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Philippine Coup Plot Suspect Arrested After 9 Months in Hiding


Philippine police have arrested a former senator and army colonel accused of masterminding a coup plot against President Gloria Arroyo.

Police captured Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan early Wednesday morning during a raid in the Manila suburb of Quezon City.

They say Honasan tried to escape and injured his leg while jumping from a moving vehicle. He was treated by doctors at Manila's police headquarters.

The 58-year-old retired officer had been in hiding since February, when authorities charged him with leading a plot to topple Mrs. Arroyo. Officials say police found him after tracking his mobile phone calls for several weeks.

Authorities have accused Honasan of involvement in almost every coup plot in the Philippines in the past 20 years. He also faces rebellion charges in connection with a failed coup against Ms. Arroyo by junior officers in 2003.

Philippine Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales says Honasan used his public image as a daring and adventurous soldier to recruit supporters.

Honasan first rose to prominence by stirring up popular unrest against former President Ferdinand Marcos, who was ousted in 1986 by a popular revolt. The following year, he tried and failed to topple Marcos' successor, Corazon Aquino.

Honasan was later granted amnesty and won a Senate seat. He could now receive a life sentence if convicted of the charges against him.

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