Sep 132014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/11/06MANILA4726.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA4726 2006-11-17 04:09 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO3273
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #4726 3210409
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 170409Z NOV 06 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3942
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
UNCLAS MANILA 004726

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MTS
USPACOM ALSO FOR FPA HUSO AND J5
SECDEF/OSD/ISA/AP (TOOLAN/BAILEY)
JOINT STAFF/J5 (WILKES/ROBINSON/CLEMMONS)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PINS RP
SUBJECT: COUP PLOTTER HONASAN CAPTURED, TO FACE REBELLION CHARGES

REF: A. A. MANILA 4366

¶B. B. MANILA 830
¶C. C. 2003 MANILA 4021 AND PREVIOUS

¶1. (U) Agents of the Philippine National Police (PNP)
Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the
Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines
(ISAFP) captured fugitive coup plotter and former Senator
Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan November 15 in Metro Manila. The
arrest came more than three years after the July 2003
“Oakwood Mutiny,” in which over 300 junior officers of the
armed forces, led by Honasan, attempted to overthrow
President Arroyo (ref c). In March 2006, a local trial court
issued an arrest warrant against Honasan for the 2003 mutiny.
Honasan originally came to prominence in 1986, after he led
an unsuccessful coup attempt against President Ferdinand
Marcos that led to the “People Power” movement that forced
Marcos from office.

¶2. (U) The PNP initiated the operation after informants
tipped off the CIDG November 14 about Honasan’s presence at
his residence in Metro Manila. Police surveillance units
followed Honasan’s movements until his arrest. According to
the PNP, the CIDG arrested Honasan after he jumped out of the
second floor of a friend’s town house as he tried to escape,
severely injuring his feet. The police initially brought
Honasan to PNP headquarters in Camp Crame but later moved him
to a private hospital for further medical examination and
treatment. The Department of Interior and Local Government
posted in March a reward of 5 million pesos (USD 100,000) for
information leading to Honasan’s capture.

¶3. (U) Honasan has also been charged, along with 40 other
individuals, for the February 2006 coup attempt that led to
declaration of a one-week State of National Emergency (refs a
and b). The case is still in the preliminary investigation
stage, and no arrest warrants have yet been issued.

¶4. (U) There is some media speculation that Honasan’s arrest
constitutes part of an Arroyo Administration scheme to win
the May 2007 mid-term elections. However, PNP Director Oscar
Calderon was dismissive: “This is about normalcy of the
government and the republic. This is about law enforcement –
arresting a fugitive with warrant of arrest.” There is also
speculation that Honasan, who served in the Senate from 1995
to 2004, could again campaign for a Senate seat in the 2007
mid-term elections. Arroyo Administration Executive
Secretary Eduardo Ermita acknowledged that Honasan, despite

SIPDIS
the arrest, could still run for Senator pending a final
verdict, and mused that the arrest might “boost his chances
again as proven before.”

——-
COMMENT
——-

¶5. (SBU) Following the filing last month of formal rebellion
charges against more than 40 individuals — many of them
military and police officers — Honasan’s arrest represents
yet another victory for the Arroyo Administration in its
pursuit of long-term political stability. Press Secretary
Ignacio Bunye described Honasan’s arrest as “another
milestone that brings to a close a broad conspiracy to
destabilize the Government and is a harbinger of growing
political stability.” Even the opposition seemed to agree.
Prominent left-leaning Congressman Teddy Casino told poloff,
“Honasan was an inspiration for many disgruntled military
officers; his arrest is bound to have a quieting effect on
rumblings in the military.”
KENNEY

   

 

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