Friday, February 24, 2006

A COUP IN THE PHILIPPINES?

This has taken me somewhat by surprise - from Pajamas Media:
A Brigadier General was arrested after he approached the Philippine chief of staff to join a coup de etat. The Philippine president is said to be calling the major commanders in an ongoing loyalty check process. A number of rallies, some of them without permits, are proceeding in the face of threats by the police to break them up. Classes have been cancelled at schools. There are unconfirmed rumors that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will announce whether or not a state of emergency will be declared when she speaks later today. Dean Jorge Bocobo at Philippine Commentary will be liveblogging the situation.

Two Pajamas sources in Manila says a state of emergency has been declared as Proclamation 1017. Authorities are announcing the arrest of unnamed individuals and warned that the rally to be attended by former President Cory Aquino will not be countenanced.
Sounds pretty serious. Unlike the "nothing to see here" spin that AFP are pushing:
The Philippines military detained a brigadier general for allegedly plotting against President Gloria Arroyo, armed forces chief of staff General Generoso Senga said.

Two days after the military said it had foiled a coup plot against Arroyo, General Senga said Brigadier General Danilo Lim, the commander of the Philippine Army's elite Scout Rangers had been taken into custody.

He was among "misguided elements who are planning to join a march," scheduled by the opposition later Friday that would call for the resignation of Arroyo, Senga told DZBB radio.

"He has been prevented from doing whatever he is planning," Senga said.

"This was not an attempted coup, but an attempted withdrawal of support" for Arroyo, Senga said.

[article continues]
It's late and I'm going to bed. By the morning we should have a clearer picture of exactly what's going on and whether traditional or citizen journalism had the better take.




UPDATE (13:18PM 24-02-2006): Looks like Pajamas Media called this one right. From the BBC - Emergency declared in Philippines:
Philippines President Gloria Arroyo has declared a state of emergency, after the army said it had prevented a coup.

She said was taking the action "because of the clear threat to the nation".

A top general is being held, suspected of planning to use rallies marking 20 years since the fall of President Ferdinand Marcos to launch a coup.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Manila on Friday in breach of the emergency order, but were beaten back by riot police using water cannon.

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