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Philippine court upholds Arroyo's emergency order

Written by: Staff

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines, May 3 (Reuters) The Philippine Supreme Court gave President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo a legal boost today when it upheld her order declaring emergency rule after the discovery of an alleged coup, a source said.

After recently striking down two other government policies, the court voted 11-3 to uphold Arroyo's controversial decision to declare emergency rule for a week ending on March 3, a court source told Reuters.

The Supreme Court was expected to announce its decision later today.

Arroyo declared a state of emergency after she said she had discovered a coup plot by renegade soldiers and leftwing foes.

During the emergency rule, widely criticised by human rights groups, several people were detained without charge, an opposition newspaper was raided and troops were sent to monitor two television stations.

Opposition groups had argued in court that the emergency order denied them their civil liberties.

The state countered that any hit to human rights was due to the military and police implementing the order incorrectly. It insisted a state of emergency was necessary.

Last week, the Supreme Court struck down Arroyo's order to break up street protests as she faced a political crisis.

Earlier in April, the court said another Arroyo order, which had prevented government officials from attending congressional hearings, was unconstitutional.

Reuters CH DB1341

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