name = Gregorio B. Honasan II
small| caption =
office = Senator of the Philippines
June 30, 2007
office2 = Senator of the Philippines
June 30, 1995
June 30, 2004
office3 = Commandant, Special Operations School, Philippine Army Training Command in Fort Magsaysay,
term_start3 = 1986
term_end3 = 1987
office4 = Chief of Security, Ministry of National Defense
term_start4 = 1981
term_end4 = 1986
birth_date = birth date and age|1948|3|14
nationality = Filipino
party = "Independent" (1995 to date)
Reform the Armed Forces Movement (1985-1995)
spouse = Jane Umali
Philippine Military Academy
religion = Roman Catholic
Gregorio Ballesteros Honasan II (born
March 14, 1948), better known as Gringo Honasan, is a Filipino political figure. He played a key role in the 1986 EDSA Revolutionthat toppled the dictatorship of President Ferdinand Marcos. He led a series of deadly coup attempts against the administration of Corazon Aquino, none of which were successful. President Fidel Ramosgranted him amnesty in 1992. He entered politics and became a senator from 1995 to 2004 and again since 2007.
Early life and career
Gregorio Honasan was born in
Baguio Cityto Colonel Romeo Honasan and Alice Ballesteros, both from Sorsogonprovince. [http://www.senate.gov.ph/senators/former_senators/gregorio_honasan.htm Senate of the Philippines - Gregorio Honasan] ] Honasan spent his elementary days at San Beda Collegefrom Kindergarten to Grade 6. After which, he went to Taiwan and studied at the Dominican School, Taipei, Taiwan. He then returned to the Philippines and finished his high school at Don Bosco. He attained his Bachelor of Sciencedegree at the Philippine Military Academy, where he received the title of "Class Baron", the academy's highest leadership award.
After graduating in 1971, he joined the Philippine Army and went into combat duty against separatist and communist insurgents in
Luzonand Mindanao. He was wounded in action at battles in Lebak and Jolo. Making his way up through the armed forces, he became aide-de-campto Secretary of National Defense Juan Ponce Enrilein 1974, and later became the department's Chief of Security.
Concurrent with his position as security chief, he was a board member of the
Northern Mindanao Development Bankand president of the Beatriz Marketing Company. [http://www.i-site.ph/Databases/Congress/12thSenate/personal/honasan-personal.html i-site.ph - Gregorio Honasan] ]
In 1986, Honasan and a cabal of colonels, backed by Enrile, tried to use popular unrest to overthrow the
dictatorshipof President Ferdinand Marcos. [http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/storypage.aspx?StoryID=56268 Honasan: Anti-Marcos poster boy turned coup leader] ] When the plot was uncovered, the conspirators sought refuge in the military headquarters and called on civilians, the media, and the Catholic Churchfor protection. Hundreds of thousands of people served as human shields to protect Honasan and his men from Marcos' forces, sparking the 1986 People Power Revolutionthat led to Marcos' fall from power and the installation of Corazon Aquinoas president.
Aquino awarded Honasan a Distinguished Conduct Star for the EDSA Revolution and the Presidential Government Medal in 1986. Under the new government, he was head of a special group in the defense ministry. Using his position, he was covertly involved in various coup attempts against Aquino. In
August 28, 1987, fighting broke out in the streets and Honasan ordered his men to attack government installations, resulting in the deaths of dozens, including many civilians. The attack was put down by government forces, but Honasan was able to escape. He was later captured and imprisoned in a navy ship on Manila Bay. He later escaped once again by convincing his guards to join his cause.
Honasan launched another coup attempt in
December 1, 1989, occupying air bases and key points in the capital and using captured aircraft to bomb Malacañang Palace. The government called on the American military for help, and Honasan's forces retreated when US fighter jets patrolled Manila. The coup attempt killed nearly 100 people.
Fidel V. Ramos, who was elected in 1992, granted amnestyto Honasan. Honasan utilized his rebel infamy to enter politics in 1995, becoming the first independent candidate in Philippine history to win a seat in the senate. He was re-elected in 2001, and left the senate when his second term expired in 2004. In the general election held in May 2007, he was again elected to the Senate. Running as an independent candidate, he polled some 11.6 million votes, finishing 10th out of 37 candidates for 12 Senate vacancies. He took up his post on 30 June.
Honasan has been accused of being the ringleader of 2003
Oakwood Mutinyagainst the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. [http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view_article.php?article_id=32658 INQ7.net - Fugitive Honasan captured] , 14 November 2006]
Since the allegedly failed February 2006
coup d'etatattempt against the Arroyo administration, Honasan had been in hiding for his alleged involvement in the planned putsch. On the early morning of November 15, 2006, Honasan was re-captured and detained at the CIDG headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City. He was subsequently transferred to the PNP General Hospital where he was treated after allegedly sustaining minor injuries while trying to elude arrest by jumping off from the second floor of the townhouse where he was found.
April 20, 2007he was released on bail allowed Court Order and said that he will not run under TEAM Unityor the Genuine Oppositionand will remain an Independent. On July 13, 2007, Makati City RTC Judge Oscar Pimentel (Br. 148) dismissed the coup d'etat charge against Honasan. The senator criticized speculation that he made a deal in exchange for the dropping of the charge: "Kung lahat ng kaso [na] mabibigyan ng ganitong klaseng proseso ay pagdududahan natin na inayos, may deal, may usapan, ano na lang ang mangyayari sa hustisya natin (If all cases that went through such process will be doubted as a result of a deal [with the government] , what will happen to our justice system)? So we can say the same about, even the former congressmen, party-list congressmen who were [cleared from rebellion charges] . They're also striking a deal with the government? We should avoid these [kinds of speculations] ." Pimentel lifted the hold departure order and ordered the refund of the P210,000 posted bail. [http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/storypage.aspx?StoryId=84457 ABS-CBN, Interactive - Makati court junks coup charge vs Honasan] , 13 July 2007]
Coup attempts' contribution to Philippine democratic development
On August 20, 2007, Honasan confessed that he led two, not seven, coup attempts - the bloodiest ones on Aug. 28, 1987 and Dec. 1, 1989. He was proud to have been involved the 3rd “"coup d'etat",” the EDSA People Power Power on Feb. 22-26, 1986, that ousted
Ferdinand Marcos. These 3 revolts contributed to the country's democratic development. Honasan also denied responsibility for the attack on Corazon Aquino’s only son, Sen. Benigno Aquino IIIoutside Malacañang during the Aug. 28 coup. [ [http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view_article.php?article_id=83753 Inquirer.net, Honasan: Coup attempts contributed to RP development] ]
* [http://www.gringohonasan.org Official campaign site of Gregorio Honasan]
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