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Philippine Military Denies Wiretapping Arroyo Conversation 
2005-6-11 1:04:32

Philippine military Friday denied claim by a former intelligence officer that the military has wiretapped the telephone conversation of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.


At a press briefing at the headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), AFP deputy chief of staff for intelligence Rear Admiral Tirso Danga rejected allegations that the military intelligence community is engaged in wiretapping activities as was alleged by former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) deputy director Samuel Ong.


Ong has claimed that he was provided by people from the Intelligence Service of the AFP the original tape conversation between President Arroyo and an election officer, in which they allegedly talked about how to guarantee a victory of Arroyo in the2004 election through rigging the voting.


The former intelligence officer also challenged the AFP to conduct an inventory, as they would discover four master tapes are missing in Intelligence Service of AFP (ISAFP).


Meanwhile, AFP information office chief Lt. Col. Buenaventura Pascual said Friday Ong's statements are mere allegations as of now, noting that the AFP chief of staff General Efren Abu has already ordered Danga to conduct an investigation on the wiretapping in ISAFP.


"It's only an allegation. But as far as the AFP is concerned the AFP chief has already ordered an investigation, we are going to present to the public the result of this investigation once the investigation is over," said Pascual.


Pascual said the investigation began as early as Thursday. He said there is currently a "controlled movement" inside the ISAFP compound to prevent equipment from going and leaving the compound.


He said that the AFP is loyal to the president amid the latest development.


"I would like to assure the public that we are solidly behind the commander in chief, to the flag and to the constitution" he said.


Meanwhile, the military's National Capital Region Command (NRC)has deployed one platoon of Marine soldiers each at the South and North Luzon expressways and at the Coastal road in view of the continuing destabilization efforts.


Pascual said NCR command deployed elements of the 1st Marine Battalion Landing Team Friday "because of continuing destabilization reports" and in preparation for the 107th Independence day celebrations on Sunday.


Capt. Ramon Zagala, NCR command spokesman, said they have also deployed a company of soldiers each to the Quirino grandstand where the celebrations will be conducted and at the North cemetery Friday night.


He said the NCR is going to deploy a battalion of civil disturbance management units at the vicinity of the Malacanang presidential palace on the request of the National Capital Region Police Office.


(Source: xinhua)


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