Philippines opposition gears for more anti-Arroyo protests

Thousands of people planned to march in the Philippine capital on Wednesday, trying to keep up the momentum of street protests against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo a day after she survived an impeachment attempt.

Protesters ranging from left-wing militants and students to a small number of Catholic bishops planned several rallies, ignoring the government's call to bury the hatchet after months of bitter feuding that has worried investors.

Tens of thousands marched on Congress on Tuesday after lawmakers rejected impeachment complaints against Arroyo that accused her of rigging last year's election as well as committing graft and human rights abuses.

Arroyo has denied any wrongdoing.

Analysts see little chance of another "people power" revolution following those in 1986 and 2001 because the protests have not attracted many middle class Filipinos and the influential Catholic Church has refused to take sides.

But Arroyo's foes have said they want to hold a "people's tribunal" in the streets, where they said evidence against her cannot be suppressed as they allege it was in Congress, reports Reuters.

According to ABS-CBN the President’s opponents say impeachment was the last legal process to press her to answer to the charges and close the crisis.

Many lawmakers got by on coffee and popcorn through the night as pro-Arroyo lawmakers debated with the minority opposition on technical issues.

For the vote, each lawmaker had three minutes to speak, and they spiced fiery rhetoric with quotes from the Bible, Shakespeare, Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels and Myanmar’s prodemocracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

"I will never sell my soul to the devil," said Rep. Robert Barbers, alluding to allegations that Mrs. Arroyo’s camp offered money and government posts to legislators for their votes.

The House minority leader, Rep. Francis Escudero of Sorsogon, said he respected the decision of those who did not support the impeachment complaint, and thanked those who joined what he said was the search for truth.

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