SONA  WILL  PROCEED  AS  PLANNED  -  MALACAÑANG

MALACAÑANG,
JULY 10, 2006 (OFFICE  OF THE PRESS SECRETARY) Malacañang assured the people today that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) will proceed as planned despite the discovery of an attempt by the military component of a left-right cabal to blow up the Batasan building in Quezon City.

In a press statement, Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesman Ignacio R. Bunye also expressed surprise that the opposition "seems to be unusually quiet" on the aborted plot to bomb Congress.

He said that instead of renouncing it, the opposition has been uncharacteristically tightlipped on the conspiracy that could have triggered widespread implications for the country.

"The authorities have aborted a plot to bomb Congress during the SONA and we are surprised that the opposition seems to be unusually quiet on this dark plan instead of renouncing it," he said.

Military and police authorities arrested last Saturday six military fugitives and their civilian cohorts who had been reportedly planning to disrupt the President’s SONA later this month by bombing Congress.

The rebel soldiers, all members of the Magdalo group that was behind the attempt to overthrow the government in 2003, were arrested in their rented safehouse at Filinvest II in Barangay Batasan Hills.

Now under military custody are Capt. Nathaniel Rabonza, Army 1Lts. Patricio Bumidang and Sonny Sarmiento, 2Lts. Angelbert Gay and Adrin Baldonado, Navy Lt. Kiram Sadava.

Civilians Christopher Belmonte, a lawyer, and Michael Yangson were also arrested with the group.

Bunye said the government has "broken the military component of the left-right conspiracy…to bomb Congress during the SONA."

The arrested personnel will be "speedily prosecuted and tried," he added.

He extolled the police and the military for their loyalty to the flag and the Constitution, saying they "are among the solid institutions of our democratic society and they have been as professional as ever."

"Their loyalty to the flag and the Constitution has been proven again and again beyond doubt," Bunye said.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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