Senator Mirian Defensor-Santiago said on Friday that Vice President Jejomar Binay could be guilty of ‘conspiracy to commit rebellion’ when he agreed to help the rebel soldiers to overthrow the administration of then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2007.
Earlier this week, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV claimed Binay, who was then the mayor of Makati, wanted to be the head of a civilian-military junta if the mutiny staged by rebel soldiers against the Arroyo government in 2007 succeeded.
Binay promised to mobilize his supporters to help the rebel soldiers which include the then Navy Lieutenant Trillanes, but the promised supporters did not show up. Binay was nowhere to be seen, Trillanes said.
Trillanes made the statement following VP Binay’s backing out of their scheduled public debate.
Senator Miriam Santiago said it does not matter if Binay had reneged on his promise to Trillanes to mobilize his supporters which include employees of Makati City Hall, students of University of Makati, the urban poor, Makati traffic enforcers and police to support the rebel soldiers in overthrowing the Arroyo administration.
She said merely agreeing to rise publicly and take arms against the government for the purpose of rebellion is already punishable under the law.
In a statement released by her office, Senator Santiago said: “Vice President Jejomar Binay could be held criminally liable for conspiracy to commit rebellion, following the recent revelation of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, that as Makati mayor, Binay allegedly conspired with him and his military colleagues to overthrow the Arroyo administration in 2007.”
The crime of conspiracy to commit rebellion is punishable by four years, two months and one day to six years of imprisonment and a fine not exceeding P5,000 according to the Article 13 of the Revised Penal Code.
A case may still be filed against Vice President Binay because the crime of conspiracy to commit rebellion has a prescription of 10 years since the discovery of the crime. Since the uprising happened on 2007, the government can still prosecute the offenders until 2017.