Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, elected to office while in jail for heading the failed military mutiny at Oakwood Suites in Makati several years ago, and Brigadier General Danilo Lim, who faces court marshal proceedings for a failed uprising in February this year, walked out from a hearing at a Makati City courtroom this morning. Accompanied by uniformed military men and tailed by members of the press, the two forcibly entered the Manila Peninsula Hotel and have taken over a portion of the hotel’s second floor after holding a press briefing at the hotel lobby. The two are calling on the Filipino people to withdraw support from Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The President has ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to arrest Trillanes and Lim. The PNP has asked the hotel to evacuate hotel guests and staff by 3pm today to secure their safety should negotiations with the plotters fail.
Mariano Garchitorena, head of public relations at the Peninsula has said that the hotel would be cooperating with the police. The hotel is currently on 85 percent capacity. None of the hotel guests and staff had been harmed in the ongoing incident. Guest evacuations have begun at press time.
Police and military forces, backed by armor, have sealed off the area around the Manila Peninsula and the approaches to the hotel in Makati City as the standoff with a group of accused coup plotters, led by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, continues.
Some 20 policemen have been deployed by the entrance to the hotel’s lobby while police lines have been set up near the gates to prevent people from entering.
The security forces are backed up by a number of armored personnel carriers, including two at the intersection of EDSA and Ayala Avenue and two more at the intersection of Ayala and Makati Avenues
Source : TravelWeekly Inquirer
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