Binay faces ‘conspiracy to commit rebellion’ over Manila Peninsula siege–Santiago
MANILA, Philippines– Vice President Jejomar Binay can be held criminally liable for “conspiracy to commit rebellion” if he conspired with rebel soldiers to overthrow the Arroyo administration in 2007, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago said on Friday.
Under Article 136 of the Penal Code, Santiago said, the crime of conspiracy to commit rebellion was punishable by imprisonment of up to four years, two months and one day to six years, and a fine not exceeding P5,000.
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV claimed that Binay had conspired with him and other rebel soldiers to oust then President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Trillanes though said then Makati Mayor Binay failed to show up and deliver his promise to mobilize city officials and employees to support the protest march of the rebel groups led by the senator, who was then Navy officer.
But Santiago said “merely agreeing and deciding to rise publicly and take arms against the government for the purposes of rebellion is already punishable under the crime of conspiracy to commit rebellion.”
“Thus, it was immaterial that Binay allegedly failed to mobilize the supporters, and was nowhere to be seen during the Manila Pen siege,” she said in a statement.
“While Trillanes and the other participants of the Manila Pen siege, and their civilian supporters were granted amnesty by President Aquino in 2010, the amnesty did not apply to Binay,” the senator said, referring to the uprising by Trillanes and fellow soldiers from the Magdalo Group at the Manila Peninsula in Makati City.
Santiago, a former Regional Trial Court judge, said Binay should have applied for amnesty with the Department of National Defense (DND), in accordance with the provisions of Presidential Proclamation No. 75, s. 2010.
Besides, she said, the application for amnesty already expired in 31 March 2011.
The senator said the crime of conspiracy to commit rebellion prescribes in 10 years from the discovery of the crime.
This means that since the Manila Pen siege occurred in 2007, the government has until 2017 to prosecute the offender, Santiago added.
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