A ‘laid-back’ altar boy straightens out to become a soldier, senator



(Editor’s Note: With a little less than a month before the mid-term elections in May, INQUIRER.net has decided to deviate from the usual platform interviews of senatorial and local candidates that have been aired and written about and instead get to know them up close and, perhaps a little more personal, as we hope so will you our dear readers. The series of interviews will be posted on our special election site, Vote 2013 under INQuest. Is the exercise meant to make these candidates look good? Definitely not. But we enjoin you to watch and listen and let your candidates tell their stories because, believe it or not, their stories are ours as well.)

MANILA, Philippines – Reelectionist Senator Antonio Trillanes IV had two trimesters  left in his Engineering course at the De La Salle University when he decided to enter the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) despite, ironically, reservations by his father, a soldier and PMA graduate, who thought that his son might not survive the difficult training, being a “laid-back teenager” who was used to “the good life”.

In this second installment of interviews with senatorial and local candidates by INQUIRER.net on INQuest: Vote 2013, Trillanes says his mother is a “devout Catholic”, and reveals that he served as an altar boy at one point.

He describes himself in his early growing up years as an “ordinary teenager” with some “challenges” and who eventually would need “straightening out”.

He says while the PMA instilled discipline, the institution also instilled in its students the ability to “discern what is right and wrong” and to “disobey unlawful orders”.

Trillanes also shrugs off claims that because of his military background, he is “arrogant”, saying that while he is perceived to be that, “the people close to me think otherwise”, adding that he is, in fact, the “clown” in the group.

As a father, Trillanes says he tends to “spoil“ his two children (A third died in infancy), having missed seven-and-a-half of their growing up years because of his incarceration for leading a mutiny against the administration of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

He says he and his wife, also a PMA graduate, now “share in the responsibility” of raising their two children who, he says, he will always be supportive of.

He admits that his transition from soldier to senator was “very difficult to get used to” because “in the military, people are transparent, what you see is what you get” while in politics “you get blindsided and get stabbed in front while smiling”.

More of Trillanes in this interview on INQuest: Vote 2013.

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • durian

    I hope Senator Trillanes could be one implementer of “Tuwid na Daan” , you’re against corruption, right???

  • KonsensyaNgBayan

    Trillanes is hundred times better than Honasan, Jackie Enrile, JV Ejercito, Mitas, Ting-ting and Nancy Binay COMBINED!!!…VOTE ANTONIO TRILLANES IV and include EDWARD HAGEDORN on your list too.

    • ishi lopez

      I agree! add Hontiveros and Casino too.

      • TreadLikely

        Casino is a joke

    • 33Sambuang2

      correct. and he has the balls to face the crooks.

    • 05devillrn1652

      Yes to Hagedorn…NEVER to trillanes..

  • Meow Ming

    mag-iisang taon na di mo pa rin napapaalis yung mga barko ng china sa panatag,

    • http://www.yellowmythbusters.gov.ph/ Weder-Weder Lang

      baka naibenta na, kaya busog ang bulsa ni Trillanes.

    • bquidayer

      sows. hndi makaget over sa isyu. LOL

  • durian

    Senator Trillanes ano na kayang tulong ang nagawa mo sa ikaka-unlad ng organisasyon na iyong pinanggalingan??? Ano na kayang batas ang naipasa mo na ikakabuti ng mga sundalo at ng kanilang pamilya??? May naitutulong ka ba kahit manlang sa pag improved ng health benefits ng mga dati mong kasamahan sa Hukbong Sandatahan at sa mga retiries? He he he Senator Trillanes if you really serious in your words before that you want to improve the lives of your fellow soldiers & their family.., please check the system & condition of all military hospitals and the veterans hospital, May I suggest that you do a discreet & surprise visit.., see for yourself the reality…

  • http://www.yellowmythbusters.gov.ph/ Weder-Weder Lang

    Once upon a time, Sonny Trillanes was an altarboy who ended up in various compromising positions in the dark chambers of his local parish priest. He was so affected by it that he needed to be straightened out. Then he became the most expensive senator with the highest operational expenditures in the Senate. On top of that, he benefited from the bribe money of Beijing to lobby for PH to give up Scarborough Shoal. Of course, he continues to receive unflagging support and businesses from the Chinoy Chamber of Commerce.

    Sonny Trillanes was damaged from the first time he walked out of the dark chambers of his local parish priest. Now he’s on to destroying the entire Philippines. Once a traitor, always a traitor.


      Those who oppose GMA reign are courageous Patriotic Filipinos.

    • ravindrama

      TUMPAK !… TRAITOR ….


      Alam mo ikaw ang laid back!mga assumptions mo paurong,cge nga papaanu ibenenta?is there any chinese official stated na yes there was a negotiation and indeed ur good senator sell your claim territoty?what the heck are you man,in uprising against arroyo he only thinks wah tis right not thinking to become a senator…when he was in jail,inudyukan siya to run,not by the people but the magdalo group,if people will vote for him despite his capacity and resource being in jail still he won because there is clamour and there is a need for a change.now try to seach his website and see all his accomplishments as a lawmaker

    • Jose Guevarra

      I don’t really care about whatever Trillanes did or continues to do in his PRIVATE life, as long as: a) He keeps his private life private; and b) he does everything he is doing in his life as a public servant for the good of his fellow Filipinos. If these rumors about what he did when he was much younger are all true, eh ano ba? Who among us did not not do anything foolish when we were younger? Who among us did not do any experimenting?

      The fact is, since he entered government service by being a soldier, Sonny Trillanes has always fought and still continues to fight for the betterment of his fellow Filipinos, which is a THOUSAND TIMES BETTER THAN ANYTHING you can say about the Gloria Arroyos, Joseph Estradas, Jejomar and Nancy Binay and their clan, Juan Ponce and Jackie Enrile and their clan, etc.

    • 33Sambuang2

      proof please that he got money from china.

      • Mazza02

        Kaya nga clandestine eh…nagtatanong ka pa ng proof….sinabin na nga niya na Filipinos dont care about Panatag Shoal ano pa ba ang kailangan mo? Check from China? Sus

    • robert_tan

      you must have been abused as a child. you are sick. and pathetic.

      • Mazza02

        He is only telling what everyone suspects. At least he is not bastos like your fellow chinese DakungUtin

  • allyson_yan

    trillanes never fails to amuse me. he has served the church pala, kaya unlike any other govt officials, he has conscience..

  • cristhinebi

    I’ve watched the video and finally, once in a while, he has been soften up.. I’m glad we get to see his light side.

  • Che Darjuan

    Trillanes is a good leader…that’s all..

    • 05devillrn1652

      Huh!…. What did he do? Magyabang to the max..even his colleagues will not vote for him cuz he has done nothing to make their lives livable…as what was supposed he fought for in that Magdalena brouhaha ….cge nga tell me..

  • bee bee clores

    sabi ko na nga ba, may pusong malambot din si mr. trillanes. hehehe!

  • Jai Ho

    I have one question for Sen. Trillanes I admire you, and want to vote for you in this election but not before answering this question: Given that you have proven yourself to be a fearless man of principle in your stint at the Senate, why did you agree to become an official of the defunct Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP), knowing (or maybe not) full well that BAP has been ousted by basketball’s world governing body, FIBA, and knowing full well (again, maybe not) that this BAP, now led by a Taiwanese national named Graham Lim, was beyond the 2005 Philippine National Team debacle, which saw the Philippine team: 1) lose toa low-ranking commercial squad in the National Basketball Conference and 2)place 10th out of 10 competitors in the FIBA Asia Champions Cup? i hope Sen. Trillanes reads this… Thanks.


      Wha D’ Pak are you talking about, where’s the details time, date, official title, minutes of events, otherwise the answer to your query is > “or maybe not” and “again, maybe not” ……. Donk ! …. weeeeeee……….. bye….byeeeee… >>>>>>>>

  • patukar

    You could rate Trillanes a thousand times better with the other especially if you are simply cult follower. Actually,he succeeded to become senator in the expense of Gloria’s conviction of corruption by publicity the trending issue that most politician use to be.

  • Guest

    Any Filipino who loves peace should vote for Trillanes. This guy went to China to make peace and not war. Any Filipino who cares about the country’s economy should vote for Trillanes. This senator cares about the Filipino-Chinese businessmen so that more jobs could be created. Trillanes is like Panfilo Lacson who has protected the Philippines well. Let people like Trillanes prevail. Please vote for Trillanes.

    • ishi lopez

      i ‘dmit, at first look, tha’ backdoor negotiation wasn’t pleasing to know but when you try to analyse, whatcha sayin’ is correct..it was more of a peace negotiation. up to date, china’s lettin’ us to export bananas to them. didya know that issue? tha’ china wasn’t acceptin’ our bananas due to the heated rel’nship with us but when yar senator peace negotiated with them, it was then back to normal.

    • TreadLikely

      You mean, “This guy went to China, to sell out PH”

      Even as far as claiming the Filipinos don’t even care about Scarborough shoal.

  • matang mapagmatyag

    Nevermind that he was an altar boy, I was more interested in his works as a legislator. I’ve never been a fan of cheesy story life of politicians but I tend to become a stalker to their actions. And this altar boy, admittedly, moved me a lot of times. He never put me down when it comes to surprises. Lol, he’s one of a kind and I believe, in the midst of this vast archipelago of Philippine politics, he’s one of the very few who happen to have a decent soul to offer the Filipinos.

    • ishi lopez

      talkin’ ’bout his accomplishments, upon seein’ that, ‘ve decided to vote him again. plus this fresh served interview with a sugary sprinkles? oh me lovin’ him more. addition to ma list are casino, hontiveros and gordon. dn’t forget to vote them as well fella.

  • OhSintaKo

    Some the people here are narrow minded. Don’t need to argue with them. I never see any bad deed of Trillanes. I like him just the way he is. So brave!

  • maria clara reyes

    Ang sakit naman isiping 7 years nya di nakasama ng maayos ang mga anak nya dahil nakulong sya.. at ang dahilan nun, sa pagtiwalag at pagrerebelde sa gobyerno sa paniniwalang corrupt ito. Nagsakripisyo ng sarili at pamilya para bayan.. bibihira ang may dugong makabayang kagaya nya.

    • kris mejia

      oo nga so sad :( but like he said, bumabawi naman daw xa :) i hope maintindihan xa ng mga junakis nia at di xa sumbatan one day..

    • patukar

      mas mararamdaman mo ang sakit at pighati kapag naipalabas yan sa magpakailanman o di kaya sa malala mo kaya. Tiyak top elected senator siya! Anong nangyari sa back door negotiation sa tsina! Di bali basta may issue!

    • 05devillrn1652

      Makes me vomit…

  • linseyjazz

    I love this guy,for those people who hurt him and make a malicious issue.all of you was so sama!

    • Pio Gante

      so boto him to make him so saya;))

  • anaota34

    sana mapagpatuloy ni trillanes ung sinimulan nia against corruption… kz ito kz ung isa s mga dahilan bakit naghihirap ang bansa natin…

  • Goners

    Kung pappipiliin ako sa tatlo, Trillanes Ejercito o Binay. Mas gugustuhin ko naman si Trillanes kesa dun sa dalawa. Si Ejercito hindi masagot ang bagong isyu tungkol sa hindi kumpleto paglagay ng asset sa kanyang SALN. Si Binay, nanay daw sa senado? Hindi na namin kailang yun andun na si Pia at may bonus pang lola si Miriam.

  • panis_a

    i believe too that we need more public officials like trillanes. in fairness lahat ng tao may soft side.. tiwala ako sa background and accomplishments nya. as long as he’s there, i could never be worried sa pagkawala ng democracy. kudos to those people who have a heart to serve this country.

  • GustoKoHappyKa

    Hagedorn for senator!!!

    • ravindrama

      mabuti pa si Hagedorn…

  • kris mejia

    am boring namarn magtanong ng mga nagiinterview hihihihihi :) nakakantok :( but at least nag try try sila kahit pano :)

    • franz_costa

      Pansin ko nga rin, eh. Pero may sense naman at patutunguhan.

  • bquidayer

    sulit sa balota kung single vote para sa kanya! idol!

    • Jose Guevarra

      suggestion lang: whether you vote for none, one, or twelve, the Comelec will proclaim TWELVE winners for the senatorial elections. make full use of your ballot and choose the TWELVE candidates who you think are most worthy of your votes (including TRILLANES!)

  • kimmydoraty

    Uuuuh,sad to hear na my namatay pala yung 3rd baby nya habang nasa kulungan sya.then 7yrs nya hindi nakasama yung Dalawa pa nyang anak hay.kung saaken mang yayari yun Baka sakaling Hindi Ko kayanin..

  • franz_costa

    There will always be a room for improvement, ika nga nila. Feeling ako rin, i need to straighten up! haha but i dont want military kase baka di ko kayanin physical training, medyo lampa lampa kase ako eh. But i believe naman, God has better plans and my life is planned already.. Kanya kanyang destiny kumbaga.

  • sexyladies

    Big hug crush.,,idol ka talaga,,,

    • 05devillrn1652

      Ewwwwwwwwwwww and wha!!!!!’mm

  • mervinvitudzao

    wag mo pansinin yang mga critics mo dahil ikaw pa rin aming senador, ginoong trillanes. time to end the reign of trapos. hindi ka arogante, nilulugar mo lang mga abusado

  • XY ZEE

    Yung Sabah ba eh gigil na gigil ka na rin bang ibigay sa Malaysia?

  • mtan337

    Trillanes mahal nia ang ating bansa.. kahit buhay pa ng pamilya o kahit buhay nia ang nakataya… Trillanes is a example of a good leader!!!!

  • adwellv

    hindi matatawaran ang nakikita kong sincerity sa taong ito. kaya naman pala kahit anong paninira ang gawin laban sa kanya, buo pa rin ang tiwala ng mga pinoy dito kay trillanes

  • myamasaki

    i have genuine love for my country. and because of this i will vote for trillanes over and over again. no questions asked.

    • 05devillrn1652

      Ha ha ha ..you r funny or lacks….

  • buttones

    Not that much of a fan of convicted seditionists or mutineers but if this is what the bovine masses want- well who am I to say?


      I’m not a fan of Trillanes but a bovined brain from the masses. The man has discipline and courage being kicked around in PMA and was finally thrown to jail by GMA for being disobedient boy. None of the present candidates got the experience of Trillanes. He lived a realistic existence compared to fantasy world of Bam Aquino and the rest of majority candidates like Jamby.

      Salt is for food to turn it into edible delight. Trillanes is Salt in Senate.
      Vote for Trillanes that we may taste a delicious Senate. He did challenged Enrile.

  • kabayandinako

    Trillanes suffered a lot just to fight dishonesty and injustice during GMA regime. I am not for him just because he is a PMayer (lots of them are corrupt), but he will really fight for injustice. Lots of his mistahs wants him eliminated and incarcerated and most of them treated him as non-entity, but his wisdom and legacy will live on. Carry on BUDDY!!!


      Trillanes is a man that does not deserve …….. eeeeewwww…. maka kain na nga lang …… walang kalatoy latoy, Trillanes ??? >>>>>>>>>>

    • D3marketers

      Wisdom talaga? At may legacy pa? Alin don?

      • lexmandingo

        natawa nman ako dun…..may wisdom at legacy ah? ikaw na @kabayandinako……marami pa ring mga pulpol na mga botante na ngkalat…hahaha

  • phantomofhope

    arogante ang ungas na yan

  • boybakal

    Laid Back…..you call that Laid Back.
    From Manila La Salle to Mt.Province PMA.
    More appropriate….from city boy to mountain boy.
    He is not a laid back to have a mind of coup plotter.

  • mike8232

    From altar boy to local terrorist and coup plotter

    Arrogant SOB senator

    Devil in white clothes


  • patriot2008

    Trillanes, you are a traitor for trying to sell out the West Philippine Sea to China, and receiving money from the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce, Inc, in exchange for your trips as double agent to China

  • $18209031

    SEn Trillanes , linisan mo ang Oligachy dito sa Pinas at ang mga alipores nito.

    • Mazza02

      If he did that then there will be no chinese left in Philippines…at least the rich ones who rely on their connections with the oligarchs to circumvent the law

  • lexmandingo

    Just wondering, what are Trillanes’ credentials that would make him qualified to conduct back channel talks (something typically taken on by very senior statesmen, seasoned diplomats or even the chief executive himself). Kaya nga walang maka comment na mga senators tungkol dito sa issue ng panatag shoal kasi sensitive issue….If it its an international issue should be DFA handling such issue…ok lng ung backdoor neg. given na yan kaya lng ang tanung qualified ba…. If its true he got his marching orders from Pnoy himself, patay!

    • $18209031

      He is a senator. He is listened to by the Chinese. If you speak in friendly terms, then the Chinese listens . If you speak like a double stabbing diplomat like Del Rosario, the Chinese will not listen .

      • Mazza02

        In friendly terms???? Hahaha is that what you call if you sell the country to China? Del Rosario is not ‘double stabbing’ (what is that word?). It is the Chinese who where duplicitous in the negotiations conducted by the US between china and Philippines. That is why China could not even release a complaint when Del Rosario openly called China duplicitous. Everyone knows you cannot trust Beijing

  • padrefaura

    trillanes, papaano mo ginastos ang pork at expenses mo bilang senador?

  • lexmandingo

    Sa totoo lng here Sen Trillanes achievements more or less:

    1) Responsible for the Oakwood Mutiny and Peninsula Siege…nuff said

    2) Court Martialed/Detained but released w/ the help of Enrile then Pnoy

    3) 15 trips to China? then sold us to china? sheez…that shoal was within our EEZ that’s why we are clamoring it to be brought to UNCLOS as arbiter…kaya nga di tlaga pede ung bilateral talks kasi nga ngstandoff….China believes it part of their 9 dash map..But we believe it’s our because it is based on UNCLOS EEZ. We need an arbiter.PERIOD

    4) He is the current president of the deposed BAP. Despite the dismembership of BAP to the POC, the deposed basketball association remains active without the recognition of the Olympic body. I think president din sya ng TATAP…Kung may hinanakit ka kay peping hwag mo idamay ang buong sports community…Trillanes creates divisivenes among sports body…

    5) Idamay pa si MVP sa pulitika…..MVP brought investments here in our country. Translation – more jobs for our countrymen….Kaya nga nang dinawit ni Trillanes ung pangalan ni MVP…After few days…biglang todo sorry ang Malakanyang kay MVP because nagbabalak mgpullout ni MVP sa kanyang investments…..Sna natuloy ung pullout ng mga investment ni MVP para maramdaman ung pinagagawa ni Trillanes.

    6) Sori un lng ang naalala ko sa knya. Paki add na lng kung meron pa kaung alam na achievements ni Trillanes para sa kaalaman ng mga botante…

    Kaya ngyn khit papaano eh alam nio na ung softside at personal na buhay ni Trillanes with this article…..ngyn alam nio na rin khit papaano ung track record nitong reelectionist senator na to…

    If this paid article by friends of Sen.Trillanes is stating facts about his personal life then so am I bout his track record as a politician…

    Ang mga sinabi ko ay para sa mga kaalaman ng mga pulpol na botante na tumatngkilik pa rin kay Trillanes. Hindi ito paninira…..ito ay para lng sa kaalaman ng mga botante…

  • Noel

    What Trillanes did not say was as an altar boy if he was ever abused by the Priest.

  • $18209031

    Trillanes , supported ka namin. Mabuhay ka sir.

    • Mazza02

      You and your other sock puppets here pretending to be Filipino. It is no wonder you will support Trillanes as he sold the country to your kind.

  • erica

    Ano sabi ng Headline nya, “He laid back”? dahil sakristan pala? grabe talaga yang mga padre damaso na yan hehehe

  • Jose Guevarra

    i will definitely vote for this man!

  • boybakal

    Trillanes…a laid back who initiated a coup…strange laid back.

  • Benigno the Turd

    Trillanes, scourge of hotel cooks and waiters everywhere.

  • $20722540

    a rebel without a cause and an opportunist – that’s all he does

  • Pio Gante

    balatkayong bugo-bugo

  • boybakal

    Trillanes a laid back….he is more of a bare back.

  • brandon pares

    He is indeed a man, on and off cam, he comes with his principle.

  • Jasmine Peraleho

    A Mathematics genius.. lol now i see why his moves are perfectly calculated, very precise and exact. :)

  • Cabarochie

    Kapag lumalaban sa kurap, rebelde. kapag umaanib sa kurap, trapo! kakaunti na nga lang ang mga matitinong tao sa gobyerno puro masasama pa mga sinasabi. basta ako iboboto ko to.

  • yoursunshine

    I don’t understand why you were labeled as impolite and not a gentleman.. In our politics, I see the need of being harsh and ungentle! It seems people who are judging you are forgetting that your life as a senator is different than your life as a father..

  • Teddy Camacho

    “DISOBEY UNLAWFUL ORDERS” dapat lang talaga ganyan! kung bawat kawani ng gobyerno ay hindi nagpapasailalim sa mga opisyal na ganid, ay di sa wala ng mahihirap! saludo ako sayo trillanes sa tapang at paninindigang taglay mo!

  • ryan abanador

    go idol! idol talaga kita simula pa nung una hanggang ngayon!

  • marshall dew

    right! follow your heart! kung anong career ang gusto mo, dun ka.. and your choices will decide your destiny.. you chose to be in the military and here you are, fighting for us filipinos..

  • Adam_d_langgam

    at the first sign of trouble, this “brave” soldier took off and surrendered.

    used the supposedly corrupt military (which he’s also a part) as a springboard to the senate. what happened to the guys who were trillanes’ ka-tropa? maestrocampo and gaballa to name a couple. they found out they were used and are no longer in good terms with the “good” senator. a few months back, a couple of those who believed in trillanes was declared “guilty” by court martial.

    trillanes? he’s smart. he allowed weaseled himself into good graces of the retard in the palace. and the rest is history.

  • 05devillrn1652

    Maglumuhod ka man sa Harap ko at hail kan mo talamapakan ko I will never vote for u!!!!you r the most mayabang..most ambitious, most BBS ( bilis na bilis sa sarili) person I’ve known..so ARROGANT to the max…when u used some soldiers for ur gains to become a senator….

  • Moany Noisy

    Eh bakit tahimik sya ngayon sa kapalpakan at kurapsyon sa Aquino regime? Ang motto ba nya ay tulad din ng kay Pnoy na : KAPAG KAALYADO, SIGURADO PROTEKTADO, KAHIT KURAKOT PA KAYO.

    • Moany Noisy

      Ano kaya ang turo ng simbahan sa ganun? Or another HYPOCRISY?

  • collene copper

    People voted for Trillanes before because of his advocacy against corruption, And people will vote again for Trillanes to continue his fights against abusive gov’t officials! One vote for me!

  • Patrick Soler

    Naging sakristan din pala siya. Ako din eh. Nakakainspire naman. :)

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