Arroyo asks troops to be alert

Arroyo asks troops to be alert

Manila: Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has ordered country’s security forces to remain on alert following a botched coup last week.

Arroyo, who is in London on a state visit, also ordered army and police forces to step up efforts to arrest more than a dozen rogue soldiers who took part in the takeover of a five-star hotel on 29 November and prevent a repeat of the rebellion.

“We must remain vigilant against groups exploiting grievances to grab power for their own selfish ambitions," she told top security officials in a video conference call.

Arroyo said she convened a cabinet meeting to review security measures and make sure the country would not be disturbed during the Christmas holidays.

National Police Chief, Director-General Avelino Razon, told Arroyo that operations were continuing to arrest 20 people, including seven ex-soldiers, who took part in the botched coup.

Arroyo returns to the country on 9 December after a stop in Kuwait.