Philippine President Corazon Aquino, plagued by threats of another coup attempt, said Tuesday that demands by right-wing army rebels for her resignation were an insult to democracy.
“These threats and demands of rebels and traitors are an insult to our people and democratic institutions and deserve only the condemnation of our freedom-loving citizens,” Aquino told reporters.
The 17th bomb in two weeks exploded early Tuesday, shattering windows at the offices of a local affiliate of Nissan in Manila. No one was injured.
Paramilitary policemen armed with M-16 rifles were posted Tuesday at key buildings in Manila as part of stepped-up security in the capital.
In a statement marking the anniversary of the Aug. 28, 1987, coup attempt, army rebels led by renegade Col. Gregorio Honasan told Aquino on Monday to resign or “reap the anger and hatred of the Filipino people.”
Communist guerrillas said the government faced collapse and urged the creation of a broad-based popular front to bring her down.
Aquino, who has survived six coup attempts in the last four years, accused the army rebels of waging a psychological terror campaign against the people.
The rebels accuse Aquino of being weak, inefficient and tolerant of corruption and say she has betrayed the ideals of the 1986 revolution that put her in power.
Rumors of an impending coup have spread at a time when the country is still struggling to recover from a major earthquake last month and a series of floods and typhoons.
The Roman Catholic archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Jaime Sin, said the rumors could destroy the country, and he appealed for a halt to the rebel bombing campaign.
Amando Doronila, editor of the Manila Chronicle, said in a front-page commentary Tuesday that the Philippines faced an intensifying crisis and that democracy in the country was in “mortal danger.”