Arroyo warns threat remains

Philippines President Gloria Arroyo has said the threat against her government is "far from over", despite crushing a military-backed mutiny over the weekend.

Ms Arroyo said the "plotters, operators, financiers and backers" behind Sunday's rebellion were still at large, and that the state of rebellion she declared on Sunday would remain in force.

But she said the threat posed by the plotters was being contained, and would soon be completely under control.

"We are engaged in pre-emptive measures - administratively, operationally and politically," Ms Arroyo said.

The government is anxious to identify the ringleaders behind Sunday's coup attempt, which saw 300 soldiers occupy a shopping complex in Manila for 20 hours, demanding that Ms Arroyo step down.

"We will expose them and bring them to justice," the president said.

While Ms Arroyo herself has named no particular suspects, her aides have singled out opposition politician Senator Gregorio Honasan and other supporters of Ms Arroyo's predecessor as president, Joseph Estrada, as being key backers of the mutiny.

Both Mr Honasan and Mr Estrada - who is currently in detention and on trial for corruption - deny involvement in the weekend's events.

Raids earlier this week on the house of another detained Estrada aide, Ramon Cardenas, yielded guns, ammunition, supplies and documents, as well as armbands similar to those worn by the mutineers, according to police.

Threat 'still live'

At a congressional hearing about the mutiny on Thursday, National Security Advisor Roilo Golez warned that it was possible "similar mutinies will again be launched by rebellious elements who are not accounted for".

"The threat is still live," added military chief of staff General Narciso Abaya.

"Based on our information, there are several members who are still at large who we believe might be part of the coup attempt," he said.

Mr Golez told the hearing that the plotters had aimed to set up a 15-man junta to rule the country.

Defence Secretary Angelo Reyes, who also testified at Thursday's hearing, said that "any attempt like that of Sunday's will not and will never be successful."

"No attempt at power grab or diminishing the power of the state will succeed unless it is supported by the people," he told a local radio station.

31/07/2003

Bron : BBC World

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