Senator Trillianes, who is under indictment for a previous coup attempt but nevertheless won election as a senator a couple months ago, walked out of a hearing about that coup attempt and was joined by other soldiers, and asked the people to join him to ask the president to resign. Some soldiers then took over a hotel in Makati.
Archbishop Cruz, a firebrand who is always protesting civil rights violations by the government and it’s corruption, is backing Trillianes. No reports about the rest of the church or other churches.
At the present time, troops are being rushed to Manila to end the Hotel seige, and roadblocks have been placed on the North and South Luzon expressways to prevent supporters from entering Manila.
Right now, everyone is waiting to see if the military will attack the hotel (tear gas has been fired into the lobby).
The background of all this:
A couple days ago, administration supporters blocked another impeachment attempt against the Philippine President Gloria Arroyo.
Arroyo is widely suspected by her opponents of stealing her election to become president, and only a technicality stopped the “hello Garci” tapes from being entered in a case against her. (The “hello Garci” tapes were an illegal wiretap of a phone conversation that discussed stuffing ballot boxes…or maybe not.)
And although the business community supports Arroyo, the common people tend to believe her administration is corrupt, and that she is behind the spate of “extrajudicial killings” that has plagued leftist activists and reporters.
A big rally is scheduled tomorrow (a national holiday) to ask for the president’s resignation.
Since the rice harvest is almost over rural activists will be able to attend.
At the same time, a lot of the military has been posted to hurricane areas to help civilians.
ABS CBN website with updates is HERE.
Right now on TV the government spokesperople are talking about “rule of law”…and the opposition is also on TV saying sarcastically that the corruption and civil rights violations by the present government make the claim “rule of law” absurd.
But it appears that the military will probably quell this coup attempt.
Whether or not Trillianes will be able to rally the public to demonstrate tomorrow is another question.
7pm update: mutineers were arrested peacefully, but so were a lot of the news crews. The television stations are all protesting vigorously.
Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket.