Four more soldiers jailed in plots against President Corazon Aquino were missing following the weekend escape of the leader of an August coup attempt, the military said Monday.
Chief military spokesman Col. Oscar Florendo also denied that troops had raided a vacation home of opposition Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile in connection with the nationwide search for former Lt. Col. Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan.Honasan, 39, leader of the Aug. 28 coup attempt, and 14 guards fled a prison ship in Manila Bay before dawn Saturday aboard two rubber dinghies. He had been confined there since his arrest Dec. 9 for the attempted coup that left at least 53 people dead and hundreds wounded.
Florendo said three officers and one enlisted man jailed in connection with the August attempt and another in January 1987 were missing from the detention center at Villamor Air Base.
Florendo claimed, however, the four apparently fled because of "family problems" and their escape was not related to the Honasan incident.
An earlier report by a Manila newspaper, citing an unidentified air force officer, put the figure at nine soldiers who had escaped.
Military officials said earlier that troops Sunday raided Enrile's vacation house in Batangas province, southwest of Manila, as part of a search of a seaside vacation resort. But Florendo denied Enrile's house had been raided.
Enrile told a radio station Monday he had heard of the raid and charged the government was acting illegally by entering homes without search warrants.
Honasan served as chief of security at the Ministry of National Defense when Enrile was defense chief. Enrile was fired in November 1986, after an alleged coup attempt by his followers.
Manila newspapers have reported that leaflets were circulating in military camps calling for the overthrow of the government. The leaflets allegedly were from Honasan's Reform the Armed Forces Movement, the papers said.
Florendo said a nationwide search was under way for Honasan.