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Philippine Declares End of State of Rebellion - 2003-08-11

The Philippine government has lifted a state of rebellion two weeks after a military mutiny.

President Gloria Arroyo made a special appearance at a ceremony honoring the country's top soldiers to announce the end of a state of rebellion. "The threat has abated,' she announced. "I am hereby lifting the state of rebellion."

Under a state of rebellion, the police can make arrests without warrants.

Ms. Arroyo declared the state of rebellion on July 27, when some 300 young soldiers seized a Manila commercial complex. They demanded that the president and senior defense officials resign, accusing them of corruption.

The soldiers surrendered after a 19-hour standoff. All of those involved have been charged of rebellion.

Military officials say had the mutiny succeeded, the group would have installed a 15-man junta to replace Ms. Arroyo's government.

According to evidence seized from the rebel soldiers, opposition senator, Gregorio Honasan, a former military colonel who led previous rebellions in the late 1980s, would have been appointed leader of the junta.

Rebellion charges have been filed against Mr. Honasan, as well as several people linked to former president Joseph Estrada, who was ousted in 2001 in favor of Ms. Arroyo.

Mr. Honasan denied involvement in the mutiny and has gone into hiding.