Six officers cleared of charges

Posted on February 15, 2011

SIX MILITARY officials allegedly involved in a mutiny against the Arroyo administration five years ago have been cleared by a military court for lack of evidence proving their guilt, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said yesterday.

"Cleared of all mutiny charges were Major Jason Aquino, Captains Montano Almodovar, Isagani Criste, Joey Fontiveros, James Sababan, and Dante Langkit, who, in the said mutiny, withdrew their support from the Arroyo administration," the military said in a statement.

The AFP said, however, that the court, presided over by Maj. Gen. Josue S. Gaverza, has rejected the motion to dismiss charges filed by retired Maj. Gen. Renato Miranda, former Brig. Gen. Danilo P. Lim and former Col. Ariel O. Querubin for lack of merit.

AFP said the six soldiers who have been cleared of charges may be freed.

"The Armed Forces of the Philippines respects the decision made by the court martial to clear the six soldiers of all the mutiny charges... since there are no more pending cases against them, they must be released," AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Jose Z. Mabanta, Jr. was quoted as saying in the statement.

The soldiers who participated in the uprising at the Marine headquarters in Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City five years ago are entitled to apply for the government’s amnesty for officers and enlisted personnel involved in three uprisings, all during the past administration.

The amnesty also includes those who participated in the so-called Oakwood mutiny in 2003 and The Peninsula Manila siege in 2007. Both are within the Makati central business district. -- JJAC