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Soldiers may face court martial over mutiny plot

Soldiers may face court martial over mutiny plot

A group of military officers and soldiers could face court-martial over the November 29 failed mutiny in the Philippines, an armed forces spokesman said Tuesday.
A military board of inquiry has completed its investigation of the takeover of the five-star Peninsula hotel in the Makati financial district. Now, a provost marshal will determine if the military's code of conduct were violated, said Lieutenant-Colonel Bartolome Bacarro.
"Several officers and enlisted personnel will be investigated" for "possible violations of the Articles of War," he said in a statement without naming the officers or soldiers.
Senator Antonio Trillanes, who quit the navy and won a seat in the legislature while in jail and on trial for another failed mutiny - one in 2003, and other alleged co-conspirators stormed out of their trial in civilian court last month and seized the hotel by force.
Call to unseat president
From there, the small group, joined by a number of civilian figures in the political opposition and the Roman Catholic church, issued a call urging the armed forces to unseat President Gloria Arroyo.
Security forces stormed the building hours later and arrested the group.
State prosecutors have since freed all 18 civilians arrested in the hotel.
But Trillanes and 17 soldiers on trial for the 2003 mutiny, and the military guards who failed to prevent their escape from the courtroom, face possible charges in military court.
Bacarro said that depending on the provost marshal's determination, a number of military officers and men could face court-martial for prejudicial conduct, causing a prisoner to escape, and taking part in a mutiny or sedition.
Trillanes and the soldiers have also been charged in civilian court with rebellion, punishable by life in prison, for the hotel siege.