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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, April 27, 2009
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Former alleged coup plotters
turning politicians no problem


Incoming Armed Forces chief, Lt. Gen. Victor Ibrado, yesterday said he sees no problem in former military men involved in failed coup attempts now joining politics.

Anybody has the right to form a political party, this is a democratic country, everybody can express their political rights,  Ibrado said.

Former Marine Capt. Gary Alejano, a Negrense who was involved in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny, earlier revealed his plans to go into local politics in Sipalay City, in response to the growing clamor for him to run for public office.

Alejano and former Army Capt. Milo Maestrecampo, a Talisay City resident, were dismissed from the military for leading the short-lived mutiny at the Oakwood Hotel in Makati City, six years ago.

Alejano, Samahang Magdalo president, said the change for a better government is not an overnight “burst of emotion,” but a dedicated and consistent struggle.

Ibrado said they have not received reports of any attempt to destabilize the government, adding the “soldiers are now focused on their mandated tasks.”

Magdalo leaders have started to recruit civilians to join their “cause”, which envisions an empowered, responsible and enlightened Filipino citizenry as a vanguard for societal change, and ultimately as a main pillar of a strong democracy.

Detained Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim who was also linked to previous coup attempts, is being pushed by the so called U-10, an umbrella organization of 10 underground movements, to run for senator.

Ibrado said the trial of Lim and other senior military officials implicated in several attempts to destabilize the government is still ongoing, “according to the prescribed procedures of military justice.”

Lim, chairman of the Magdalo sa Pagbabago Movement Inc., is among the 28 military officers facing a court martial for their alleged link to the February 2006 military uprising.

Aside from joining local politics, Alejano said they are also planning to field Samahang Magdalo  as a party-list group during the May 2010 national elections.*GPB




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