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Official Links Estrada to Philippine Plot

Soldiers who joined a failed mutiny last week had planned to briefly install ousted President Joseph Estrada and later hand over power to an opposition senator, a top security official told investigators Tuesday. Estrada would have ruled for three days before handing power to high-profile opposition Sen. Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan, who is on the run after being accused in the plot, National Security Adviser Roilo Golez said. Although a coup would have benefited Estrada — jailed while on trial for alleged corruption — there was no evidence directly linking him to the mutiny, Golez said. “The ploy was to install him (Estrada) and after three days, ask him to step down,” Golez told reporters. More than 300 soldiers and middle-rank officers seized the posh Oakwood residential buildings and the adjoining Glorietta 4 mall in Manila’s financial district on July 27, then rigged them with explosives. They demanded President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and top police and military officials step down for failing to stop corruption and incompetence in government and the armed forces. Full Story

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