MANILA, OCT. 6 -- A provincial rebellion allegedly aimed at fomenting a coup in the capital against President Corazon Aquino collapsed after allies of the rebel leader failed to come to his aid, senior Philippine military leaders said today.
After surrendering at 3 a.m. to a Philippine senator in the city of Cagayan de Oro on the southern island of Mindanao, the rebellion's leader, former colonel Alexander Noble, was flown to Manila and jailed in Camp Aguinaldo, headquarters of the Philippine armed forces.
Tonight, a bomb exploded in a parking lot inside Camp Aguinaldo, injuring at least one civilian, the military reported. The bombing, similar to others blamed on military rebels recently, was apparently aimed at "creating tension inside the camp," a military spokesman said.
Besides Noble, government forces arrested renegade colonel Victor Erfe, a former coup plotter who has been hiding out on Mindanao for three years; Reuben R. Canoy, a Mindanao independence advocate and the rebellion's leading civilian supporter; and about 200 other officers and enlisted men, military officials said. They said other rebels who changed into civilian clothes and fled are being hunted as part of "mopping up operations" on the northern coast of the Philippines' second-largest island.
In a news conference, the armed forces chief of staff, Gen. Renato de Villa, said Noble was "promised a lot of support" by three military rebel groups, but that "at the moment of crisis, many of his friends . . . abandoned him."
The two-day crisis, in which the rebels proclaimed a "Federal Republic of Mindanao," was the seventh military revolt against Aquino in her four years in office.
One person was known to have died in the latest rebellion -- a pilot who crash-landed his World War II-vintage plane after an airstrike against a grounded rebel helicopter. In four previous coup attempts, at least 168 persons were killed and more than 900 wounded.
Although the rebellion was crushed relatively easily, the circumstances surrounding it raised questions about the effectiveness and dedication of some military commanders and units. The military said at least two senior officers face possible court-martial for abandoning their posts and allowing Noble's forces to seize two army installations at Cagayan de Oro and Butuan unopposed. One of the officers, Brig. Gen. Miguel Sol, commander of the 4th Infantry Division at Cagayan de Oro, showed up in Manila Friday night, saying he had fled to avoid capture.
About 150 members of an elite Scout Ranger unit reportedly declared support for Noble at a base in the city of Iligan but did not become involved in the rebellion.
According to an informed military source, Noble had accumulated about 500 military followers from two infantry units that had been chasing him through the jungles of northern Mindanao for the past two months. The 43-year-old former deputy chief of Aquino's Presidential Security Guard was also backed by about 200 Higaonon tribesmen and 1,500 civilian supporters of Canoy's Mindanao Independence Movement, the source said.