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Arroyo to hold talks with military

The President's decision came less than two weeks after the Govt foiled an alleged coup plot by renegade officers.

india Updated: Mar 07, 2006 10:52 IST

President Gloria Arroyo confirmed on Tuesday that she would hold talks with leaders of the Philippines military, less than two weeks after her government foiled an alleged coup plot by renegade officers.

In her first live interview since the crisis erupted in late February, Arroyo said the situation was "quiet and peaceful" but that she remained vigilant against a possible repeat attempt to destabilise her government.

"I plan to hold talks (with the military) and discuss important issues with them," the Filipino leader told GMA network.

Her government has detained six military and police officers and filed charges of rebellion and attempting a coup d'etat against 16 people, including six legislators from fringe leftist political parties.

Arroyo said the crackdown, which began on February 24 when she declared a state of emergency, was part of an effort to quell a plot to oust her by an alleged alliance of right-wing "military adventurists" and communist rebels.

Some of those detained are known to have complained about the military's role in the alleged rigging of the May 2004 presidential election, in which Arroyo defeated the country's top movie star, the since-deceased Fernando Poe.

Arroyo, who survived an impeachment complaint in the legislature last year over alleged election fraud, has denied stealing the vote and rejected opposition calls to stand down.

The Philippines president lifted the state of emergency on Friday, but the Supreme Court was set to hear legal challenges filed by the opposition later on Tuesday.

First Published: Mar 07, 2006 08:51 IST