Home>News Center>World

Critics speak up as Arroyo weeds out opponents
Updated: 2006-02-26 14:38

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo kept a tight net around suspected coup plotters and opposition newspapers on Sunday amid criticism that the state of emergency declared last week smacks of Marcos-era martial law.

"We want to assure our people that this declaration of state of national emergency is temporary," police spokesman Samuel Pagdilao said in a radio interview. "The only goal is to remove troublemakers in our midst and hold them responsible."

Supporters of former Philippine president Corazon Aquino gather at the Makati's financial district in Manila February 24, 2006, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 'People's Power', shortly before they were dispersed by riot police. [REUTERS]

He said there would be a fresh round of arrests, continuing a purge since Friday of alleged masterminds behind what Arroyo described as a conspiracy by members of the opposition, communists and "military adventurists" to topple her.

The army has detained the commander of an elite regiment as the leader of troops who were allegedly planning to incite crowds at anti-Arroyo rallies, and on Saturday a former police chief and leftist congressman were questioned.

ABS-CBN news said police had a list of 100 people to be arrested over the plot, including former Senator Gregorio Honasan, a hero of the "people power" overthrow of dictator Ferdinand Marcos 20 years ago.

Arroyo went to church on Sunday and Manila's streets were calm, reassuring analysts that financial markets would recover their footing after a 1 percent slide in both the peso and the main stock index on Friday's emergency declaration.

"The risk to the administration seems to be dissipating," said Jonathan Ravelas at Banco de Oro Universal Bank in Manila. "Since we have not seen any adverse movement during the weekend, we will probably see a more stable market next week."

Arroyo, an economist who has pushed reform to lift government revenues, moved on Saturday to rally confidence in her handling of the debt-ridden and impoverished southeast Asian nation.

"Our economy is improving so we won't allow the destabilisers and coup plotters to destroy our momentum," she said.
Page: 12

Iraqi soldiers on guard as sectarian violence broke out
Anti-Japanese rally in South Korea
Filipino protesters calling for Arroyo's resignation
  Today's Top News     Top World News

China sees threat of "massive" bird flu outbreak



China-US trade mutually beneficial: Ministry



Top legislature to target terror financing



Al-Qaida vows attacks after Saudi oil raid



23 officials punished for child-trafficking



Compulsory education law under amendment


  Critics speak up as Arroyo weeds out opponents
  Inmates riot at high-security Kabul prison
  Sunni and Shiite clerics agree to halt violence in Baghdad
  Iraq govt warns of risk of endless civil war
  France confirms EU's first bird flu outbreak
  Rio rumbling with Carnival revelers
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
Manufacturers, Exporters, Wholesalers - Global trade starts here.