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96 Army officers, men face court martial, separation board
« on: March 22, 2006, 10:55:48 PM »

96 Army officers, men face court martial, separation board
First posted 01:35pm (Mla time) Mar 23, 2006

ARMY Chief Lieutenant General Hermogenes Esperon Jr. has recommended to Military Chief General Generoso Senga that 59 Army officers and 37 soldiers face either a court martial or separation board for their alleged involvement in a foiled coup last February 24, a spokesman said.

"They have varying degrees of participation in the foiled coup. However, the final decision will be up to the Chief of Staff," Army spokesman Major Bartolome Bacarro told reporters Thursday.

Those with criminal liabilities, including Brigadier General Danilo Lim, commander of the elite First Scout Ranger Regiment (FSRR), could be charged before a court martial with violation of Articles of War 67 (mutiny), 68 (failure to suppress mutiny), and 97 (conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline), Bacarro said.

Those with administrative liabilities could be charged before the Army Efficiency and Separation Board (ESB), he said.

In times of war, mutiny carries the maximum penalty of death but during peacetime, those found guilty of mutiny face life imprisonment, Bacarro said.

Those charged before the ESB face dismissal from the service, he said.

"Some of them were recommended charged before the court martial, some before the ESB, and some were recommended to face criminal and administrative charges," he said.

Last Saturday, Esperon announced that he recommended to Senga that Lim and other officers be charged before a court martial.

But during the 109th anniversary of the Philippine Army on Monday, Esperon clarified that he withheld the submission of his recommendation pending more inputs from the intelligence community.

Bacarro said Esperon submitted his recommendation to the Senga Wednesday.

Senga's decision on Esperon's report will be among those awaiting his action. These include what he will do about the guilty verdict against the military's former comptroller, retired Major General Carlos Garcia, and the report of Navy Vice Admiral Mateo Mayuga on alleged election fraud involving some officers, which was submitted to Senga's office in January.

Lim has been restricted to quarters since his alleged plan to bring soldiers to anti-Arroyo rallies on EDSA last February 24 was thwarted.

Another officer implicated in the foiled coup, Marine Colonel Ariel Querubin, is also being investigated.

Querubin also led a standoff at the Marine headquarters in Fort Bonifacio to protest the sudden relief of former Marine commandant Major General Renato Miranda.

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