(AFP) – Dec 3, 2007
MANILA (AFP) — The United States on Tuesday said it was squarely behind Philippine President Gloria Arroyo and will not support any unconstitutional means to oust her.
US ambassador Kristie Kenney said her government was "delighted" that a six-hour hotel siege by rebel soldiers ended without bloodshed last Thursday.
"No, we do not support extra-constitutional means to change government, in the Philippines or anywhere else in the world," Kenney told reporters.
"I think it's always disturbing when you see people behaving contrary to the rule of law and constitutional authority," she said.
Kenney also praised the police and military for resolving the crisis quickly.
She said Washington will continue to "remain a very, very strong ally" of Arroyo, who is President George W. Bush's key ally in the Southeast Asian theatre of the US-led "war on terror".
Kenney said she called Arroyo and her top security chiefs during the siege last Thursday to express her government's support.
"We want this country to move forward," she said, noting that economically the Philippines has also performed well in the past year.
Former Navy Lieutenant Antonio Trillanes and Army Brigadier General Danilo Lim, led a small band of rebel soldiers and civilian supporters in taking over the Peninsula Hotel in the capital's Makati financial district.
Trillanes, who won a Senate seat in May, and Lim had stormed out of a civilian court that was hearing a separate rebellion case against them stemming from a 2003 mutiny.
They subsequently holed up at the hotel, accused Arroyo of corruption and stifling political dissent and demanded she step down. They also called on the military to turn against Arroyo, whom they claimed was an "illegitimate" president.
They surrendered after elite police commandos and troops stormed the hotel amid a flurry of tear gas and gunfire. Trillanes, Lim and 35 others, including former vice president Teofisto Guingona, were Monday charged with rebellion.
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