Danny Lim released on bail, meets Aquino

Posted at 06/01/10 1:31 AM

MANILA, Philippines (1st UPDATE) - Alleged mutineer former Army Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim met on Monday evening with President-apparent Benigno Aquino III at the latter’s house in Times St., Quezon City after he was granted temporary liberty late afternoon by a civilian court and the military.

After 2 ½ hours, the alleged mutineer emerged from the meeting.

He said there was no discussion on what would be his role in the new administration.

"Wala pa, kung meron man, siguro sa kanila na natin maririnig iyan," said Lim, who was chief of the Army’s elite Scout Ranger Regiment before he was detained in February 2006.

He said he has yet to weigh possible offers, if any, from the incoming President.

"Alam niyo naman na may 1-year ban...Saka na pag-usapan iyan," said Lim.

The Constitution imposes a 1-year ban on appointments for losing candidates after an election.

Lim admitted though that he is prepared to join the Aquino administration.

"Makikipagtulungan tayo sa bagong presidente natin. Ako naman ay team player," said Lim.

Lim, meanwhile, declined to comment when asked why it was only him who was released by the military, while other similarly-situated soldiers such as Col. Ariel Querubin are still behind bars.

Posts P200,000 bail

Lim was released 5:35 p.m. from the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame in Quezon City after proper custodial procedures and medical examination were conducted.

He was given temporary liberty after Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Delfin Bangit approved his request to be granted provisional liberty, and that he be placed under the custody of another military officer.

The Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150, where Lim is facing rebellion charges, also issued a release order after Lim posted a P200,000 bail Monday afternoon.

Lim also still faces charges, among them mutiny, before 2 military tribunals.

Lim arrived at Aquino’s house around 7 p.m..

Lim ran for the Senate as an independent in the May 10 elections. However, he was adopted as a guest candidate by Aquino’s party, as well as the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino of former President Joseph Estrada.

Lim, however, did not make it to the top 12 senatorial candidates.

Formal turnover

Before his meeting with Aquino, Lim, also paid a call on Bangit at the office of the Armed Forces’ Chief of Staff. He was accompanied by Brig. Gen. Reynaldo Ordoñez, AFP Philippine Defense Reform office chief.

Lt. Col Arnulfo Burgos, AFP public affairs office chief, said that this was where the formal turnover to Ordoñez occurred. Bangit had ordered that Lim be placed under the custody of Ordoñez while on provisional liberty.

A source who was privy to the discussion said the 3 talked, among others, about the plight of Lim’s co-accused who remain detained since February 2006.

“The similarly-situated may be accorded the same (provisional liberty). That was among the discussions,” said the military officer who sought anonymity.

Among those charged with mutiny in a Special General Court Martial with Lim are former Philippine Marine Corps commandant Maj. Gen. Renato Miranda and former Marine Col. Ariel Querubin.

Querubin also run unsuccessfully for a senatorial seat in the May 2010 elections. The former Marine colonel ran under the banner of losing Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Manny Villar.

The source added said that there was also an arrangement prohibiting Lim from publicly making statements.

More than 4 years detention

Lim was under detention for more than 4 years. He was also earlier detained in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City and Camp Capinpin in Tanay, Rizal.

Lt. Col. Arnulfo Burgos, AFP public affairs office chief, said Lim asked Bangit, through a letter, that he be given temporary liberty and placed under the custody of Ordoñez.

Bangit reportedly approved the request through a memorandum, on condition that Lim would still face charges filed against him in military courts.

Lim entered the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) and would have been batch mates of Bangit and Ordoñez in PMA Class '78. But Lim was sent to the US Military Academy in West Point in New York where he graduated.

Lim was deemed resigned from active military service when he filed late 2009 his certificate of candidacy for senator in the May 2010 elections.

Aside from the mutiny charge, Lim is also charged in another Special General Court Martial with violation of Articles of War 63 (disrespect to the President), 96 (conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman), 97 (conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline), and 70 (escape from confinement).

The charges are in connection with the November 2007 incident in Makati City where he and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV walked out of a court hearing on the coup d’etat charges against Trillanes and other detained members of the Magdalo group.

They marched and holed up in The Peninsula Manila Hotel with some civilian supporters. Lim, during the standoff, read a statement withdrawing support from President Arroyo. Lim, Trillanes and their followers later surrendered to the police and military after the failed military adventure. 

Lim is also facing a rebellion charge before a Makati RTC Branch 150 in connection with the November 2007 standoff. Lim and his co-accused in the case had been allowed to post bail as early February. With reports from Ron Gagalac and Jay Ruiz, ABS-CBN News