Manila under siege    

(Friday - 7/25/03) The commercial district Makati was under the grip of mutineers yet again. Several soldiers from the Army and the Navy left their posts last Friday in order to stage a coup d'etat which was foiled by the government.

A vigil was held at the EDSA shrine in Ortigas (about 10 km from Makati) by students, parishioners, religious groups and other residents within the area to pray for peace amidst the high tensions going on. The EDSA shrine is the rally point for previous People Powers 1 and 2.

(Saturday - 7/27/03) As the succeeding events occurred, the rebels staged a hijack of the Intercontinental Hotel (3) and the Oakwood Apartments (2). The rebel soldiers took hostage the building and its residents. About 20 to 30 soldiers wearing red armbands and in full battle gear installed what appeared to be bombs at the Ayala Center shopping mall around the same time. The Shopping Center was closed from that time onwards but civilians were allowed to leave the area.

(Sunday - 7/28/03) The following day, Sunday, SM Makati (1) closed shop on fears of an escalation between the government troops and the rebels. Guests in hotels near the Oakwood appeared to be calm, although some have checked out or have been evacuated in busses. The Australian Ambassador and several foreign guests in Oakwood were evacuated after being held overnight. Australia announces plans to send troops if the Australian Ambassador is withheld in the hotel.

About 1pm today, President Arroyo declares a state of Rebellion (Proclamation 427) and issues General Order No. 4 ordering the military and the police to suppress the rebellion. It is 4 hours to the 5pm deadline. Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio Bunye claims that the proclamation is nationwide and will allow the arrest of  anyone who pursues rebellion.

At about 3pm, 50 or more soldiers were said to surrender. The leaders of the mutiny are still within the building.

The soldiers claim to be rebelling against the 'Terrorist President' and the selling of guns and ammunition to the MILF and Abu Sayaff in the South which resulted in the death of many of their fellow soldiers.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo declared the Makati standoff over at around 10pm today, she also said that civilian supporters possibly including the senators and politicians who supported the group will be charged.

For more information visit the following sites:
Philippine Daily Inquirer Chronology of Events
ABS-CBN News Live Pictures

myManila - A Photo blog about Manila
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