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100 Philippine Lieutenants Attempts Coup

Posted July. 27, 2003 21:48,   


About 100 young Philippine lieutenants who are accused by the government of planning a coup attempt in protest against low wages and the corrupted government occupied an upscale hotel and shopping complex in the heart of capital Manila yesterday that are now surrounded by heavily armed government troops.

As their plot was disclosed and a warrant was issued, they moved into the Glorietta complex at around 3 a.m. (4 a.m. KST) which has a shopping mall, luxury hotel and other accommodation facilities for foreigners and set up explosives such as booby traps around it, foreign media such as AP and AFP reported promptly.

The rebels, however, started to surrender from 2 hours before the 5 p.m (6 a.m. KST) deadline that Philippine President Gloria Arroyo set for the rebels to surrender. So now there is better chance for a possible peaceful resolution.

“The Arroyo government illicitly sold firearms and explosives to the rebels and instigated them a series of bomb attacks. The government even has drawn up a plan to proclaim martial law next month,” Navy First Lieutenant Antonio Trillanes, the spokesman of the rebels, said. “We withdraw our support toward the leadership of the Philippine military and President Arroyo.”

President Arroyo said a day before the incident during an address to the nation, “A plot for a coup which is led by some lieutenants has been found. I ordered the Military Police to immediately arrest any soldiers who leave the post without permission.”

The Philippines had undergone 7 blood shed coups since1980 and the military kicked out former President Joseph Estrada from his seat for corruption charges in January 2001 and replaced him with Arroyo who was vice president at that time, but political instability still overwhelms all over the Philippines.

Rae-Jeong Park ecopark@donga.com