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Philippines: Rebel Soldiers Take Over Manila Hotel

UPDATE: Seems the rebel leaders have surrendered

Dave Llorito writes

It’s 5:10 pm and Senator Trillanes and General Lim walked out of the hotel to avoid the loss of lives—their lives. With the APCs and the SWAT troops moving in, there’s really no other way for them but to surrender. It was so stupid of them to initiate a “coup” in the first place. You want a coup and you launch in a hotel?! My goodness! Such incompetent fools!

Earlier in the day, Philippine Commentary writing from Manila

An assault on the Makati Peninsula Hotel is underway. PNP Special Action Forces appear to be posing for the cameras at the front of the hotel, but earlier gunfire seemed to be coming from elsewhere. Troops are moving in from various directions visible in the news patrol helicopter coverage.

Seems like yet another attempt at coup in Philippines.

In the post titled “Trillanes, Lim at Makati: Another coup?” the blogger at AWBholdings.com wrote

Something’s happening at Makati right now. It seems that Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV together with Gen. Danilo Lim have walked out of the coup hearing at Makati RTC. They are now walking along Ayala Avenue.

Antonio Trillanes and other soldiers were on trial for an earlier coup attempt from 2003. They walked out of the court hearing and headed to the Manila Peninsula Hotel where they gave a statement to the press.

The Wikipedia page for Trillanes has more details on his background

He is best known for his role in the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny when he and a group of 321 armed solders took over the Oakwood apartment towers in Makati City, lined them with bombs and threatened to demolish them. In the general election held in May 2007, Trillanes was elected to the Senate on the anti-government Genuine Opposition ticket, and assumed office on June 30, 2007. He is the first Philippine Senator to be elected while in jail.

Mukamo.com wrote

Trillanes also called on the people to join them in Makati. “Magsama-sama tayo. Nanawagan po kami sa taongbayan na naniniwala sa pagbabago. Join us po,” he said. Former vice president Teofisto Guingona, who was marching with the rebel soldiers, said the move is part of various groups’ call for the rejection of Mrs. Arroyo’s “morally bankrupt” administration.

The Warrior Lawyer describes the reaction from the government.

President Arroyo, caught flat-footed, hastily convened the National Security Council to assess the situation.
There is now a classic Philippine stand-off, with each side watching and waiting how things will unfold while making blusterous statements, neither side wanting to be the first to precipitate a violent clash.

The blogger adds

At this point, it looks like another half-assed attempt to generate enough public sympathy to generate another “people power” event which might hopefully drive Arroyo out. In the meantime, what better place to wait it out than at the Penn. At the very least, you’re guaranteed good coffee.

The blogger at Touched by An Angel suspects the motives of the rebels

Trillanes is so original. After Oakwood Hotel, he latches on to Manila Peninsula where they are setting up a command center on the second floor. I don’t wonder anymore why anyone voted for Trillanes. I mean, wow… how noble he is to bring us out of poverty. Maybe my tolerance for pain is quite high even if I sympathize with the poor, but another coup attempt from Trillanes smacks of power hungry motives. Two Bishops, Former Vice President Teofisto Guingona and some civilians are some of the first supporters to join Trillanes in the hotel.

Cathy at Nancydrewandme updated

The government gave Trillanes a 3PM deadline to surrender and get out of the hotel which has now been emptied of guests. Sayang ang 89% occupancy! It's 3:20PM now. What are they going to do? Shoot a mortar through the Pen? I hope not. Trillanes and company say they will not leave the premises and a group is starting to gather at the Ninoy Aquino memorial in Makati. Plus, the Magdalos have two Catholic Bishops sympathetic to their cause.

Pen here refers to the Peninsula Hotel.

Leigh Reyes is wondering why they picked the Peninsula Hotel

I wonder why they picked the Pen. The buffet? The Amorsolo ceiling? The piano and bongo drums on the second floor?

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