Thursday, November 29, 2007

The drama at the Makati RTC 148

I happened to be loitering at the 14th floor of the Makati City Hall Thursday morning (Nov 29) at around 11 a.m. and just as I was walking along the hallway there was a commotion.
The 14th floor hosts several court salas including branch 148 of the Regional Trial Court presided by my former law teacher Judge Oscar Pimentel.
One of the cases pending there is the case against Senator Antonio Trillanes which happened to have a scheduled hearing that day.
So many men in military clothes packed the hall way.
The first thing I remember was a lady running on the hallway towards me saying "Nagkakagulo na doon."
Then I heard shouting.
Instinctively, I drew my cell phone and instantly made a video recording.
Little did I, and perhaps every one on that floor realize that what was happening was the beginning of what led to the armed stand-off at the Makati Peninsula.
While I was taking video footage, I heard somebody said a gun was drawn.
I must admit I became afraid at that point.
I no longer pursued my path, which was to go right at the center of action which was in the area of the elevators.
I was afraid that the trigger of the drawn gun might by pulled, because I sensed nobody was in full control.
I heard persons saying "May baril, may baril!"
Other soldiers saying "Hindi tayo magkalaban dito!"
As a lawyer, a drawn gun in the court premises is red alert.
There is supposed to be no guns in the court premises in the first place.
Guns are supposed to be deposited at the reception area on the ground floor.
I knew immeidately that the fact there was a gun at the 14th floor showed there was breach of security.
I even heard shouting inside the sala of Judge Oscar Pimentel.
At that point nobody knew what was going on.
One defense cousel said General Danny Lim was kidnapped.
General Danny Lim was testifying as witness for the defense that day.
When there was a brief recess in the proceedings, armed uniformed men supposedly MP's (military police) took away General Lim.
Then I saw former vice Preisident Teofisto Guingona, and former UP President Nemenzo, emerge from teh court room, and Bishop Labayan on te hallway who had wanted to enter the courtroom.
Let me show my brief own video clip of what happened at the 14th floor.
It shows scores of uniformed men, supposed to be guarding Trillanes and company, bewildered
not knowing what was going on.

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