Mini “Putsch” in Manila

Dramatically played out on live television, an opposition politician and rebel military officers surrendered to government forces after taking over a luxury hotel in Manila.

“We’re going out for the sake of the safety of everybody,” Philippines Sen. Antonio Trillanes said.

The senator made the decision to give up after the military peppered the inside of the hotel with tear gas. Live pictures from inside the hotel showed reporters and rebel soldiers covering their faces.

An armoured personnel vehicle was also seen firing into the lobby of Manila’s Peninsula hotel and later rammed through the front entrance of the building.

A teary-eyed Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th, a former Navy lieutenant, said they were ending their resistance to save the lives of civilians still inside the hotel, who included supporters as well as journalists. “We won’t be able to live with our consciences if some of you get hit or get killed in the crossfire.”

President Gloria Arroyo vowed to prosecute the small group of military rebels led by Trillanes and Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim who were arrested after the storming of the Manila Peninsula hotel in Makati City in a brief and failed mutiny. Makati is the country?s financial center.

[Editors comment:] This kind of soap opera can only happen in the Philippines. This is why I love this country! Wink

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