“El hijo de putsch” roughly translates to “The son of a coup.” That it sounds similar to another expression perhaps more representative of the public’s attitude towards the treacherous is deliberate.
Both, used as invectives, describe a person so brazen so as to threaten duly elected, legitimate and popular authority simultaneously threatening the democracy, prosperity and peace that not only sustains us but is governed by a representative dispensation the public overwhelmingly supports.
Whenever failed putschist and coup plotter Antonio Trillanes IV threatens the government, he effectively threatens us all. This time, however, in his treachery he’s seduced a cabal of
co-conspirators and disciples now caught and trapped like rats, all likely to face the full force of the law that protects us from the recalcitrant out to overthrow our democracy.
It is unfortunate. Democracy offers a multitude of ways to legitimately express dissent and disagree. It also offers a slew of freedoms and rights available to anyone. We have the freest press, a working judicial system and a responsive and approachable Executive with undeniable empathy for the concerns of constituencies.
And yet those seduced by an infernal coup plotter had chosen to conspire sedition, conjure fake news and falsehoods and a violent overthrow as their ordnance of choice. Typical and understandable for a failed plotter of his caliber, Trillanes, a redneck, to his misfortune knows of no other means — a testament to his intellect and an even more pathetic measure of his principles.
Unlike his first two attempts at military adventurism, this time, absent the blind loyalties inherent under a command totem pole, those he’s seduced are not gullible soldiers perhaps with legitimate gripes against the military hierarchy. This is no longer laying siege to a hotel as he awaits a ghost army he imagines in the confined cranial cavity between his ears. This time he’s recruited civilians to act as pawns, unfortunately all now sacrificed at the temple of stupidity.
If we review the series of seditious acts undertaken by Trillanes, we see a common peculiarity, a repeating pattern, where he employs the threat of terror together with a toxic dose of falsehoods spread through mass media. Note the commonality and the absolute necessity to include the manipulation of incendiary messages through a communications campaign whether in his actual coup d’état in the past or his conspiracy to commit sedition in the present.
Draw a regression line from his televised incendiary albeit hollow speeches at the Senate floor where colleagues protected him with immunities. Include his threats of terror upon elected authority.
Now connect the Oakwood Mutiny carried out in the Makati Central Business District in a hotel populated by foreigners early on released.
The putsch was considered an acoustic war. Aside from terror threats there were no strategic military targets, just raw terrorism played out for television and publicity. The same for his second adventure, also in Makati, and also in a hotel populated by foreigners. Include in his show a circus parade, inclusive of clowns but sans a marching band, from a courthouse to a hotel lobby. Again Trillanes put on a made-for-media show, all substance-less save for the threatened terror of a rebellion.
Now without the protection of his presidential benefactor and congressional immunities, cornered and charged under Article 141 of the Revised Penal Code (Conspiracy to Commit Sedition), note how Trillanes’ seduced co-conspirators are either professionals in the field of mass media, communications and public relations, or have the technical expertise to manipulate these. Note also the seductiveness of inciting to sedition under Article 142 where the verbiage declares that those who incite do so “without taking any direct part in the crime of sedition” as the crime simply “tend(s) to stir up the people against the lawful authorities.”
In his latest conspiracy where he’s employed media and public relations practitioners to continue his campaigns to threaten and undermine our democracy, he has shown no contrition.
Here we make the case for his detention absent access to a media that he can employ as ordnance, where he can further weaponized falsehoods and lies to continue to effectively conspire with the yellow media, and thereupon incite and terrorize. Trillanes is an unrepentant recidivist. He deserves no concessions.