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Cardinal calls for support for Philippine President

Manila's Cardinal Jaime Sin has called on all Filipinos to support President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo after news surfaced of a potential plot to return ousted leader Joseph Estrada to power.

"I am calling on our people to rally behind the government... It is immoral to plot to grab power," Cardinal Sin told local radio, calling on Filipinos to go to the Malacanang presidential palace in support of Arroyo.

Catholic World News reports that tens of thousands of Estrada supporters gathered for the fifth successive day at a Manila religious shrine near Malacanang. They want the jailed Estrada, who faces an economic plunder charge punishable by death, be returned to the presidency.

Rumors in the local media suggested a possible plot against Arroyo, possibly involving former senior military figures. One newspaper said the military had uncovered a plot to use the pro-Estrada rallies to remove Arroyo from power.