Rebel soldiers stop people leaving Manila hotel
This looks like it will be an on going story. This is what Reuters has so far. As it sais, mainly journalists. I am not sure how many foreigners are in the hotel.
By Karen Lema and Raju Gopalakrishnan
MANILA (Reuters) - Rebel Philippine soldiers holed up in a luxury Manila hotel stopped people from leaving the premises on Thursday as a 3 pm (2 a.m. EST) deadline for them to end their mutiny passed.
A Reuters witness said around 200 people, mainly journalists but also guests with luggage waiting to leave, were in the lobby of the Peninsula Hotel, where around two dozen troops have called for the overthrow of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Armed soldiers were positioned at the hotel's exits.
Guests still inside the hotel were calm. Dave Anderson, from Anchorage Alaska, had flown in overnight to Manila.
"I haven't been to bed yet. They came and beat on my door and told me to leave by 3 p.m. They told me to take my bag, so here I am sitting in the lobby because I can't go out."
There was no sign of any action as the police deadline passed, but hundreds of soldiers and police have taken up positions around the hotel. Additional troops were ready to be deployed.
The soldiers, backed up by a former vice-president, a senator and a bishop, have called for people to join them but no crowds had gathered in the rain outside the hotel.
Around half of the troops already face trial for a failed mutiny in 2003 and dramatically walked out of the court on Thursday, followed by some of their guards, and marched to the hotel.
There have been more than a dozen coup attempts in the Philippines since the overthrow of President Ferdinand Marcos in 1986 and residents of Manila are well used to varying degrees of unrest. Thursday's drama attracted some curious onlookers.
(Additional reporting by Rosemarie Franciso and Manny Mogato; editing by Carmel Crimmins and Bill Tarrant)
Here is the latest
Philippines rushes troops to Manila to crush rebellion: military
Nov 29, 2007 (AFP) - The Philippine military is rushing around 1,500
troops to the capital Manila to crush a mutiny by rebel soldiers who
have taken over a luxury hotel, a military spokesman said.
''We are preparing our forces to reinforce the National Capital Region command,'' said Major
Randolph Cabangbang, spokesman for the military's Southern Luzon command which controls units based south of Manila.
have also activated all our checkpoints to Manila to prevent third
forces from taking advantage of the situation by conducting sabotage
and terror activities,'' he added.
at least three battalions of infantry, or about 1,500 soldiers, were on
their way to the Makati business district of Manila where around 30
armed soldiers were holed up in the Peninsula Hotel.