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Philippines Cardinal urges public to rally behind President

Manila Archbishop Cardinal Jaime Sin called on Filipino Catholics to protect President Gloria Arroyo after receiving reports of a destabilisation attempt against her government.

Sin provided no details of the alleged plotters or his sources, but his revelation came two days after Arroyo said there was "understandable restiveness" in the military ranks.

"Be ready to move to whatever action may be called for and necessary to guard our president and the legitimate government and to keep our nation in the way of peace," Sin said in a statement.

While acknowledging that government reform was needed, Sin said it should be done "through peaceful means and deeds of justice and peace on the part of our leaders and of every one of us."

In response to Sin's call, members of civil society groups began to mobilise in preparation for the holding of a so-called "peace vigil" at EDSA Shrine, the scene of the 1980s "people power" revolution against former President Ferdinand Marcos.


Philippine army hunts 'plotters' (BBC)
Rebel soldiers throw down a challenge (Sydney Morning Herald)

Vatican may extend Cardinal Sin's service (Malaya)

28 Jul 2003