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Manila moves jailed troops after escape plot

Written by: Staff

MANILA, Oct 25: The Philippines will transfer today six detained Marine officers, suspected of leading an alleged plot against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in February, to a more secure location amid talk of an escape plot.

Reports that rogue troops would spring the officers as part of fresh attempts to destabilise the government prompted the transfer, a military spokesman said.

''They are going to be transferred anytime now,'' Commander Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, the navy spokesman, told reporters.

Bacordo said the six Marine officers would be moved to Fort San Felipe in Cavite province, south of the capital, to thwart any attempt to free them from a military base near Manila's financial district.

At least 38 military officers were linked to an alleged plot to seize power in February. About a dozen were detained in Manila and more than 20 were in an army base east of the capital.

The Philippines is no stranger to rumoured and actual plots after more than a dozen coup attempts in the last two decades and popular revolts that ousted presidents in 1986 and 2001 with the backing of generals and powerful bishops.

Arroyo invoked a brief state of emergency in February over an alleged conspiracy by rogue troops, communist guerrillas and political foes to seize power in February.

Two weeks ago, three military and police generals along with 40 people were recommended to face rebellion charges over the alleged plot.


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