MANILA, OCT. 1 -- The United States said today it had speeded up the supply of helicopters, armored vehicles and jet trainers to the Philippines since a coup attempt by an Army faction almost toppled President Corazon Aquino.
The U.S. Ambassador in Manila, Nicholas Platt, said the supplies were part of Washington's continued backing for Aquino and were being shipped urgently at her request. Armed forces chief Gen. Fidel Ramos said the equipment, also to include trucks and light and medium arms, would arrive this month for use against communist guerrillas.
Aquino is struggling to close divisions in her Army and to combat a more aggressive communist insurgency.
Platt, in his first speech since arriving just before the unsuccessful Aug. 28 coup, reaffirmed U.S. support for Aquino. "This commitment is solid and it will not shift," he declared, saying suggestions that the CIA or other U.S. agencies had backed the coup were false and ludicrous.
Platt's comments at a businessmen's meeting came amid continuing rumors that rebellious troops might again try to overthrow Aquino. The Army said it had lifted roadblocks on major roads to the sprawling capital but remained on full alert.
The military called on people not to be alarmed but said they should report any unusual troop movements.
Police filed formal charges of rebellion against Col. Gregorio Honasan, the fugitive Army officer who led the revolt. Murder charges were lodged against him last week.
Fifty-three people, mostly civilians, were killed and more than 300 injured in the fifth and bloodiest coup attempt faced by Aquino.
In the first detailed explanation of how Washington reacted to the revolt by Honasan and more than 2,000 troops, Platt said embassy officials had telephoned the rebel leader at his Army camp to stress that Washington would immediately cut its aid package of more than $300 million a year if his coup succeeded.
There was "no dialogue . . . no conversation," Platt said.
Washington retains closer military, political and economic ties with the Philippines than does any other nation. It ruled the country for almost 50 years.
Strained nerves in rumor-ridden Manila gave rise to a sometimes comic reaction as nervous troops deployed frantically yesterday in reaction to the latest coup talk.
Loyal troops stopped a convoy of soldiers and refused to allow a detachment of marines into an Air Force base. Both groups were heading for the provinces to reinforce a drive against communist guerrillas.