Five officers discharged from Philippine army for failed mutiny

Other News Materials 29 April 2008 10:30 (UTC +04:00)

A Philippine court martial on Tuesday ordered the discharge from the military of five army officers who had pleaded guilty to various charges arising from a failed mutiny in 2003.

Two of the officers that led the July 2003 mutiny - Army Second Lieutenant Christopher Orogan and First Lieutenant Jason Panaligan - were also sentenced to more than seven years in prison, dpa reported.

But the court reduced the prison term for Orogan and Panaligan by three years under a plea-bargain agreement.

Lieutenant Colonel Escarlan, a member of the court martial, said Orogan and Panaligan have already served their prison sentence because they have been detained for more than four years now.

Escarlan said the other discharged officers are army first lieutenants Lawrence San Juan, Nathaniel Rabonza and Sonny Sarmiento.

Earlier in the month, nine army officers were convicted of taking part in a coup d'etat by a Philippine local court.

Two of the officers were sentenced to life imprisonment, while the rest received jail sentences of between six years and 12 years.

The officers were among more than 300 soldiers who seized a shopping complex in the financial district of Makati in July 2003.

They had demanded the resignation of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and top military officers over alleged corruption and other anomalies.