Faeldon surrenders

Posted at 07/07/10 7:00 PM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE 4) - Fugitive military officer Capt. Nicanor Faeldon has surrendered to the military more than 2 years after the Manila Peninsula takeover, a military official said on Wednesday.

Philippine Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo said Faeldon surrendered to Philippine Marines Commandant Maj. Gen. Juancho Sabban on Tuesday.

According to Sabban, prior to the inauguration of President Aquino, Faeldon already sent feelers that he was ready to surrender to the military.

Sabban then picked up Faeldon somewhere in Makati City on Tuesday, and since then, the former rebel soldier has been in his custody.

Marines Capt. Nicanor Faeldon in Marines headquarters in Ft. Bonifacio after his surrender, July 7, 2010 (Photo by Ces Oreña Drilon)
Marines Capt. Nicanor Faeldon and Marines commandant Maj. Gen. Juancho Sabban in Marines headquarters in Ft. Bonifacio, July 7, 2010 (Photo by Ces Oreña Drilon)

Faeldon: I see hope in reforms

Faeldon said he chose to surrender after Aquino's inauguration, saying that he has seen "hope" for the reforms he had fought for while still in the military.

He said he is ready to face the consequences of his actions, adding that he is ready to face the general court martial and the Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC).

He said that once the cases are over, he no longer sees himself re-joining the Armed Forces of the Philippines, saying that he may find himself more useful fighting for reforms outside the military.

He said that there had been many close calls while he was on the run, but he evaded arrest after supporters of his cause helped him.

'Voluntary return'

Atty. Trixie Angeles, lawyer for Faeldon, said that her client did not surrender, rather he "voluntarily returned" to the Marines.

"Hindi ito suko. This is part of yung statement niya even before that he will return and allow himself to be under the jurisdiction of a duly elected president, but this has been planned ever since. This is not an accident kaya hindi huli...hindi surrender, bumalik sya," Angeles said.

She said she has no details about when her client actually returned.

"I can confirm that he is with the Marines, that he voluntarily returned to the Marines because this has been his intention all along," she said.

Sabban said Faeldon will be formally presented to the media on Thursday, during a press conference with top military officials in Antipolo City.

After the press conference, Faeldon will be detained at the Marine Brig at Fort Bonifacio.

Oakwood, Peninsula

Faeldon is one of more than 300 junior officers and military men who participated in the short-lived Oakwood Mutiny in 2003.

He was detained after the Oakwood Premiere (now Ascott hotel) takeover.

He escaped from custody on December 14, 2005 but was recaptured in January 27, 2006.

He again escaped, along with 3 Magdalo leaders, during the Manila Peninsula incident takeover on November 29, 2007.

During that incident, after walking out of a Makati Regional Trial Court hearing with then Army Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and other Magdalo leaders accused of having participated in the 2003 mutiny, they marched and holed up at Manila Peninsula Hotel in Makati’s Central Business District.

When Lim, Trillanes and others who laid siege to the hotel surrendered, Faeldon was nowhere to be found. -- With reports from Charie Villa, abs-cbnNEWS.com, and Ces Oreña-Drilon, ABS-CBN News