating, as exposed by the ‘Hello Garci’ tapes, was partly an AFP operation masterminded by the former Chief-of-Staff, Gen. Hermogenes Esperon. Countless other offenses have followed since," Lim said.
"GMA is determined and she will keep on ramming through every perceived obstacle there is, until she attains her much-coveted goal," he added.
Lim then urged his fellow soldiers to "follow your conscience and do what is right--protect the people and the state." He said "only the collective will of the people with the support of the AFP can stop her [Arroyo]" from holding on to power."
If Lim runs and wins in the May 2010 senatorial elections, he would be the second military rebel to have succeeded in getting a Senate seat.
In May 2007, Trillanes won a Senate seat without campaigning outside his prison in Fort Bonifacio. However, he was adopted as a candidate by the United Opposition. He got 11 million votes based on an anti-Arroyo and anti-corruption advocacy. He remains under detention. With a report from Jay Ruiz, ABS-CBN News