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New plot to topple Arroyo gov’t bared

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Five suspects face inquest proceedings

By Joel Guinto
First Posted 09:45:00 07/03/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Avelino Razon Jr. confirmed a fresh attempt to topple the Arroyo government, as five of the suspects faced inquest proceedings Thursday on several charges, including a “plot to commit coup d’etat.”

“Even as we speak, follow-up operations are ongoing to get to the bottom of this new coup plot,” Razon told ANC television on Thursday, a day after lawyer and former lawmaker Homobono Adaza and four other military and police officers were arrested and shortly before the inquest.

“We have reason to believe that they are plotting against the government,” Razon said.

Asked if a significant number of military and police personnel were involved in the alleged coup plot, Razon said: “So far, we have not seen active police or military personnel in the coup plot.”

The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group forwarded the case to proper authorities against Adaza, Army Lieutenant Colonel Oscarlito Mapalo, retired Colonels Ernie Amboy and Cesar dela Pena, and police Superintendent Rafael Cardeno.

The same charges were filed against retired Colonel Edgardo Tapia and several John and Jane Does who remained at large. Aside from coup d’etat, they were charged with swindling and estafa.

The charges stemmed from a complaint by lawyer Raymond Fortun, who claimed that Adaza’s OMT Security Services Inc. attempted to solicit $4 million or P160 million from his Japanese client “in order to finance a coup d’etat,” to be organized by Adaza’s “friends in the military,” Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno said in a statement.

“He is a pathological liar. He better be ready during the preliminary investigation,” Adaza told reporters, referring to Fortun, who was also present at the inquest.

“I cannot stage a coup,” Adaza said, noting that the officers arrested with him were either retired or on AWOL (absence without leave).

Senior State Prosecutor Emmanuel Velasco presided over the inquest Thursday.

Upon the recommendation of police doctors, Adaza will be detained at the Camp Crame hospital, Velasco said.

Dela Peña will be presented at the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court while Cardeño will be taken to the Las Pinas regional trial court. The rest will stay at the Camp Crame custodial center, Velasco said.

Adaza, Mapalo, Amboy, and Dela Pena were charged with harboring a fugitive for allegedly coddling Cardeño, who was also charged for using fictitious name.

The suspects were also presented Thursday before media at the national police headquarters in Camp Crame in Quezon City.

Prior to his arrest Wednesday, Mapalo was on AWOL when he escaped from his Camp Aguinaldo quarters in 2004 while on court martial for publicly criticizing the military’s promotion system.

Amboy was linked to an alleged coup plot, also in 2004. Dela Peña has a pending charge before the Sandiganbayan over the loss of firearms from a Marine base.

Cardeño is facing murder charges over the 2001 killing of military rebel leader Baron Cervantes.

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Written by joelguinto

ThuUTC2008-07-03T06:59:37+00:00UTC07bUTCThu, 03 Jul 2008 06:59:37 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am07

Posted in Uncategorized

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