Senate leader accused of plotting Philippine president's ouster

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's spokesman on Friday accused the leader of the Philippine Senate of plotting her ouster through a series of investigations purportedly to unmask corruption, deepening the country's political crisis. For several months, senators have been probing allegations that Arroyo's husband, son and brother-in-law received payoffs from illegal gambling operators, and this week, opened another investigation into wiretapped recordings of Arroyo allegedly plotting to rig last year's polls with an elections commissioner.

The recordings, which emerged in June, served as a basis for an opposition bid to impeach Arroyo in the House of Representatives on charges of electoral fraud, bribery, corruption and other allegations.

But the House, dominated by pro-Arroyo lawmakers, threw out the impeachment charges last month, and opposition leaders vowed to expose evidence of her alleged wrongdoing through Senate investigations.

On Thursday, the upper chamber added another investigation to its roster, of a contract for a China-funded railway project being pushed by Arroyo but which the opposition claims is illegal, reports the AP. I.L.

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