5 Oakwood rebel soldiers freed; 2 stay in military custody

By DateLine Philippines

Five military men facing rebellion charges for taking over a posh hotel in Makati City on November 2007 were released from police custody on Thursday after each posted a bail of P200,000.

But, only three were given temporary liberty since the two others are facing violations of Articles of War (AW) for their involvement in the short-lived Oakwood Mutiny on July 27, 2003.

The soldiers allowed temporary liberty are enlisted men Julius Mesa, Cesari Yassir Gonzales and Private First Class Emmanuel Tirador.

Lt. Senior Grade James Layug and Capt. Gary Alejano, on the other hand, were placed under military custody after posting bail, said Lt. Colonel Romeo Brawner Jr., Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief information officer.

“They (Layug and Alejano) were not arrested, but they are still facing charges before the general court martial. They were turned over to the custody of the AFP,” Brawner told defense reporters in a press briefing.

He added that the Makati City Court’s decision to grant them bail only applies to the rebellion charges the five are facing for the Manila Penn siege and does not include the court martial charges.

Layug and Alejano were picked-up by military policemen from Camp Aguinaldo from their detention cell in Camp Crame after posting bail of P200, 000, Brawner said.

Early this month, Makati City RTC Judge Elmo Alameda granted the petition filed by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and allowed them to post a bail bond of P200, 000 for their temporary liberty.

Trillanes is facing violations of Articles of War (AoW) 96 for conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline and AoW 97 for conduct unbecoming an officer and gentlemen in connection with the Oakwood Mutiny on July 27, 2003.

He, along with about 300 elite troops that also belong to the Magdalo group, occupied the ritzy Oakwood Apartment in Makati City and demanded the resignation of top government officials. Anthony Vargas

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