They must also have been directed by more senior officers,  Roilo Golez told a Senate public hearing into the incident in Manila.

Military chief of staff General Narciso Abaya told the inquiry  that an undisclosed number of officers have gone Absent Without Leave.

Other soldiers who were on leave at the time of the uprising may also have played a part in the rebellion, he said.

About 300 mutineers seized a section of the Makati financial district in Manila before dawn on Sunday and called for Arroyo's resignation.

They surrendered less than 24 hours later when they failed to garner any support.

'Larger plot'

The government has alleged the mutiny was part of a larger plot to depose Arroyo and install a 15-member junta to rule the country.

It said investigators had recovered equipment worth as much as half a million dollars after storming the would-be mutineers' base.

Arroyo had said on Thursday that the military mutiny against her was “far from over” and that she will mount "pre-emptive measures" to stop any further rebel dissent.

Arroyo ruled out the imposition of martial law to contain the threat, saying, “this thing won't last long.”