PHILIPPINES: Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo invokes emergency rule in Philippines.
- Title: PHILIPPINES: Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo invokes emergency rule in Philippines.
- Date: 24th February 2006
- Summary: GENERAL SPEAKING
- Reuters ID: LVA2YILN4WA1TPZSHK9SLC0CG2PQ
- Location: Philippines
- Country: Philippines
- Duration: 00:00:17
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Story Text: Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo invoked emergency rule
on Friday (February 24) after an alleged coup plot was foiled.
"I have declared a state of emergency because of the clear and
present threat to the Republic that we have learned about and stopped, "
she said in a televised address to the country.
"There have been some elements in the Armed Forces chain of
command that tried to veer away from the civilian government, violate the rule
of law and the Constitution. We foiled this attempt and we have arrested the
military and civilian officials who were involved. And we will also run after
those who have given them financial and political support... As the
Commander-in-chief, I have the situation under control," she said.
Executive orders do not require approval by Congress.
Emergency rule -- which allows for arrests without warrants and an
extension of detention without charge -- is a very sensitive issue in the
Philippines after nine years of martial law under late dictator Ferdinand
Anti-Arroyo protesters, inspired by the upcoming 20th anniversary of
the People Power movement that ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986,
called for the president to resign.
Demonstrators carried colouful anti-Arroyo flags and posters, accusing
the current administration of graft and corruption.
Police cancelled permits for several rallies on Friday (February 24)
and school classes were suspended. Security was beefed at the presidential
palace and at army and police camps in Manila, and a column of tanks was sent
to the main military base.
But some demonstrators carried on with their protest, scuffling with
The Philippines military said on Friday it was in full control of the
"The armed forces of the Philippines leadership and chain of
command down the line is in full control. We are committed to adhere strictly
to the chain of command and remain loyal to the flag, the constitution, and
the republic," Philippines armed forces chief General Generoso Senga told
reporters at a news conference.
Armed forces chief General Generoso Senga said the commander of the
elite Scout Rangers regiment had been detained as the alleged leader of troops
who planned to join protests against Arroyo by her political foes on Friday
The army said the rogue troops were planning to announce to the
protesters that they were withdrawing support from the president, hoping this
would spark an uprising against her.
Last week the army said it had uncovered a scheme that would have
involved a mass escape of officers on trial over failed mutiny in 2003, the
ouster of Arroyo and the creation of a military junta.
Talk of plots against Arroyo, who survived a crisis last year over
allegations of vote-rigging and corruption, has been running high around this
week's anniversary of a "people power" revolt that toppled dictator
Ferdinand Marcos in 1986.
There have been a dozen coup attempts in the Philippines in the last 20
years but some analysts suspect Arroyo's government of playing up security
threats to ward off would-be plotters and gain public sympathy.
Arroyo, an economist, has pushed reforms to try to improve revenues,
reduce corruption and cut debt but has been plagued by the allegations of
wrong-doing, which led to a failed impeachment attempt in September by her
foes in the lower house of Congress.
Outside Malacanang Presidential Palace police officers stepped up
security measures, blocking off the entrance road preventing anyone from
The peso weakened as far as 51.91 to the dollar in early trade from its
close on Thursday at 51.66. The main stock market index was down 1.55
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