Suspected coup plotter surrenders in Philippines

A rebel soldier accused of leading two failed coup attempts in the Philippines turned himself in to authorities after three years on the run, his lawyer and military officials said on Wednesday.

Manilla: A rebel soldier accused of leading
two failed coup attempts in the Philippines turned himself in
to authorities after three years on the run, his lawyer and
military officials said on Wednesday.

Nicanor Faeldon, 42, surrendered "in recognition of the
legitimacy" of newly elected President Benigno Aquino III, who
won by a landslide on promises to fight poverty and
corruption, said his lawyer, Trixie Angeles.
The Philippine military, one of Asia`s weakest, has
struggled to modernize and retrain its troops despite funding
shortfalls. Its problems have been compounded by graft and
restiveness within its 120,000-member ranks.

Faeldon, a former bomb making trainer with the marines,
was accused of helping lead 300 soldiers in taking over the
upscale Oakwood Hotel and a nearby shopping center in Manila`s
financial district of Makati in July 2003, rigging the area
with bombs.

The men denounced corruption in the government of former
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo _ who stepped down last week
_ and within the armed forces.
Faeldon was detained along with the other suspected coup
plotters and charged with taking part in a failed power grab.

In November 2007, he walked out of a Makati court trial
with other rebel officers, marched across the financial
district and then occupied the five-star Peninsula Hotel in an
uprising that once again brought the country into political
chaos.

While most of his companions were captured, Faeldon
escaped. They were charged with rebellion.

Faeldon and his co-accused have said they did not plan to
stage coups and were simply protesting Arroyo`s policies.

Faeldon told the ABS-CBN TV network that he was ready to
face the charges against him.

"I`m ready to be put in jail for as long as it takes," he
said.

The marines confirmed Faeldon`s surrender and said they
would present him to the media tomorrow.

PTI

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