All Manila's media organizations are covering a breaking story at the Marine Headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Makati City. Several Marine Corps officers have apparently announced the "withdrawal of support" for the regime of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. They were initially holed up at a chapel inside Fort where some undertemined number of civilians and military men have decided to gather there and protect them. Two tanks with mounted machine guns and a large force of soldiers have arrived in front of the chapel. A standoff is developing as text messages are circulating in Manila for civilians to go to the Gate 3 area of the Fort Bonifacio complex. A certain Colonel Ariel Querubin of the Marine Corps has revealed to the media that it had been the plan of large number of Marine Corps officers and men to RESIGN EN MASSE last Friday, march out of their barracks without their arms and join the Makati Rally led by Cory Aquino. The President is in emergency session with her cabinet at Malacanan Palace.
Blogger-reporters of ABSCBN RG Cruz and Ricky Carandang covering Fort Bonifacio Standoff. Several tanks and armored vehicles have arrived on site.
ALL FURTHER UPDATES WILL BE IN THE COMMENT THREAD SO I DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THE CORRECT TIME STAMP.
(22:10 GMT+8 Did Cory's prayer work?) A thankfully nonviolent end may just have come to this, now thoroughly puzzling episode on Day 3 of Proclamation 1017. This, after Major General Nelson Allaga, the new Commandant of the Philippine Marines, flanked by the mysterious Col. Ariel Querubin, announced that they had resolved an internal issue within the Marine Corps related to the reported "voluntary request to be relieved" of Maj. Gen. Renato Miranda. Gen. Allaga said that he was now the Acting Commandant of the Marine Corps, with the implication being that Col. Querubin had acquiesced to this. He stressed that they would not allow themselves to be used by anyone and that they would be staying within the chain of command, a phrase that has become the flavor of the day. This was a good kind of anti-climax. But who knows what Day 4 will bring...
Hat Tip to the Hillblogger: Thanks for pointing out my error-- it is General Nelson Allaga, the new Marine Commandant that is the son-in-law of Chino Roces, not Gen. Renato Miranda, who apparently applied to be relieved.
SPECULATION: Why did this happen? What was this all about? I shall have to review all the recordings to try and sort this one out.