As the East Asian Summit in KL draw to a close with fresh victories secured in regionalism and a handshake at the end between Japanand China, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo had the ominous news from her country that a coup leader had been arrested and his plans quashed.
Appearing confident, she reassured international investors and the populace as well as the power brokers in Manilathat she still enjoyed the loyalty of the military and the police despite the latest arrests.
Presidential spokesman Ignacio Bunye came out to state that the efforts of anti-government forces and anarchist to penetrate and launch a coup had been less than successful. He reiterated the confidence that the administration had in the loyalty of its armed forces as well as their stance in upholding the constitution and the duly elected head of state. He reminded opponents of the president that plans to topple her through political underhandedness as well as partisan politics would result in failure and highlighted the professionalism of the current forces in Philippines.
Military and police leaders have chosen to stay loyal to the 58-year-old Arroyo despite the fact that she has been accused of rigging the May 2004 presidential vote and stand on politically shaky ground now. Police raided the historic Club Filipino in the Manilasuburban town of San Juanand arrested 80-year-old ex-general Fortunato Abat and three others for publicly declaring a transition government to replace the scandal-tainted Arroyo administration.
Arroyo is safe for now but , even with the military and police remaining loyal to her, leftists in her country as well as countrymen who are still suspicious of her actions in the election scandal remain volatile in their commitment to her presidency. At the height of the crisis, Arroyo had to send her husband and son off to theUSto secure locations while she battled it out in the Congress with its members keen to impeach Arroyo. She won the vote against the impeachment then. She will still need to thread on careful grounds now.
For more. See:
* Embattled Arroyo confident of police, military loyalty (Bangkok Post, Dec 18)