Philippines’ Duterte alleges coup plot based on tip from a foreign power

In this photo released by the Malacanang Presidential Photographers Division, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, listens to a question from Chief Presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo during a state TV talk show at the Malacanang presidential palace in Manila, Philippines, on Tuesday Sept. 11, 2018. (AP)
Updated 12 September 2018
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Philippines’ Duterte alleges coup plot based on tip from a foreign power

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday revealed what he said was a plot to unseat him hatched by the opposition, Maoist rebels and a group of former soldiers who had mounted failed coups in the past.
In a conversation with his lawyer, shown on national television, Duterte said he had asked the military to “declassify” information about the plot which he said was gathered by a third country he did not identify.
“We have the evidence and we have the conversation provided by a foreign country sympathetic to us,” Duterte told Salvador Panelo, presidential legal counsel, in an hour-long conversation.
He said the Communists, politicians opposed to him and a group of ex-servicemen, including a senator he wanted arrested after revoking his amnesty, “were in constant communication.”
Duterte said the “connection will be shown, maybe any day now.”
Last week, Duterte withdrew a 2010 amnesty granted to his most vocal critic, Senator Antonio Trillanes, a former junior naval officer who led two unsuccessful coup attempts 15 years ago, and ordered his arrest.
Trillanes’ party-mate, Congressman Gary Alejano, who also took part in the failed coups, denied the president’s accusations they were plotting his ouster, saying they were only doing their work as “members of the opposition under the checks and balance system of our democratic government.”
Alejano said the president was trying to “divert the attention of the people from the present economic woes they themselves have failed to address.”
Duterte also warned soldiers against “colluding” with Trillanes’ group as coup rumors swirled in the capital early on Tuesday after army trucks and armored vehicles were seen rolling down Manila’s main roads.
The military quickly denied there were “sizeable movements of military aircraft or armored vehicles.”
“There is no cause for alarm,” military spokesman Marine Col. Edgard Arevalo told reporters, adding these were “routine movements that are properly coordinated.”


Spain charges ‘Wolf Pack’ with another sexual assault

Protesters attend a demonstration, after judges upheld the lesser charge of sexual assault against the five men known as the Manada (Wolf Pack), accused of gang-raping an 18-year-old woman during Pamplona's San Fermin festival, in Madrid, Spain, December 5, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 57 min 38 sec ago
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Spain charges ‘Wolf Pack’ with another sexual assault

  • Despite the original ruling against them, the men were released on bail in June last year on a legal technicality that says no one can be held for more than two years without a definitive sentence

MADRID: Spanish prosecutors have tabled another sex crime charge against four men calling themselves “The Wolf Pack” who assaulted a young woman at the Pamplona bull-running festival in 2016.
In a controversial ruling, a Spanish court last year gave nine-year prison sentences to the men for sexually assaulting the 18-year-old in a doorway, but cleared them of rape because of a lack of physical violence.
The case gained notoriety amid the global #MeToo movement and brought calls for changes to Spain’s rape law.
In the new case, the Andalusia regional prosecutor’s office said it was seeking a seven-year prison sentence for sexual assault and other crimes suspected to have been committed in Pozoblanco, in southern Spain, two months earlier.
Evidence for that was found against four of the five men in total being investigated over the case at the San Fermin festival in the northern city of Pamplona.
Investigators found a video on the cellphone of one of the accused, in which a woman appeared unconscious while men were abusing her inside a car after a night of partying.
The woman was notified about the video and the new case opened, the prosecutor’s office said.
Despite the original ruling against them, the men were released on bail in June last year on a legal technicality that says no one can be held for more than two years without a definitive sentence.
A rape charge in Spain requires a plaintiff to present evidence of specific violence such as being threatened with a knife or dealt physical blows. The government has said it plans to change the penal code to make rape convictions easier.
The annual bull-running festival in the Navarran capital Pamplona is famed for its drunken revelry. But concern has grown over increased reports of sex attacks and harassment at the event as well mistreatment of women in general in Spain.