MANILA, Philippines?(UPDATE 2) An Armed Forces general court martial refused to dismiss charges against nine retired and active officials in the military for an "attempt to create a mutiny" in February 2006.
The court martial decided on Tuesday to keep the charges against former Marine commandant Major General Renato Miranda; former Marine Colonel Ariel Querubin; the former Army Scout Rangers chief, Brigadier General Danilo Lim; and six other Marine and Scout Rangers officers, Major Jason Aquino and Captains James Sababan, Montano Almodovar, Joey Fontiveros, Isagani Criste and Dante Langit (ret.).
A seven-member military tribunal, however, concluded there was no sufficient evidence against seven others to show that they committed "overt acts" to overthrow the previous Arroyo government.
Those acquitted were Colonel Orlando De Leon, Lieutenant Colonel Achilles Segumalian (ret.), Lieutenant Colonel Custodio Parcon and First Lieutenant Belinda Ferrer of the Marine Corps; and Major Jose Leomar Doctolero, Captain William Lupano and First Lieutenant Homer Estolas of the Scout Rangers.
In acquitting the seven officers but continuing the trial of nine others, the general court martial overturned its decision twice before?on October 27, 2009 and on March 2, 2010 during the Arroyo administration?dismissing the motion of the 16 accused officers to dismiss the charge of violation of the Article of War 67 for "conspiracy to attempt to begin a mutiny."
It was the first time that the general court martial convened under the administration of President Benigno Aquino III.
The 16 officers have been released and five of them have retired.
Twelve other co-accused officers were previously acquitted.
In the May 10, 2010 elections, Lim ran for senator under Aquino's Liberal Party while Querubin ran for the same office under the Nacionalista Party. Both lost.