Antonio Fuentes Trillanes IV, or Sonny to his relatives and friends, was born and raised in Caloocan City. He traces his roots to Ligao, Albay in Bicol where his late father, Antonio Sr., grew up. His mother, Estelita, hails from the province of Capiz.
Sonny is 35 years old; born on August 6, 1971. He is married to the former Arlene G. Orejana with two children namely: Francis Seth and Thea Estelle. Their third child, Alan Andrew, died of an illness while he was just twenty-one days old.
He studied at De La Salle University in Manila where he took up BS ECE from 1987 to 1991.
He formally entered into public service in 1991 as a cadet in the Philippine Military Academy where he graduated Cum Laude in 1995, while earning a degree in BS Naval System Engineering. Other awards he received while in PMA are the Mathematics Plaque, Physical Science Plaque, and the Tambuli Award for electrical/electronics engineering.
In 2002, Sonny took up graduate studies at the University of the Philippines and got his masters degree in Public Administration major in Public Policy and Program Management. For the duration of the masteral program, he received two University Scholar Awards for obtaining two semestral GPAs of 1.0 to 1.25 and a College Scholar Award for obtaining a semestral GPA of 1.25 to 1.50.
After graduating from PMA, Sonny went through all shipboard assignments starting from Mess & Supply Officer; Deck & Gunnery Officer; Engineering & Damage Control Officer; Executive Officer; and, ultimately as Acting Commanding Officer of a patrol gunboat.
During his five-year sea duty experience, his unit apprehended dozens of smugglers, illegal loggers, poachers, human smugglers and illegal fishermen in numerous maritime law enforcement operations conducted in the waters off Batanes, Ilocos, Cagayan, Isabela, Zambales, Scarborough, Quezon, Bicol, Palawan, Mindoro, Romblon, Iloilo, Cebu, Zamboanga Peninsula, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Davao and Maguindanao.
Other shore positions he held were: Administrative/Personnel Officer of Philippine Fleet Patrol Force; and Procurement Officer/Instructor, Naval Education & Training Command.
Among the highlights of his military profession, was the daring search and rescue operation for the survivors of the ill-fated M/V Princess of the Orient at the height of a super typhoon in 1998. For this act of risking their own lives in the fulfillment of their duty, Sonny and his unit managed to rescue thirty-two (32) survivors.
He was also involved in numerous naval operations in support of ground operations directed against the Abu Sayyaf and other lawless elements.
As procurement officer of the Naval Training and Education Command, Philippine Navy, Sonny reformed the procurement system, which resulted to the accumulated savings of more than four million pesos in favor of the government.
He has participated in 22 naval exercises conducted with local and foreign navies.
For his meritorious service to his country, Sonny has been awarded a total of 23 assorted merit medals, campaign ribbons and badges.
Finally, during the recent May 14, 2007 mid-term Elections, Sonny successfully launched a nationwide campaign from his prison cell as he ran and won a seat in the Philippine Senate on a shoestring budget. More than 11 million people voted him into office on a strong anti-corruption advocacy.