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Philippines court sentences 9 military officers for 2003 coup attempt

[JURIST] A court in the Philippines on Tuesday sentenced nine military officers to prison for their participation in a failed 2003 coup [BBC report] against Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo [official website; BBC profile]. No shots were fired during the 2003 incident, in which 31 officers commandeered a Manila hotel, threatened to set off explosives, and held off police for 19 hours before surrendering. All nine officers changed their pleas to guilty last week, though no plea agreement had been struck with prosecutors. Two officers received 40 year sentences, while the other seven each received 12-year sentences .

The nine were among the dozen officers who walked out of court [JURIST report] in November 2007 and took over a Manila hotel, again demanding Arroyo's resignation. Those involved later apologized to the court [JURIST report] for the walkout after they were formally charged with rebellion [JURIST report]. In April 2007, a Philippine military tribunal sentenced 54 military officers [JURIST report] to seven years and six months in prison for their involvement in the 2003 coup attempt. Charges were later dismissed [JURIST report] in October against four additional military officers connected to the same mutiny. AP has more.

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