PALACE: GOVT READY TO QUELL ANY REBELLION

MALACANANG, November 3, 2003  (STAR) By Mayen Jaymalin - Malacañang assured the public yesterday that the government is ready to quell any attempts to overthrow the government amid the political standoff between the legislative and judiciary generated by the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr.

"The government is ready to face any threat," Presidential Spokesman Ignacio Bunye said.

Bunye made the statement in reaction to "coup for sale" reports that money is being offered to graduates of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class 1989 to mount another mutiny against the administration.

Bunye said Mrs. Arroyo had already declared that her government is ready to face any group that would try to take advantage of the crisis generated by the impeachment complaint against Davide.

Mrs. Arroyo had declared she will act out her role as the "middle force" in the conflict between two co-equal branches of government.

She said a sense of sacrifice should be adopted by leaders of Congress and the judiciary to resolve the political impasse caused by the impeachment issue.

Army chief Lt. Gen. Gregorio Camiling earlier dismissed reports of another military rebellion but warned that "agitators" are just waiting for an opportunity to strike amid the crisis created by the impending impeachment of Davide.

While Camiling stressed there are no immediate reports of another coup plot, he warned against military adventurism and told soldiers to stay focused on their mission.

He said he is convinced professional Filipino soldiers will defend the Constitution and remain mission oriented.

Camiling assured the people that the military high command has been monitoring the national security situation since the failed July 27 mutiny, but warned of the presence of agitators within and outside the military ranks who might exploit the situation.

Mrs. Arroyo on Saturday ordered the release of the 133 servicemen involved in the failed mutiny.

But Bunye dismissed insinuations that Mrs. Arroyo’s ordering the release of the servicemen was a ploy to boost her presidential bid.

He stressed that for a long time, Mrs. Arroyo has already declared that those who have been proven to have been misled by their officers into joining the plot would be immediately released.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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