The Philippine Onion

Lies and half-truths shall set you free

Why ‘Oplan Peninsula’ was doomed from the start

Posted by commiedyan on November 30, 2007

by Old Spice

Faulty analysis and poor planning doomed the rebellion led by Senator Antonio Trillanes and Gen. Danilo Lim from the very beginning. Our conclusion is based on copies of documents recovered from the Manila Peninsula last night and accounts from our sources in Malacañang.

The first sign that something was awry was the absence of crowds when the two former military officers arrived at the hotel shortly before noon yesterday. Because of the drizzle, supporters of the duo stayed at home or in their offices, opting to give only ‘moral’ support. This in turn accounted for why the various commands which ‘were in on the plan’ stayed in barracks, as the support was conditional on the presence of massive civilan support.

But what really put the nail in the coffin of ‘Oplan Peninsula’ was something else. According to Cerge Remonde, who requested anonymity, there was a palpable sense of restlessness when the cabinet convened shortly after 1:30 p.m. Even with the government’s unquestioned superiority of force, Remonde said, some cabinet officials were simply tired of the never-ending calls for resignation and were prepared to ask the president to let go for the sake of the economy.

These cabinet officials were emboldened on learning that chief of staff Eduardo Ermita had received a call from the Trillanes camp offering unconditional pardon for the whole cabinet if they pled guilty to assorted high crimes, and respectable jobs at the hotel thereafter.

According to Remonde, the officials finally mustered the courage to call for a serious discussion of the Trillanes proposal:

  • Raul Gonzales, chief doorman
  • Hermogenes Esperon, doormat
  • Norberto Gonzales, chief security officer
  • Romulo Neri, chief guest relations officer
  • Gary Teves, cashier
  • Peter Favila, promotions officer, concurrently pastry chef
  • Hermogenes Ebdane, engineering and maintenance
  • Ace Durano, protocol officer, concurrently front desk day manager
  • Sergio Apostol, gym manager
  • Eduardo Ermita, concierge
  • Al Atienza, waste management officer
  • Esperanza Cabral, chief chef
  • Remonde, food and beverage manager
  • Larry Mendoza, head switchboard operator
  • Ignacio Bunye, boiler operator
  • Gilbert Teodoro, head housekeeping
  • Ronnie Puno, head room service, concurrently dry cleaning consultant
  • Gloria Arroyo, chief laundry section

All others had the option of being bell hops, waiters, guest relations officers, cooks, or cleaners.


The first vote on the proposal was 11 against and 6 in favor but this improved in favor of the rebels after some switching of positions. At one point, for example, Mrs. Arroyo suggested that Esperon and Ermita switch positions. Shortly before 4:30 p.m., it became apparent that a deadlock could not be broken over the sharing of tips and service charges. After Ermita relayed the news to Trillanes, who in turn consulted with Dodong Nemenzo, the rebel camp finally decided to call it quits. In the analysis of Nemenzo, ever conscious of workers rights, the rebels would just have to choose a bigger hotel with a more generous compensation package next time. This was what Gen. Lim referred to cryptically as “unfinished’ business. And as this ANC anchor suggests, this will not be the last hotel adventure, especially if gasoline prices continue to rise.

Remonde explained that the president was hurt and was sulking in a corner because no one had complained over her humiliating post-presidential appointment. But she finally collected herself around 7 p.m.

Breaking the code

A major reason the action could not inspire support was doubt over the composition of the revolutionary junta and the adherence of the rebels to democratic principles. A document shown to TPO listed codenames A,B,C…J. Code breakers at the Isafp concluded that B was actually C and C, D; D,E;E,F etc. etc. As of 11 p.m., Norberto Gonzales could not figure out how many distinct persons would actually have been in the junta.

In the meantime, let’s go for coffee in another Makati hotel lobby.

photos courtesy of Bloomberg and Ellen Tordesillas

4 Responses to “Why ‘Oplan Peninsula’ was doomed from the start”

  1. I HATE YOU GLORIA FOREVER at sampo ng mga alipores mo. bwesit kayo sa bansang Pilipinas. ang kapal ng mukha. lumaki sana ang NUNAL mo na mas malaki pa sa mukha mo.

  2. […] Why ‘Oplan Peninsula’ was doomed from the start […]

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  4. […] Posts Magdalo offer $100 reward for ‘kick me out sign’ on ArroyoWhy ‘Oplan Peninsula’ was doomed from the startThe strange humor of Queena LeeWhat did Mr. Eisenberg want from Mrs. Clinton?Math lessons for Vic […]

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