Antonio Trillanes IV is a retired Philippine Navy lieutenant and politician, who rose to national attention during the 2003 Oakwood mutiny and the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege, both in opposition to the Arroyo administration.
Trillanes was arrested in July 2003 and detained until December 2010, but successfully ran for the Senate in 2007. He was granted amnesty by President Benigno Aquino III in October 2010 and released. He won re-election in 2013 but lost a vice-presidential bid in 2016.
During his vice-presidential campaign and the remaining period of his second term in the Senate, Trillanes launched several inquiries into alleged corrupt activities involving key public figures including President Rodrigo Duterte and his family. He also released anti-Duterte campaign ads, establishing himself as a key rival and critic of the president.
In what Trillanes considers a retaliatory move, Duterte declared his amnesty void. The Department of National Defense claimed that Trillanes’ amnesty application documents were lost, leading to Trillanes’s arrest for the 2007 rebellion charge and temporary residence in the Senate premises for protection. Two divisions of the Court of Appeals ultimately reversed the re-opening of the rebellion and coup d’etat cases against Trillanes, rejecting what it called the Duterte administration’s “mental calisthenics” and “Janus-faced position.”
From 2007 to 2019, Trillanes worked to pass at least 17 laws including the Magna Carta for the Poor, the Archipelagic Bases Law of 2009 and the law requiring the release of retirement pay and benefits of retiring government employees. He was also active in other Senate investigations, leading to confrontations with various officials and libel and inciting to sedition suits being filed against Trillanes for his remarks against the subjects of the Senate probes.
In 2019, Trillanes was accused of participating in a destabilization plot against President Duterte, following the release of a series of viral videos implicating the Duterte family and their allies in the illegal drug trade. Initially, charges of inciting to sedition, cyber libel, libel and obstruction of justice have been filed against Trillanes and 36 others. Trillanes was then also charged with conspiracy to commit sedition along with nine others.
Trillanes contemplated a 2022 presidential run but eventually joined the 1Sambayan senatorial slate to make way for Vice President Leni Robredo who is seeking the presidency as an independent candidate. He is campaigning on an improved pandemic response, economic recovery, alleviating poverty, security sector reforms and a more collaborative approach to foreign policy.
“Makikita ng kababayan natin kung gaano kalalim at kung gaano kalawak ‘yung korapsyon sa iba’t ibang ahensya ng gobyerno ngayon. ‘Yung high-level corruption, palakihan ‘yan. Bilyon ‘yung nakawan diyan.”
ANTONIO “SONNY” FUENTES TRILLANES IV
Full Name: Antonio Fuentes Trillanes IV
Birthday: August 6, 1971 (Age 51)
Birthplace: Caloocan City, Metro Manila
Residence: Caloocan City, Metro Manila
Languages Spoken: Filipino, English
– Antonio F. Trillanes Sr., father, Navy Captain
– Estelita F. Trillanes, mother
– Dominic Trillanes
– Antonia Trillanes
– Antonio Trillanes Jr.
– Antonio Trillanes III
– Juan Antonio Trillanes
Spouse: Arlene G. Orejana-Trillanes
– Thea Estelle Trillanes
– Francis Seth Trillanes
– Alan Andrew Trillanes (deceased)
- B.S. Naval Systems Engineering, Philippine Military Academy, 1995
- Master of Public Administration, Major in Public Policy and Program Management, University of the Philippines – Diliman, 2005
- National and International Security Program, Harvard Kennedy School
- Senator, Senate of the Philippines, 2007 – 2013, 2013 – 2019
- Backchannel negotiator to China, in relation to the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, 2012
- Backchannel negotiator to China, in relation to the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, 2012
- Lieutenant Senior Grade, Philippine Navy
Trillanes’s five-year naval career included law enforcement engagements, search and rescue operations and naval operations in support of ground operations against the Abu Sayyaf.
On July 27, 2003, Lieutenant Senior Grade Trillanes and over 300 AFP junior officers took over Oakwood Premier (now, Ascott Manila) in Makati to protest the alleged corruption of the Arroyo administration and in the military. The mutiny by the Magdalo group (as they later came to be called) ended after 18 hours, with the arrest of all participants, followed by detention and charges before a military court for violation of the Articles of War and coup d’etat cases before the Makati City Regional Trial Court.
While in detention, Trillanes won a Senate seat but was denied permission to attend sessions by the Makati RTC. On Nov. 29, 2007, Trillanes, Brigadier General Danilo Lim and other Magdalo soldiers walked out during a hearing and occupied Manila Peninsula hotel in Makati, again calling for Arroyo’s ouster. The mutiny ended after six hours, with the surrender of most of the officers. The Department of Justice filed rebellion charges against them.
Some three years later, on Oct. 11, 2010, President Benigno Aquino III signed Proclamation No. 50 granting amnesty to active and former AFP members and supporters (and later, PNP members) involved in the Magdalo-related incidents. A few days later, Trillanes was released from detention, vowing to support the Aquino administration. After the DND granted Trillanes’ application for amnesty, all rebellion and coup d’etat charges were dismissed.
In 2012, President Aquino admitted that Trillanes was allowed to act as a backchannel negotiator with China amid a tense standoff over Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal. Though the informal appointment was questioned even by Trillanes’ colleagues in the Senate, Aquino maintained that the senator achieved “minor successes”. His brief designation by President Aquino as a backchannel negotiator to China in relation to the claims over the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal yielded “minor successes,” according to the chief executive.
Trillanes won a second Senate term in 2013 but launched a vice-presidential campaign in 2016. During that campaign, Trillanes filed a plunder complaint against Duterte before the Office of the Ombudsman, accusing him of hiding P2.4 billion worth of deposits gained from alleged illegal drug operations.Trillanes lost the vice-presidential race but retained his Senate seat where he sought to include the alleged Davao Death Squad killings in the investigation of summary executions under the Duterte administration. Trillanes continued to call for probes into Duterte’s bank accounts but the Ombudsman eventually ended its investigation in February 2018.
Duterte issued Proclamation No. 572 on Aug. 31, 2018, declaring Trillanes’ amnesty void from the very beginning, due to “insufficient” admission of guilt, among other reasons. The DND alleged that the amnesty application documents appear to have been lost. Trillanes briefly stayed in his Senate office after being guaranteed protection from arrest in the chamber’s premises.
Trillanes was eventually arrested and posted bail for the 2007 rebellion charge. In March 2021, the CA reversed the orders that effectively re-opened the case for failure to comply with the proper judicial inquiry but upheld the validity of the 2018 order revoking the amnesty. In May 2021, CA also denied the attempt to re-open the coup d’etat case against Trillanes, finding no factual basis to accuse him of not complying with all the conditions of amnesty.
His involvement in probes on President Duterte’s bank accounts garnered significant attention from both mainstream media and political bloggers. To combat and to end the “era of fake news”, Trillanes, one of the co-authors of the Cybercrime Prevention Act, filed cyber libel charges against Rey Joseph “RJ” Nieto, or blog owner “Thinking Pinoy” over Nieto’s Facebook post in Oct. 31, 2017, alleging that US President Donald Trump called Trillanes a drug lord. In September 2017, he also filed complaints on three counts of cyber libel, and one count each of violations of the Anti-Graft and Practices Act and the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, and falsification and use of false documents against Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson, who had alleged that he had secret bank accounts in Singapore via sharing of the post.
As a lawmaker for two terms in the Senate, Trillanes authored at least 17 laws, and principally authored or sponsored nine laws. He also participated in numerous investigations against public officers, resulting in the filing of both civil and criminal cases against him.
Antonio Fuentes Trillanes IV, or Sonny to his relatives and friends, was born and raised in Caloocan City. He traces his roots to Ligao, Albay in Bicol where his late father, Antonio Sr., grew up. His mother, Estelita, hails from the province of Capiz.
Sonny is 35 years old; born on August 6, 1971. He is married to the former Arlene G. Orejana with two children namely: Francis Seth and Thea Estelle. Their third child, Alan Andrew, died of an illness while he was just twenty-one days old.
He studied at De La Salle University in Manila where he took up BS ECE from 1987 to 1991.
He formally entered into public service in 1991 as a cadet in the Philippine Military Academy where he graduated Cum Laude in 1995, while earning a degree in BS Naval System Engineering. Other awards he received while in PMA are the Mathematics Plaque, Physical Science Plaque, and the Tambuli Award for electrical/electronics engineering.
In 2002, Sonny took up graduate studies at the University of the Philippines and got his masters degree in Public Administration major in Public Policy and Program Management. For the duration of the masteral program, he received two University Scholar Awards for obtaining two semestral GPAs of 1.0 to 1.25 and a College Scholar Award for obtaining a semestral GPA of 1.25 to 1.50.
After graduating from PMA, Sonny went through all shipboard assignments starting from Mess & Supply Officer; Deck & Gunnery Officer; Engineering & Damage Control Officer; Executive Officer; and, ultimately as Acting Commanding Officer of a patrol gunboat.
During his five-year sea duty experience, his unit apprehended dozens of smugglers, illegal loggers, poachers, human smugglers and illegal fishermen in numerous maritime law enforcement operations conducted in the waters off Batanes, Ilocos, Cagayan, Isabela, Zambales, Scarborough, Quezon, Bicol, Palawan, Mindoro, Romblon, Iloilo, Cebu, Zamboanga Peninsula, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Davao and Maguindanao.
Other shore positions he held were: Administrative/Personnel Officer of Philippine Fleet Patrol Force; and Procurement Officer/Instructor, Naval Education & Training Command.
Among the highlights of his military profession, was the daring search and rescue operation for the survivors of the ill-fated M/V Princess of the Orient at the height of a super typhoon in 1998. For this act of risking their own lives in the fulfillment of their duty, Sonny and his unit managed to rescue thirty-two (32) survivors.
He was also involved in numerous naval operations in support of ground operations directed against the Abu Sayyaf and other lawless elements.
As procurement officer of the Naval Training and Education Command, Philippine Navy, Sonny reformed the procurement system, which resulted to the accumulated savings of more than four million pesos in favor of the government.
He has participated in 22 naval exercises conducted with local and foreign navies.
For his meritorious service to his country, Sonny has been awarded a total of 23 assorted merit medals, campaign ribbons and badges.
Finally, during the recent May 14, 2007 mid-term Elections, Sonny successfully launched a nationwide campaign from his prison cell as he ran and won a seat in the Philippine Senate on a shoestring budget. More than 11 million people voted him into office on a strong anti-corruption advocacy.
BILLS AND RESOLUTIONS
Naipasang batas bilang senador
- RA 9500: University of the Philippines Charter
- RA 9502: Universally Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act
- RA 9522: Amendments to Baselines of the Territorial Sea of the Philippines
- RA 9593: Tourism Act
- RA 9646: Real Estate Service Act of the Philippines
- RA 9828: Military Service Board
- RA 9993: Philippine Coast Guard Act
- RA 9994: Expanded Senior Citizens Act
- RA 10024: Philippine Respiratory Therapy Act
- RA 10029: Philippine Psychology Act
- RA 10066: National Cultural Heritage Act
- RA 10071: Prosecution Service Act
- RA 10121: Philippine Disaster Risk Management Act
- RA 10154: Early release of retirement pay, pensions, gratuities, and other benefits
- RA 10156: Conferment of Civil Service eligibility
- RA 10166: Geology Profession Act
- RA 10172: Correct clerical or typographical error and change of first name and nickname
- RA 10173: Data Privacy Act
- RA 10175: Cybercrime Prevention Act
- RA 10176: Arbor Day Act
- RA 10349: AFP Modernization Act
- RA 10350: Philippine Interior Design Act
- RA 10372: Amendments to Intellectual Property Code
- RA 10524: Amendments to Magna Carta for Persons with Disability
- RA 10526: Liver Cancer and Viral Hepatitis Awareness and Prevention Month Act
- RA 10532: Philippine National Health Research System Act
- RA 10535: Philippine Standard Time Act
- RA 10536: Meat Inspection Code of the Philippines
- RA 10586: Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act
- RA 10587: Environmental Planning Act
- RA 10588: Palarong Pambansa Act
- RA 10589: Anti-Corruption Month Act
- RA 10591: Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act
- RA 10606: National Health Insurance Act
- RA 10627: Anti-Bullying Act
- RA 10635: Maritime Industry Authority
- RA 10650: Open Distance Learning Act
- RA 10659: Sugarcane Industry Development Act
- RA 10667: Philippine Competition Act
- RA 10668: Allowing foreign vessels to transport and co-load foreign cargoes for domestic transshipment
- RA 10687: Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education Act
- RA 10688: Metallurgical Engineering Act
- RA 10692: PAGASA Modernization Act
- RA 10697: Strategic Trade Management Act
- RA 10816: Farm Tourism Development Act
- RA 10817: Philippine Halal Export Development and Promotion Act
- RA 10847: Lowering the Age Requirement for Applicants Taking the Board Examination for Social Workers
- RA 10862: Nutrition and Dietetics Law
- RA 10883: New Anti-Carnapping Act
- RA 10912: Continuing Professional Development Act
- RA 10915: Philippine Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Act
- RA 10916: Road Speed Limiter Act
- RA 11036: Mental Health Act
- RA 11055: Philippine Identification System Act
- RA 11131: Philippine Criminology Profession Act
- RA 11166: Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act
- RA 11199: Social Security Act
- RA 11201: Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development Act
- RA 11210: Expanded Maternity Leave Law
- RA 11215: National Integrated Cancer Control Act
- RA 11241: Philippine Occupational Therapy Act
- RA 11261: First Time Jobseekers Assistance Act
- RA 11285: Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act
- RA 11291: Magna Carta of the Poor
- RA 11333: National Museum of the Philippines Act
- RA 11362: Community Service Act
- RA 11458: Expanding the Coverage of Exemptions from Revealing the Source of Information Obtained in Confidence
- RA 9708: Education requirements for promotion in the Philippine National Police
- RA 10645: Expanded Senior Citizens Act
- RA 10743: National Teachers’ Day
- RA 11229: Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act
- RA 11232: Revised Corporation Code of the Philippines
- RA 11314: Student Fare Discount Act