Philippine Marine unit defies Arroyo: backs down
Breaking: The insubordinate Marine unit has stood down. At a press conference in the Philippines the insubordinate officer says he will not split the Marines. A variety of rumors are circulating to explain why the defiance took place and what persuaded the insubordinate unit to stand down.
Manila news has reported the following cryptic report:
The standoff created by the relief of former Marine commandant, Maj. Gen. Renato Miranda has been settled, the Corps' newly-installed chief said late Sunday night.
Brig. Gen. Nelson Allaga announced the development as a crowd gathered at the chapel in Fort Bonifacio in support of Miranda. Allaga told reporters that the "misunderstanding" that stemmed from a complaint made by Col. Ariel Querubin was patched up. He said the Marine leadership and Querubin have reached a gentleman's agreement to settle their differences.
"I’ve already conferred with my commanders and everything’s already settled. You [reporters] can go home now," Allaga said. The Marine commanding general said he is now the authority following the relief of Miranda. Allaga, however, declined to present Miranda to reporters though he was with Querubin during the address. The Marine general said Miranda was inside the headquarters. With regard to Querubin's initial refusal to recognize him as Marine commandant, Allaga said: "That's up to my discretion."
He then turned his back to reporters and refused to answer any more questions.
More:Xinhua is now reporting that the Philippine Marine Colonel who led the "protest"? "rebellion"? has been arrested.
Miranda's replacement, Brigadier General Nelson Allaga as new Marines Commandant ordered to take Marines Lieutenant Colonel Ariel Querubin into custody, as he told donzens of reporters that the situation at their headquarters is an "internal matter" of the Marines. ... The Marine Lieutenant Colonel was implicated in the alleged foiled plot to unseat President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, according to himself. Querubin also confirmed that he planned to join street protests on Friday and that he planned to bring along a "majority" of the 400-strong Marine officer corps. Querubin said he would join protests so that efforts to oust President Arroyo "will not turn bloody." Miranda tried to dissuade them from doing so, he said, adding "We were prevailed upon by General Miranda.
A Philippine Marine unit has defied President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's orders from positions within the main military base in the Manila area. There is no shooting so far but well known opposition figures are converging to where the rebels are gathered allegedly to provide political support.
The security force at the Presidential Palace has been augmented by police units. According to Manila news station ABS-CBN:
Members of the police Special Action Force (SAF) were deployed to Malacañan on Sunday night after tension erupted at the Philippine Marine headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, ABS-CBN News learned. Video footage from ANC showed SAF personnel alighting from a truck near the palace gates shortly before 7 p.m. Sunday. ... The deployment of additional forces came amid the tension at the Marine headquarters after the relief of Maj. Gen. Renato Miranda as commandant.
To illustrate the possible role of the Philippine Marines in the current coup crisis in Manila, readers can visit one of the coup plotter's websites. Remember the Tourist Guy -- the Internet legend who has posed everywhere and whose last photo was taken, smiling atop the World Trade Center on September 11? The coup plotters had their own version of the Tourist Guy in Philippine Marine Captain Nicanor Faeldon, who has a series of pictures which shows him posing, sometimes with a newspaper in hand, inside many major Philippine military bases after he escaped from jail on December 15, 2005, with the caption, "no one can stop me from entering these camps unless the corrupt generals themselves man the entrances", normally with some newspaper in hand to provide proof of date. He has equivalent pictures for Southern Command, National Police Headquarters, Central Command and at the General Headquarters Building.
Faeldon was recaptured on January 27, 2006. However, these instances indicate the depth of opposition to Arroyo.
The Philippine Bishops have denied they are calling for support for the rebels holed up inside the metropolitan military base. This reflects the reluctance by many sections of Philippine society to endorse an extra-Constitutional solution to the crisis in that country. However, there are apparently a fair number of political figures who are convinced that Gloria Macapagal Arroyo must resign. One of these is former President Corazon Aquino who called on Arroyo to resign. Breaking.