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Philippines president lifts state of emergency after coup threat subsides

[JURIST] Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo [official website] on Friday lifted a state of emergency [proclamation 1017 text; JURIST report], which Arroyo initially put in place last week after discovering a coup threat. Arroyo kept the state of emergency in effect for a week despite urging that she lift the order [JURIST report], and said Friday that she was now lifting the emergency decree [statement, in Tagalog] because she "strongly believe[s] that law and order has returned."

Criminal charges [JURIST report] have been filed against more than 50 opposition members and military personnel, including five members of the House of Representatives [official website] who have refused to be questioned by police. The country's supreme court had been scheduled to hear a case challenging the decree on Tuesday, but those cases are now moot. Earlier in the week, the Court refused an immediate ruling [JURIST report] in the case. Arroyo lifted the state of emergency after several advisors, including Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez, noted that the threat to the country was receding [press release] and recommended the lifting of the emergency decree. Reuters has more.

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