Filipinos charged with rebellion

Philippine government charges dozens of people over attempted coup.

    The accused are charged with seizing the Peninsula Hotel as part of a plot to topple the government [AP]

    'Selfish motives'
     

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    "We have more than enough willpower [and] fighting spirit to bring this government down''



    Antonio Trillanes, leader of the rebel soldiers

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    State prosecutors also asked that bail be denied to the accused.

    Up to 15 people arrested at the hotel last week were released without charge, including Guingona's daughter, a newspaper

    columnist and some civilians caught up in the drama.

    However they may be compelled to report to the authorities for further in

    vestigation, Raul Gonzalez, the Philippine justice secretary said.

    Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the Philippine president, branded the men "desperate" in a televised speech on Saturday and said they were "blind to the will of their fellow Filipinos".
     
    "Instead of striving under our democracy to unite the country, their actions only stoke selfish motives for self-interest," she said.

    Mutiny failure

    Trillanes was a former naval officer who quit the armed forces and won a senate seat in May, having campaigned from his

    prison cell.

    The officers stormed out at their trial in civilian court on Thursday, and joined by a handful of civilian supporters, they

    marched to the Makati financial district, about three kilometres away, before seizing the hotel.

    Government forces firing guns and tear gas stormed the hotel and arrested the suspects after a six-hour standoff.

    Trillanes, right, talks to his lawyers during the
    hearings [Reuters]

    The government has offered a US$23,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of another officer, Nicanor Faeldon,

    who escaped when government forces retook the building.

    The Peninsula formally reopened on Monday with the hotel saying it had spent about US$115,000 replacing marble tiles in

    the lobby and plastering and repainting walls to obliterate bullet marks and other signs of the assault.

    The Hong Kong-based group that owns the hotel estimates physical  business and lost business worth $1.2 million

    .

    Astro del Castillo, director of the Association of Securities Analysts of the Philippines, said: "The coup was just a sort of a press conference with no real threat."

    "Today, government is in control, there is no clear and present danger."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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