Skip to comments.Philippine President confirms [attempted] coup, orders arrest of mutineers
Posted on 07/26/2003 6:35:28 AM PDT by Steel Wolf
Macapagal confirms coup, orders arrest of mutineers
(UPDATED) PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Saturday ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to arrest a small band of officers who have plotted a mutiny against her government.
The group of officers, she said, would be severely punished when arrested.
"On my orders, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police are hunting down to arrest a small band of rogue junior officers and soldiers who have deserted their posts and illegally brought weapons with them," she said.
"They have broken the law," Ms Macapagal said. "They will be court martialed."
The President said the coup plotters have no moral cause and that their mutiny was doomed from the start. She added the mutineers will suffer the "maximum penalty" of the law.
The junior officers, she said, remained unaccounted for in their respective commands."We are in full control of the situation," she said, warning "the republic will exact the maximum penalty for the purveyors of mutiny or rebellion."
She also issued a warning to those "unscrupulous politicians who exploit the messianic complex of these officers for their naked ambitions.
"I call on our people to be vigilant and denounce these misguided elements," Ms Macapagal said. Rumors that a military clique was plotting to overthrow the government have been swirling in Manila since last week but the President had dismissed such rumors.
She met Wednesday with a group of disaffected junior officers at a dinner at the Malacañang presidential palace and acknowledged "the existence of legitimate grievances among the young officers in the Armed Forces."
Military officials have passed on complaints from junior officers over low pay, corruption and inadequate housing facilities for soldiers.
Ms Macapagal's predecessor and rival Joseph Estrada warned the incumbent that she faced a popular revolt because she had illegally snatched the presidency from him. Estrada, who is in jail on charges of corruption, insists he is still the president.
The Philippines suffered seven bloody coup attempts in the late 1980s, setting back economic development for years. (Originally posted 7:46PM)
ARMED Forces chief of staff General Narciso Abaya declared his "full support" Saturday for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and ordered the arrest of 10 junior officers he said were plotting against her government.
The officers, who graduated from the Philippine Military Academy between 1995 and 1997, are backed by "between 40-50 men" who are "fully armed and can do a lot of damage," he told a news conference at the presidential palace.
Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes said on television that the officers may be capable of terrorist activities but assured the public that the situation was under control.
Abay assured Ms Macapagal of the "full support of the Armed Forces of the Philippines." The President earlier Saturday announced the discovery of a possible coup plot against her and ordered a manhunt for the conspirators.
"They deserted their posts and brought weapons," he said. "We can assume that they are here in Metro Manila."
The officers were identified as:
Lieutenant (Senior Grade) Antonio Trillanes IV Navy
Lieutenant (Senior Grade) James Layug Navy
Captain Gerardo Gambala Army
Captain Laurence Louis Somera Army
Captain Milo Maestrecampo Army
Captain Albert Baloloy Army
1st Lieutenant Lawrence San Juan Army
1st Lieutenant Florentino Somera Army
1st Lieutenant Jose Enrico Demetrio Dingle Army
1st Lieutenant Warren Lee Dagupon Army
As this developed, armored military and police vehicles and heavily-armed soldiers barricaded the gates of Malacañang Palace.
Scores of presidential security guards, clad in fatigue combat uniforms and armed with assault rifles, searched all vehicles passing through streets around Malacañang palace and turned away uninvited palace visitors, an Agence France-Presse reporter on the scene said.
Two armored troop transports and three police cars were seen parked across the main gate of the compound, while police aboard motorcycles patrolled the streets outside. (Originally posted 8:04 PM)
I thought a mutiny was a rebellion on a ship at sea.
Hmmm..the Phillipines ARE surrounded by water......
I remember an attempted coup by a junior officer who went by his nick-name "Gringo." That was more than 10 years ago. I wonder what happened to him.
Boy, this is a mess. They need to shore up the government if they are really serious about the war on terror in the Phillipines.
Was Estrada a Democrat or something? He was impeached for corruption and implicated in several murders, but constantly says that a huge mass of direct evidence is all lies.
Basically, yes. He also hid Mark Jimenez, who was a big illegal donor to Clinton.