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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Members of Philippine Military Threaten to Detonate Explosives

Aired July 26, 2003 - 22:16   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

SOPHIA CHOI, CNN ANCHOR: And now we want to take you back to the Philippines, where 50 members of the Philippine armed forces have taken over a building and barricaded themselves inside a commercial area in the capital, Manila.
Let's go now to CNN's Maria Ressa for the late breaking developments -- Maria?

MARIA RESSA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sophia, we're right outside and the government estimates now there are about 100 rogue troops here. Just a short while ago, President Arroyo went on nationwide television and gave the rogue troops a little less than seven hours to retreat from this commercial area until 5:00 local.

She said, "Past this deadline, the chief of staff is authorized to use reasonable force." Almost immediately after that, the rogue soldiers began to push the members of the press and any of the other people here at this time. They pushed them further back behind the original lines that had been set up. And they were telling us that we need to pull back because they plan to detonate the explosives.

They spent the first two hours that they were here in the early morning hours laying down meticulous number -- meticulously laying down numbers of cords that lead to cardboard boxes, which they claim have C4 plastic explosives -- Sophia?

CHOI: Maria, I want to go back to what they said earlier in the day, and that they were going to release the people who were still inside the building that they are now occupying. Have they released anyone? And what's the plan from here?

RESSA: They have released several groups of people. The Oakwood is a five star hotel and also a residential apartment. In fact, it has a very large diplomatic portfolio. Many members of the U.S. embassy, as well as the Australian ambassador and members of the Australian embassy live in this building.

There have been -- I myself have seen at least three different groups of about 20 people each being let out the doors. It's unclear whether everyone is outside at this point. But what is clear is that the troops are moving. They're pushing us further out. And they do threaten to detonate an explosive -- Sophia?

CHOI: All right, Maria Ressa, thank you so much for staying on top of this still developing story. We'll check back in with you if anything further develops this evenings. Thanks. TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com



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