Philippines emergency measures stay

Philippines President Gloria Arroyo has said she will keep in place a state of emergency which was declared after a short-lived military revolt.

In her weekly radio address, the president said the state of emergency would continue until the country "wrapped up residual threats".

The measure, which gives security forces the power of arrest without a warrant, was declared after about 300 soldiers seized a shopping mall in Manila last weekend, demanding that President Arroyo quit.

They have now been charged with attempting a coup.

Vigilance needed

Mrs Arroyo said the country's democratic institutions were still strong and cited an Asian Development Bank assessment that the failed coup would have minimal effect on the economy.

A meeting of Asian finance ministers in Manila will be held as scheduled next week, she added.

"Normalisation has set in and must not be disturbed but the need for vigilance continues," she said.

Police in the Philippines are presently investigating a claim that the failed coup attempt included a plot to kill the President.

They are also checking reports of unauthorised troop movements in Manila.

The supporters of former President Joseph Estrada have been implicated in the mutiny in Manila, and one of his key aides has been charged in connection with the incident.

Mr Estrada currently detained in a military hospital denies all the accusations against him.

02/08/2003

Bron : BBC World

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