Philippine Church Calls for Defense of Democracy

MANILA, Philippines, APR. 30, 2001 ( The Church in the Philippines has appealed to citizens to defend democracy against possible attacks from supporters of imprisoned former President Joseph Estrada.

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President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo reported that Estrada´s followers threatened to launch a coup Sunday night, but failed because they lacked enough support from the army.

In a message transmitted by radio and television Sunday, Cardinal Jaime Sin, archbishop of Manila, said “the nation is in crisis,” referring to the protests of the more than 100,000 supporters of Estrada.

Cardinal Sin invited Filipinos to gather in Manila to defend the presidential palace, in face of a possible attack by supporters of the former president.

Today, Arroyo expressed her gratitude “to the people who stayed up all night to protect me, when they sensed the danger of a coup d´etat against me.”

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