LAF lafayette mining limited

tension in the phillipines

  1. 67 Posts.
    I recently bought laf around at 11cents, however the tension over the last few days in Manila with rebels taking over a building with the Australian Ambassador in it and claiming that the government is corrupt and plans to declare martial law past the next election to stay in power is quite worrying. There have always been these problems in the phillipines, however with the press coverage over the weekend considering the Australian ambassador was involved, it will be interesting to see if it has a negative effect on LAF in the next week or so.

    Envoy emerges from rebel-held building
    July 27 2003

    Australian ambassador to the Philippines Ruth Pearce emerged from a high-rise apartment building occupied by military rebels today after being caught up in the latest coup attempt overnight, an AFP reporter on the scene said.

    She appeared drawn as she and other residents were allowed to leave the Oakwood Tower to board five buses to take them to safety.

    Asked if she ever felt threatened, she said "No".

    An Australian man, identified only as John, said, "there are still a number of us there. But we think all of them will be let out".

    Asked if he feared for his life, he said "not really, but I saw a bomb," planted by the rebels.

    The coup plotters, who are seeking to topple the government of President Gloria Arroyo, occupied part of the Ayala Centre shopping mall including the Oakwood Tower, home to many foreigners including Australian diplomats.

    Pearce was staying at Oakwood while her official residence was being renovated.

    Apart from the Australian expatriates, there were French, US and Malaysian nationals among others staying in Oakwood, a popular residential area for foreign diplomats and executives.

    Pearce said they were told that they would be brought to the Westin Philippine Plaza Hotel along Roxas Bouleavard in downtown Manila.

    "We were not personally hurt or threatened in any way," the ambassador told reporters.

    "We are all going to Westin and my people would pick us up from there."

    Aside from Pearce, the foreigners included another Australian diplomat and police, as well as nationals from Canada, Japan, Israel and South Korea.

    Marine Major General Emmanuel Teodosio, ground commander of troops sent to stop the mutineers, said lines of communication were being established with the renegade soldiers.

    "We are keeping the situation under control and they have been isolated," he told reporters in the scene.

    "I don't expect this to be resolved in a matter of hours. We cannot rush things."

    The military declined to reveal the exact numbers of troops dispatched to the seized area, but at least six trucks of soldiers were seen on their way to Glorietta, bounded by the upscale Rustans shopping mall, Hotel Intercontinental and Oakwood.

    Several tanks were also stationed around the complex, and along the main EDSA avenue going to Makati City.

    Yesterday evening, Arroyo had ordered a hunt for some 70 "rogue" military officers and enlisted personnel who were allegedly plotting a coup d'etat against her government.

    "We are not attempting to grab power," Navy Lieutenant Senior Grade Antonio Trillanes, one of those wanted by the government, told reporters in Makati.

    Trillanes said there were around 2,000 men in the area, but authorities estimated the number of mutineers at around 200.

    The disgruntled soldiers, who wore a distinctive red band around their left arms, set up explosives around Glorietta and disarmed security guards in business establishments, most of which were closed when they stormed the area before dawn today.

    "The explosives were set up to defend our positions," Trillanes said.

    "We don't mean any harm. But if they try to take us down, we will be forced to use the explosives."

    In their statement, the renegade soldiers accused the Arroyo administration of selling weapons to Muslim and communist rebels, and masterminding a series of bomb attacks in the southern city of Davao earlier in the year.

    The mutineers also accused Arroyo of planning "to declare martial law by August to hold on to power until after 2004".

    "This will be carried out through several bomb attacks in metro Manila, which would be blamed on various groups," the statement said.

    "The escape of (convicted Indonesian terrorist) Fathur Rohman al-Ghozi was the start of the operation."

    Al-Ghozi escaped from a maximum security detention centre inside the police headquarters on July 14 during an official visit by Australian Prime Minister John Howard.

    Defence Secretary Reyes denied the allegations, and assured the public that the government was taking steps to end the crisis.

    "All approaches will have to be used to resolve this as soon as possible," he said.

    "We will negotiate as much as possible to avoid bloodshed. Hopefully, this is resolved peacefully as soon as possible."
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