AFP grants Faeldon temporary freedom

THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has granted temporary liberty to Marine Capt. Nicanor Faeldon.

Lawyer Trixie Cruz-Angeles said Faeldon was released from Fort Bonifacio detention late Saturday after AFP chief Gen. Ricardo David Jr. ordered that the rebel-soldier be placed under the custody of another Marine officer, Lt. Gen. Juancho Sabban, commander of the AFP’s Western Command.

Faeldon was detained for being twice involved in an attempt to oust former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

“The chief of staff has approved his (Faeldon) transfer of custody to General Sabban and he was released Saturday afternoon. It means that for the duration of his trial, he is free,” Cruz-Angeles told defense reporters.

But the lawyer said she was not certain if her client would avail of the amnesty offered by the Aquino administration to nearly 300 military personnel involved in attempts to topple the former administration.

Faeldon is still facing court-martial trial for his involvement in the Oakwood Mutiny on July 27, 2003 and for twice escaping from military custody – the first was in December 14, 2005 and the second was at the end of the Manila Peninsula Siege in Nov. 29, 2007.

The AFP gave Faeldon a two-day pass to let him spend his time with his family for the holiday season on the condition that he will not speak nor grant media interviews.

Faeldon was the among the hard-core leaders of the Magdalo group who staged the Oakwood Mutiny, the first recorded military uprising during the nine-year reign of the Arroyo administration.

Faeldon, a member of the crack Force Marine Reconnaissance Unit of the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) first escaped from military after attending a court hearing in Makati City.

He was recaptured by military intelligence agents in Malabon City on Jan. 27, 2006.

Faeldon made his second escape from military custody a few minutes after the end of the siege at the Manila Peninsula Hotel in Makati City.

After going into hiding for nearly three years, Faeldon surrendered last July to Sabban. Anthony Vargas

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