ASIA/PHILIPPINES - All is calm again on the streets of Manila: coup foiled. “The people listened to the Church’s call ”, says a missionary

Thursday, 2 March 2006

Manila (Fides Service) - “The situation on the streets of Manila is calm. Soldiers patrol some parts of the city but people have gone back to work, public transport is working and all is back to normal. The danger of a coup seems to have been foiled. We are sure peace will resist”: said PIME missionary Fr. Steve Baumbusch in Manila where he works among poor families and adopts children at a distance.
The missionary says “the Church called for calm and the people listened. There was no escalation of violence and we hope there will be none in the future”.
In recent days Archbishop Angelo Lagdameo of Jaro urged to people to show “prudence, sobriety, patience and vigilance” after president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo declared a state of emergency on 24 February to thwart an attempted military coup. The Archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, issued a message calling for national unity.
Civil, religious and political authorities are urging the President to revoke the state of emergency. In fact the situation appears to be under control and according to several political and military leaders there is no danger of destabilisation. Government sources say the state emergency, meant to last until March 4, could be revoked earlier. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 2/3/2006 righe 27 parole 289)