July 30, 2010
MANILA – Marine Col. Ariel Querubin, one of the key leaders of the failed plot to overthrow the Arroyo administration four years ago, walked to freedom on Wednesday noon after being allowed a provisional liberty by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Lt. Gen. Ricardo David. Interviewed by reporters, Querubin said he welcomes the move of the military establishment, adding that he is optimistic that this will be the signal of the justice that he and his group is longing for the past years. Querubin would be under the custodial care of Brig. Gen. Reynaldo Ordoñez, who will ensure that the suspected coup plotter would attend military court hearings in connection with the mutiny charge he is facing.
Querubin said he was summoned by David at his office last Thursday to discuss a number of things, including the provisional liberty that would be given to him. “We talked at his office, he summoned me. We talked and for the first time after four and a half years, I had this sense of belongingness to the Armed Forces because I saw their sincerity to help us,” said Querubin. “This is a welcome move, welcome initiative from the AFP leadership in offering the olive branch and heading the call of the new administration.
As I said, this a step closer to the justice that we are asking because that is what they (Aquino administration) are saying – correct the injustice against us,” he said. Querubin is facing a mutiny charge before the military’s general court martial No.2 in connection with the February 2006 plot to overthrow the Arroyo government. He ran for senator in the May 10 elections but lost Brig Gen. Gilberto Jose C. Roa, the Judge Advocate General, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said, “as the Convening Authority, the Chief of Staff AFP (CSAFP) may exercise discretionary authority to restrict or enlarge the confinement of an officer who has been arrested under the provisions of AW 70.” “Lt. Gen. Ricardo A. David Jr, CSAFP, as convening/confining authority under AW 70 (Arrest or Confinement) has discretion on assigning custody to another ‘Responsible Officer’,” said Roa.