MAJ. GEN. Renato Miranda, the popular and respected commandant of the Philippine Marines, was relieved of his post this afternoon, amid rumors that members of the elite unit were planning to withdraw their support from the Arroyo government and were calling on civilians to support their action.

Miranda, a bemedalled officer and member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1978, was immediately replaced by his deputy, Brig. Gen Nelson Allaga. The Marine spokesman, Maj. Melquiades Ordiales, told journalists that earlier this afternoon, Miranda had asked the Navy chief, Vice Admiral Mateo Mayuga, to be relieved of his post for still unknown reasons.

As news of his resignation made the rounds of text messages in an edgy city, members of civilian groups like the Black and White Movement, Sanlakas and Brother Eddie Villanueva’s Bangon Pilipino Movement rushed to the Marine headquarters in Fort Bonifacio to support what they believed were embattled Marine troopers.

By 5 p.m., scores of civilians had gathered at the Marine chapel and were subsequently joined by Marine Col. Ariel Querubin, who is said to have been involved in the failed attempt to withdraw support from the Arroyo government last Friday. “We are asking the people to support us from aggression,” Querubin told ANC.

He also confirmed that he and 200 of his men were planning to march down Edsa on Friday to join the protesters there. Gen. Miranda, however, dissuaded them from doing so and asked them to follow “the chain of command.”

“Junior officers are so agitated,” Querubin said. “I am doing this in support of my commandant.”

The Marines are known to be among the most restive units of the armed forces. They are veteran putschists, having taken part in the bloody 1989 coup against the Aquino government and the 2003 Oakwood mutiny.

The resentment of the Marines against President Arroyo is well known, as members of the unit were disenchanted with the relief of Brig. Gen. Francisco Gudani a few days after the 2004 elections. Gudani was taken out of his command in the Lanao provinces, supposedly to facilitate the cheating by Arroyo henchmen. The Marines were reportedly further incensed when the top brass ordered the court martial of Gudani and Lt. Col. Antonio Balutan after they testified about the alleged fraud before the Senate in October.

“The relief is unusual because it is put in effect so suddenly,” said Senator Rodolfo Biazon, himself a former Marine Commandant, who rushed to Fort Bonifacio, he said, “to prevent soldiers from shooting each other.”

8 Responses to Marine commandant relieved, Marines ask for protection


INSIDE PCIJ: Stories behind our stories » Mutiny in the Marines

February 26th, 2006 at 6:44 pm

[…] HUNDREDS of Marine troopers escorted by three armored vehicles marched in formation and  gathered in front of the headquarters of their elite unit in Fort Bonifacio shortly before 6 p.m.  today to protest the relief of their popular commandant, Maj. Gen. Renato Miranda. […]



February 26th, 2006 at 8:59 pm





February 26th, 2006 at 10:18 pm

tingin ko lang, talagang pinaghandaan nila defensor et al ang mga kilos nilang huwang palakihin pa ang mga kilos protesta. may direct correlation ang dami ng iyong pwersa at ang kakayahan nitong mag-akit pa ng iba pang tao. mas-maraming tao, masmalaking kakayahan nitong mag-akit ng tao pa. kailangang damihan pa natin ang hanay sa fort. oo nga sina querubin ay hindi enrile at ramos, ngunit nagsisilbi siyang mitsa. maraming balakid – una gabi na ng nangyari ito, pangalawa, ang fort bonifaco ay hindi kasing daling puntahan tulad ng aguinaldo at crame. mag-text, mag-tawag, iyong mga may kakayahang pumunta ng bonifacio ay pumunta na.


INSIDE PCIJ: Stories behind our stories » Was new Marine chief involved in Sulu poll fraud?

February 27th, 2006 at 12:37 am

[…] BRIG. Gen. Nelson Allaga, whose appointment as Marine commandant yesterday afternoon sparked a protest among the ranks of the elite unit, appears on the list of military officers the group calling itself “The Young Officers Union of the new generation (YOUng)” had asked last year to be investigated for their supposed part in the electoral fraud allegedly perpetrated in the 2004 presidential elections. […]


INSIDE PCIJ: Stories behind our stories » Who is Col. Ariel Querubin?

February 27th, 2006 at 12:05 pm

[…] COLONEL Ariel Querubin, the Marine officer who figured in yesterday’s seven-hour standoff in protest of the supposed voluntarily relief of his commandant, Maj. Gen. Renato Miranda, at the Marines headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, is no ordinary soldier. […]


INSIDE PCIJ: Stories behind our stories » Arroyo lifts state of emergency

March 3rd, 2006 at 1:12 pm

[…] Arroyo said she first had to make sure that there were no longer threats to the national security before making a decision about lifting the state of emergency. She said the brief standoff at the Marine headquarters last Sunday convinced her of the wisdom of having declared a state of emergency. "Bilang commander-in-chief, at ayon sa kapangyarihang iginawad sa akin ng Konstitusyon, kumilos ako upang ipagtanggol ang katiwasayan," Arroyo said. […]


INSIDE PCIJ: Stories behind our stories » Mayuga report silent on other top military officials linked to poll fraud

April 14th, 2006 at 12:30 pm

[…] It will be recalled that Allaga’s surprise appointment as Marine commandant sparked a protest among the ranks of the elite unit, leading to the seven-hour standoff in Fort Bonifacio last February 26. […]


UPCAT 2012 RESULTS NOW OUT? (and some reminiscing) « Notes From The Philippines

January 18th, 2012 at 4:20 pm

[…] Earlier that day, Major General Renato Miranda, commandant of the Philippine Marines, was unceremoniously relieved from his post after urging his subordinates to withdraw their support from the government of then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. I made the inquiry late in the afternoon. Here’s what’s happening during that time, as chronicled by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism: […]

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