The News from Manila

Jurriaan Bendien bendien at
Sun Jul 27 07:36:08 MDT 2003


Negotiators have extended indefinitely a surrender deadline for renegade
troops who have seized a major commercial centre in the Philippines capital
and ringed the area with explosives. The country's President Gloria Arroyo
has warned the rebels that they risk facing an all-out assault. Around 50 of
the 200 troops involved surrendered after her ultimatum. Those left said
they had agreed to negotiate, but would not stand down immediately. The
rebels are demanding the resignation of the Philippine government, accusing
it of corruption. They deny they are planning a coup and have accused the
government of selling arms to rebel groups, plotting terrorist attacks and
planning to impose martial law. Australia's ambassador to the country was
briefly trapped in a block of flats in the area but later released unharmed.
There were several coup attempts against former President Corazon Aquino in
the late 1980s, by officers complaining of corruption.

Last Updated: 12:24 UK, Sunday July 27, 2003,,30200-12386413,00.html

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