Antonio Trillanes

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Antonio Trillanes IV
Antonio F. Trillanes IV.jpg
Senator of the Philippines
Assumed office
June 30, 2007
Personal details
Born Antonio Fuentes Trillanes IV
(1971-08-06) August 6, 1971 (age 43)
Caloocan, Metro Manila, Philippines
Nationality Filipino
Political party Nacionalista Party (2012 – present)
Team PNoy (2012-2013)
Independent (2007–2012)
United Opposition (2007)
Spouse(s) Arlene G. Orejana
Children Francis Seth Trillanes (b. 1997)
Thea Estelle Trillanes (b. 1999)
Alan Andrew O. Trillanes (b. 2001, now deceased)[1]
Residence Caloocan City
Alma mater Philippine Military Academy
University of the Philippines - National College of Public Administration and Governance
Profession Senator/Legislator of the Philippines; Public Servant; Former Navy Lieutenant[2]
Religion Roman Catholic
Website Official Website
Military service
Allegiance Republic of the Philippines
Service/branch Philippine Navy

Antonio "Sonny" Fuentes Trillanes IV (born August 6, 1971) is a former[3] Navy Lieutenant Senior Grade and currently serving as a senator of the Philippines since 2007.

He was born in Caloocan City.[4]

He was known for leading the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny when he and some 300 junior officers and enlisted men[5] of the Armed Forces of the Philippines took over the Oakwood towers in Makati City as protest for alleged rampant corruption in the Philippine government - in the Armed Forces of the Philippines in particular - and the prevalence of social injustice all over the country.[6] He was detained for almost seven and a half years after protesting against corruption.[7]

In the Senate election held in May 2007, Trillanes successfully launched a nationwide campaign from his prison cell as he ran and won a seat in the Philippine Senate on a shoestring budget.[8] He was elected to the Senate as guest candidate for the anti-administration[9] Genuine Opposition ticket, and assumed office on June 30, 2007. He made history[7] for being the first Philippine senator to be elected while in jail when more than 11 million people voted him into office on a strong anti-corruption advocacy.[10]

On November 29, 2007, Trillanes, together with the soldiers facing coup d'état charges in connection with the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny, marched out of the courtroom while attending a hearing[11] towards the Peninsula Manila hotel in Makati City, to reiterate their call[12] for the ouster of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.[13]

On December 20, 2010, he was given provisional freedom pending the recognition of the court's amnesty declaration of President Benigno Aquino III.[14]

In October 2013, Trillanes formalized his re-election bid, filing his certificate of candidacy at the main office of the Commission on Elections in Manila. He ran under the banner of the Nacionalista Party, which is allied with the ruling Liberal Party in the 2013 midterm elections.[15] He formed part of the umbrella coalition of the administration-backed senatorial line-up for the 2013 Philippine Senate election known as the Team PNoy.[16]

Formally proclaimed as a Senator in May 2013,[17] Trillanes was re-elected by 14,127,722 Filipinos as per Comelec's official tally of votes.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Known as "Sonny" to his family and friends, Trillanes was born and raised in Caloocan, to Philippine Navy Capt. Antonio Floranza Trillanes, Sr. (PMA Class '59) of Ligao City, Albay, and Estelita (née Fuentes) from Ivisan,[19] Capiz.

Trillanes is married to Arlene G. Orejana, a former member of the Philippine Military Academy corps of professors — a PMA Class 1997 graduate herself — and together they have had three children: Francis Seth, Thea Estelle, and Alan Andrew (who died at 21 days old).


His elementary years were spent at Siena College, Quezon City from 1975–1983, and from 1983–1987, his secondary education was at Angelicum College in Quezon City. In 1990, while a third year BS in Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE) student from De La Salle University on Taft Avenue, Manila, he took and passed the [PMA] entrance examination. He formally entered into public service the following year as a cadet in the Philippine Military Academy where he graduated cum laude in 1995, while earning a degree in BS Naval System Engineering. Other awards he received while in PMA are the Mathematics Plaque, Physical Science Plaque, and the Tambuli Award for electrical/electronics engineering.

In 2002, Trillanes took up his graduate studies at the University of the Philippines National College of Public Administration and Governance, and got his masters degree in Public Administration, Major in Public Policy and Program Management.

For the duration of the masters program, he received two University Scholar Awards for obtaining two semestral GPAs of 1.0 to 1.25 and a College Scholar Award for obtaining a semestral GPA of 1.25 to 1.50.[20]

In 2014, he finished the National and International Security Program at the Harvard Kennedy School[1] in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.[21]

Highlights of Military Profession[edit]

After graduating from PMA, Sonny went through all shipboard assignments starting from Mess & Supply Officer; Deck & Gunnery Officer; Engineering & Damage Control Officer; Executive Officer; and, ultimately as Acting Commanding Officer of a patrol gunboat.

During his five-year sea duty experience, his unit apprehended dozens of smugglers, illegal loggers, poachers, human smugglers and illegal fishermen in numerous maritime law enforcement operations conducted in the waters off Batanes, Ilocos, Cagayan, Isabela, Zambales, Scarborough, Quezon, Bicol, Palawan, Mindoro, Romblon, Iloilo, Cebu, Zamboanga Peninsula, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Davao and Maguindanao.[citation needed]

Other shore positions he held were: Administrative/Personnel Officer of Philippine Fleet Patrol Force; and Procurement Officer/Instructor, Naval Education & Training Command.

Among the highlights of his military profession, was the daring search and rescue operation for the survivors of the ill-fated M/V Princess of the Orient at the height of a super typhoon in 1998. For this act of risking their own lives in the fulfillment of their duty, Sonny and his unit managed to rescue thirty-two (32) survivors.

He was also involved in numerous naval operations in support of ground operations directed against the Abu Sayyaf and other lawless elements. As procurement officer of the Naval Training and Education Command, Philippine Navy, Sonny reformed the procurement system, which resulted to the accumulated savings of more than four million pesos in favor of the government.

He has participated in 22 naval exercises conducted with local and foreign navies. For his meritorious service to his country, Sonny has been awarded a total of 23 assorted merit medals, campaign ribbons and badges.

Political career[edit]

Trillanes filed his certificate of candidacy on February 7, 2007, to run as an independent Senator even though he was detained for coup d'état. Later, he accepted an invitation from the Genuine Opposition party (GO) as one of its guest candidates to field against the Arroyo administration. He campaigned, though in jail, through the social networking site, Friendster. He was eventually proclaimed Senator-elect on June 15, 2007 by the Commission on Elections. He is the 2nd youngest senator after Benigno Aquino, Jr. elected at the age of 35 (his partymate Bam Aquino join him as youngest senator elected in 2013)

On July 23, 2007, Trillanes' motion for an "arrangement" with the Makati RTC that would allow him to fulfill his duties as a Senator while under detention, and to allow him to attend the SONA, remained unacted upon. A week after, Judge Oscar Pimentel denied Trillanes's plea to be granted leave from detention to attend Senate sessions, and to set up an office inside Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City where he had been detained.[22] In response to Trillanes' continued imprisonment despite his election as Senator, former University of the Philippines president Francisco Nemenzo, Jr. and former vice president Teofisto Guingona, Jr. of civil society launched the "Paglingkurin si Trillanes [Let Trillanes Serve] Movement" in Pasay City on August 23, 2007. Akbayan Representative Risa Hontiveros, Ana Maria Nemenzo of the Freedom from Debt Coalition, opposition leader Jose Alcuaz, and Trillanes' spokesperson Sonny Rivera, were present.[23]

Notwithstanding calls from civil society groups to allow Trillanes to serve as Senator pursuant to his election, Judge Oscar Pimentel denied Trillanes's petition to attend Senate sessions on September 20, 2007, for lack of merit, ruling that his incarceration would not be a bar to fulfilling his duties as a Senator.[24] His petition, having been denied by the lower court, Senator Trillanes filed a petition with the Supreme Court of the Philippines, asking that his petition to be allowed to attend Senate sessions be granted. Representing him was his lawyer Reynaldo Robles. Included in said petition was a request that he be allowed to receive visitors in his jail at Fort Bonifacio.[25]

On October 17, 2007, the Supreme Court of the Philippines, in an en banc resolution, directed the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and Makati Regional Trial Court Judge Oscar Pimentel to comment within 10 days on Senator Antonio Trillanes IV's petition.[26] These requests were however later overshadowed by Trillanes' decision to stage another action against Gloria Arroyo's administration. On November 29, 2007, the senator led another uprising, this time at the Manila Peninsula Hotel in Makati. After walking out of his court hearing, he and Brigadier General Danilo Lim led their supporters to the hotel where they staged their protest against the government, calling on the public to join them. Six hours later, after military teams surrounded the hotel and armored personnel carriers broke through the hotel's front doors, Senator Trillanes and his companions surrendered.

In 2010, under Proclamation 75, President Benigno Aquino III granted amnesty to Trillanes and other military personnel accused of trying to oust the Arroyo administration. He was able for the first time to enter the Senate and perform his duties as a senator.

Trillanes stood up against Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's corrupt and oppressive regime, and was incarcerated for almost 7 ½ years. At the Senate, he is one of the most productive senators in terms of number bills, resolutions and committee reports filed,[27] totalling to 1,066 bills and resolutions, 45 of which have been passed into law.[28] He ranks 1st both in most number of national bills sponsored, committee reports filed[29] and committee hearings conducted.[1]

After formalizing his re-election bid in October 2012, Trillanes filed his certificate of candidacy for 2013 elections at the Commission on Elections main office in Manila. He is running under the banner of the Nacionalista Party, which is allied with the ruling Liberal Party in the 2013 midterm elections.[30] Trillanes was ranked ninth out of the out of the 12 winning senators. Trillanes was proclaimed senator-elect on May 20, 2013 by the Commission on Elections[31] with an official tally of 14,127,722 votes.[18]

He has formally declared his intention to run for higher office in the coming 2016 national elections.[32]


  1. ^ a b c Official Website of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. "ANTONIO "SONNY" F TRILLANES IV". Retrieved February 21, 2013. 
  2. ^ Official Facebook Page of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. "Antonio Sonny Trillanes IV Basic Info". Retrieved February 21, 2013. 
  3. ^ Merueñas, Mark (October 13, 2010). "Trillanes camp: Amnesty won’t set bad precedent". GMA News. Retrieved December 25, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Senator Antonio "Sonny" F. Trillanes IV". Retrieved February 19, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Who is Antonio Trillanes IV?". Retrieved February 19, 2013. 
  6. ^ ", Magdalo History". Retrieved February 19, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b People's Tonight. "P-Noy supports Trillanes!". Retrieved February 19, 2013. 
  8. ^ Official Website of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. "ANTONIO "SONNY" F TRILLANES IV". Retrieved February 19, 2013. 
  9. ^ Paul Michael Jaramillo. "Trillanes joins Villar in Nacionalista Party". Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  10. ^ Senate of the Philippines' Official Website. "Senator Antonio "Sonny" F. Trillanes IV Biography". Retrieved February 19, 2013. 
  11. ^ Anna Liza T. Villas. "Court Defers Trillanes Hearing". Retrieved February 19, 2013. 
  12. ^ Jojo Malig. "Court Defers Trillanes Hearing". Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Trillanes: Filipinos celebrate rebellions". Retrieved November 28, 2007. 
  14. ^ "Makati court grants Trillanes temporary release". Retrieved December 21, 2010. 
  15. ^ Marc Cayabyab. " Trillanes formalizes Senate re-election bid ". Retrieved October 13, 2013. 
  16. ^ Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. " Team PNoy'". Retrieved October 15, 2013. 
  17. ^ Matikas Santos. " Trillanes receives certificate of proclamation from Comelec ". Retrieved October 13, 2013. 
  18. ^ a b Rappler. " Official tally of votes for the 2013 senatorial race". Retrieved October 14, 2013. 
  19. ^ Official Facebook Page of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. "Antonio Sonny Trillanes IV Basic Info". Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  20. ^ Senate of the Philippines' Official Website. "Senator Antonio "Sonny" F. Trillanes IV Biography". Retrieved February 19, 2013. 
  21. ^ Harvard Kennedy School Official Website. "Harvard Kennedy School Contact Us". Retrieved May 5, 2015. 
  22. ^ "GMA NEWS.TV, Makati court junks Trillanes plea to attend Senate sessions". July 30, 2007. Retrieved May 18, 2012. 
  23. ^ ", ‘Let Trillanes Serve Movement’ launched". Retrieved May 18, 2012. 
  24. ^ "GMA NEWS.TV, Court rejects Trillanes appeal to attend Senate sessions". September 20, 2007. Retrieved May 18, 2012. 
  25. ^ Abs-Cbn Interactive, Trillanes asks SC to allow him to attend Senate sessions
  26. ^ ", AFP, judge told to answer Trillanes’s bid to exercise duties". Retrieved May 18, 2012. 
  27. ^ Mario Casayuran. " Trillanes is Senates most productive". Retrieved May 3, 2015. 
  28. ^ Official Website of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. "ANTONIO "SONNY" F TRILLANES IV". Retrieved May 3, 2015. 
  29. ^ Official Facebook Page of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. "Antonio Sonny Trillanes IV Page Info". Retrieved May 5, 2015. 
  30. ^ Marc Cayabyab. " Trillanes formalizes Senate re-election bid". Retrieved March 5, 2013. 
  31. ^ Matikas Santos. " Trillanes receives certificate of proclamation from Comelec". Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  32. ^ JDS GMA news. " Trillanes to run for higher office in 2016". Retrieved May 3, 2015. 

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