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Philippines Supreme Court to Rule on State of Emergency as Arrests of Government Opponents Continue


The Philippine Supreme Court says it will hear challenges next week to the legality of the state of emergency declared by President Gloria Arroyo.

The Philippine National Police on Tuesday filed rebellion and insurrection charges against several dozen more people, mainly leftists, for allegedly conspiring to bring down the government.

Sixteen people were charged Monday, including six congressman and several soldiers. Two of the 16 have been arrested.

The charges follow Philippine President Gloria Arroyo's declaration last Friday of emergency rule. Mrs. Arroyo says she quashed a plot by members of the military, plus leftist and rightist opponents, to overthrow the government.

The Philippine Senate has passed a resolution calling the emergency rule unconstitutional, and Senate President Franklin Drillon says the arrests must stop: "The arrests should stop because there is no basis for these arrests."

Mrs. Arroyo has not said how long the state of emergency will last. Cabinet officials say the government will "assess" the situation on Saturday.

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