Philippine army tribunal sacks 11 coup plotters

Coup plots are common in the Philippines, where soldiers have been instrumental in the overthrow of two presidents, and there have been more than a dozen such incidents since Ferdinand Marcos was ousted in February 1986.

Philippine army tribunal sacks 11 coup plotters
A Philippine military tribunal dismissed 11 officers from service on Thursday for participating in a short-lived mutiny against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in July 2003.

The military said the five captains and six lieutenants would remain under detention because they still face charges in a civilian court for taking over a high-rise building in Manila's financial district during the 2003 mutiny.

Two months ago, Arroyo pardoned nine other army officers convicted for the coup by a civilian court after they apologised to her in public and promised not to take part in future attempts to unseat her. Those nine were also removed from military service.

Arroyo has survived at least three attempts by her political foes to remove her through an impeachment motion since she took power in 2001. The military has also helped her face down three plots by rogue troops to seize power.

Last week, a lawyer identified with the political opposition, an army colonel and three retired military and police officers were arrested on suspicion of planning a fresh plot to unseat Arroyo.

Analysts say she is likely to be able to finish her term in 2010 because of the military's support and the domination of the House of Representatives by her allies.

Coup plots are common in the Philippines, where soldiers have been instrumental in the overthrow of two presidents, and there have been more than a dozen such incidents since Ferdinand Marcos was ousted in February 1986.

Reuters
Last Mod: 10 Temmuz 2008, 13:57
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