Manila: The United States has said it was squarely behind the Philippine President, Gloria Arroyo, and will not support any unconstitutional means to oust her.
Stating this, US Ambassador Kristie Kenney said: “Our government is delighted that a six-hour hotel siege by rebel soldiers ended without bloodshed last Thursday. We are very clear in saying that we do not support any extra-constitutional means to change the government, in the Philippines or anywhere else in the world.”
“I think it’s always disturbing when you see people behaving contrary to the rule of law and constitutional authority,” she said.
Praising the police and military for resolving the crisis quickly, she said Washington will continue to remain a very, very strong ally of Arroyo, who is President George W Bush’s key ally in the Southeast Asian theatre of the US-led war on terror.
Kenney called on Arroyo and her top security chiefs during the siege last Thursday to express her government’s support. “We want this country to move forward,” she said, noting that economically the Philippines has also performed well in the past year.
On 29 November, former Navy Lieutenant Antonio Trillanes and Army Brigadier General Danilo Lim, led a small band of rebel soldiers and civilian supporters in taking over the Peninsula Hotel in the capital’s Makati financial district.
Trillanes, who won a Senate seat in May, and Lim had stormed out of a civilian court that was hearing a separate rebellion case against them stemming from a 2003 mutiny.