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No coup for Christmas

So says the chief of the Philippine armed forces.

MANILA, Philippines -- Armed Forces chief General Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said Monday that no coup attempt would spoil the Christmas season because rebel soldiers who tried to oust the government last month do not have the support of the troops.

"In spite of what happened, we can enjoy Christmas, celebrate Christmas. I hope there is no disturbance from those who want to grab power, but we are ready for that," Esperon told reporters in Camp Aguinaldo on Monday.

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, a former Navy lieutenant, Army Brigadier General Danilo Lim, and members of the mutinous Magdalo group of junior officers seized the Manila Peninsula hotel in Makati City last November 29 to press for the ouster of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for alleged corruption.

The attempted uprising was quelled bloodlessly with a military and police assault and the group was charged with rebellion before a Makati City court.

The November 29th coup attempt resembled something out of the three stooges. I mean who plots an overthrow of the government by taking a hotel? Well most of these men were on trial at the time for a coup attempt in 2003. Then they took a Philippine shopping center and another hotel.

My opinion of these plotters is pretty basic- They're a bunch of cowards. What do they do? They endanger innocent civilian lives through their actions. If these men had any honor, they'd try storming the Malcanang Palace. Then these men know what would happen, they'd all be shot dead. Instead they look for a soft target like a mall or hotel. They're no better than terrorists who do the same.

Most coup attempts are not fun at all, but rather very dangerous. In 1989, my wife was about to have her embassy interview in Manila in order for her to immigrate to the US, while I was flying to the country at the same time, when a bloody coup attempt began against Corazon Aquino. I spent several days stuck up in Seoul South Korea, frantically trying to call my wife. No one wants to be around these things, that includes your family members, when they happen. Unlike these recent comical efforts, the December 1st 1989 coup ended up with about 100 people dead.

Update- I should have remembered the significance of today. It marks 18 years(12-17-89) exactly since my wife Leonita arrived in the USA for the first time. She was originally scheduled to have a interview at the US embassy in Manila on Dec 4th and arrive in the US Dec 6th in 1989. Because of the coup, the interview took place on the 7th instead and Leonita left the country on the 17th.


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