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Page last updated at 10:04 GMT, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 11:04 UK

Nine jailed over Philippine plot

Gerardo Gambala (right) and Milo Maestrecampo (second left) sit in a military truck as they leave the court
The group received lengthy jail terms for their role in the failed coup

A court in the Philippines has jailed nine military officers for a failed coup attempt almost five years ago.

The nine were part of a group that seized control of a hotel and shopping centre in July 2003 to demand that President Gloria Arroyo step down.

Two captains, Gerardo Gambala and Milo Maestrecampo, received life terms while seven more officers were jailed for sentences ranging from six to 12 years.

A presidential spokesman welcomed the ruling.

"Those who committed crimes against the government and the Filipino people must pay the price for their anarchic actions," Anthony Golez said.

"We hope they learned their lessons well."

About 300 officers and troops were involved in the day-long mutiny at the Oakwood complex in the Makati financial district on 27 July 2003.

The group urged the president to resign but then surrendered after a day of negotiations.

Many of the enlisted soldiers involved in the mutiny have been freed. The nine jailed officers changed their plea to guilty last week, but several other officers remain on trial.

One of them is Antonio Trillanes, who in November last year walked out of court and - with other troops - briefly occupied a Manila hotel.

They surrendered after a six-hour siege when soldiers stormed the building.


SEE ALSO
Philippine plotters back in court
11 Dec 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Philippines siege: Dozens charged
03 Dec 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Philippine press weary at coup attempt
30 Nov 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Philippines to round up plotters
30 Nov 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Idealism that drives Philippine plotters
29 Nov 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Timeline: The Philippines
30 Nov 07 |  Country profiles
Country profile: The Philippines
29 Nov 07 |  Country profiles

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