Philippines free 11 soldiers linked to failed coup

Coup plots are common in the Philippines, where soldiers have been instrumental in the overthrow of two presidents.

Philippines free 11 soldiers linked to failed coup

The Philippines freed on Tuesday 11 army officers linked to a failed attempt to oust President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2006, after a military court failed to prove their role in the putsch, officials said.

"They are now free men," Lieutenant-Colonel Romeo Brawner, a military spokesman, told reporters, adding the officers would be reinstated to active duty after undergoing medical and physical examinations.

"They will undergo a process, but they can also quit the military service. They're free to make their choice," Brawner said.

But two senior generals and 16 other officers were still on trial for violations of the articles of war, including mutiny and conduct unbecoming of an officer, he said.

Last year, nine army officers convicted by a civilian court for a 2003 coup were pardoned after they apologised to Arroyo in public and promised not to take part in future attempts to unseat her. But they were not reinstated in the military.

Arroyo has survived at least four attempts by her political foes to remove her through an impeachment motion since she took power in 2001. Soldiers loyal to her have also helped her face down three plots by rogue troops to seize power.

Coup plots are common in the Philippines, where soldiers have been instrumental in the overthrow of two presidents -- Ferdinand Marcos in February 1986 and Joseph Estrada in 2001.


Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Kasım 2009, 12:27
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