Report: Armed Men Attempt Break-in on Home of Vice President Aide

Published November 26th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Two armed men tried to break into the residence of Vice President Gloria Arroyo's chief of staff over the weekend, a television report said Sunday. 

The men allegedly tried to pass themselves off as agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) when trying to gain access to the home of Renato Corona, ABS-CBN television reported. 

No other details were given except that the incident took place on Saturday, a day after a publicist for former president Fidel Ramos, Salvador Dacer, went missing, it said. 

Corona will call for a press conference on Monday, it added. 

Police Sunday said they had launched a search for Dacer, whose disappearance his family said could be linked to allegations he was part of a political conspiracy to "destabilize" President Joseph Estrada. 

Estrada is to face a Senate trial on charges of corruption, bribery, betrayal of public trust and violation of the constitution on December 7 which could lead to his ouster. 

Both Ramos and Arroyo, who leads a united opposition, have called on Estrada to resign. The government earlier accused Ramos and his former national security adviser of plotting to destabilize the administration. 

Arroyo said one of Dacer's daughters, to whom she is godmother, called her immediately after her father failed to show up for a scheduled meeting with Ramos on Friday. 

It was not clear, however, whether Dacer's disappearance and the attempted break-in were linked. 

National police chief Panfilo Lacson said authorities were treating Dacer's disappearance "as a missing persons case until we know the real circumstances" behind the incident. 

"So far, we are not declaring it as a kidnapping case since there have been no indications that he was indeed abducted," Lacson told reporters. 

But Estrada's principal accuser, provincial governor Luis Singson, said Dacer had told him he wanted to disclose "anomalies" in government before he went missing.  

"He said he wanted to talk about anomalies in the administration worth billions. There might be a connection," Singson said. 

The charges which led to Estrada's impeachment were largely based on Singson's accusations that the president had accepted millions of dollars in bribes from illegal gambling bosses. 

"I am calling on the authorities to do all they can to find him. I want to tell his family we are praying for his safety," Arroyo said -- MANILA (AFP)  

 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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