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Archive for Monday, September 5, 2005

Police ready for protests as Arroyo debate nears

September 5, 2005

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— Philippine police went on alert Sunday ahead of expected anti-government protests and a stormy debate by lawmakers who are to decide this week on the fate of impeachment charges against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Arroyo's allies on the House of Representatives' justice committee voted Wednesday to throw out all three impeachment complaints against her in a session that was boycotted by opposition lawmakers who have accused their pro-Arroyo counterparts of railroading them.

The 236-seat House, which is dominated by Arroyo's allies, was expected to vote this week on whether to accept or reject the committee's decision to throw out the charges.

Arroyo is accused of rigging last year's election - and of bribery, corruption and other crimes - in her worst political crisis. She has denied any wrongdoing and has refused to resign.

Metropolitan Manila police chief Vidal Querol said the capital's 16,000-strong police force was placed on full alert indefinitely starting late Sunday to safeguard law and order during anti-government protests timed with the impeachment debate.

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