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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 June, 2005, 08:19 GMT 09:19 UK
Man charged over Philippine tapes
By Sarah Toms
BBC News, Manila

Samuel Ong, the dismissed deputy chief of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) displays an alleged master copy of an audio tape as he claims in a news conference Friday June 10, 2005
Samuel Ong says he has master tapes of Ms Arroyo's conversations
The Philippine government has filed sedition charges against a man who says he has audio tapes linking the president to cheating in the 2004 poll.

The government says Samuel Ong's recordings were doctored and has warned the media not to play the tapes.

The retired intelligence official is currently in hiding.

He says intelligence agents gave him the tapes, in which President Arroyo appears to be pressing an election official for a bigger victory.

The government says the recordings are part of a plot by the opposition to destabilise the government.

President Arroyo herself has made no comment on the wire-tapping controversy, despite mounting pressure to break her silence.

Her ratings have slumped to a record low, amid accusations that members of her family have taken pay-offs from illegal gambling syndicates.

They deny any wrongdoing and nothing has been proved.

Filipinos are also angry about rising prices and persistent corruption.

In the latest protest, about 1,000 people rallied outside Congress on Wednesday, calling on President Arroyo to resign.

Analysts say mass protests of the kind that toppled Joseph Estrada as president in 2001 are unlikely.

But the scandals have unnerved investors and raised concerns that President Arroyo's attention will be diverted from much-needed but unpopular economic reforms.



SEE ALSO:
Stand-off over Philippine tapes
13 Jun 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Philippine leader in unity plea
12 Jun 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Arroyo fights poll fraud claims
06 Jun 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Profile: Gloria Arroyo
20 Jun 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Reforms key to Arroyo's new term
24 Jun 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: The Philippines
21 Dec 03 |  Country profiles


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