Estrada backers and communist groups are under watch, but officer accuses a 'third group' of fanning coup rumours The chief of the Philippine police intelligence confirmed yesterday that authorities were investigating attempts by political enemies of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to destabilise the government. The authorities said the military went on red alert two days ago and the presidential palace tightened security after two groups were placed on the security forces' 'order of battle': supporters of imprisoned former president Joseph Estrada and organisations allegedly fronting for communist rebels. But a third group seems the more likely suspect, said Chief Superintendent Arturo Lomibao, who oversees operations at the police intelligence group. Mr Lomibao said this group intended to create unrest before Monday, when Mrs Arroyo delivers her last State of the Nation address. However, he did not identify the members of the group or release any details about their plans. Mr Lomibao is the first senior official to comment publicly on rumoured plots by shadowy forces to stir unrest. The rumours peaked soon after last week's escape of Fathur Rohman al-Ghozi and two members of the Abu Sayyaf bandit group from what was supposed to be a high-security cell. Ghozi, who was serving a sentence for possession of explosives, is believed by security officials to be involved in a number of bombing attacks and of belonging to the Jemaah Islamiah terrorist network. The escape was followed by reports that junior military officers were growing restive over low combat pay, corruption in the service and allegations that Defence Secretary Angelo Reyes was micro-managing units in the field. Military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Daniel Lucero tried to downplay fears of a coup attempt, saying that was not why the military was on red alert. 'We are on red alert because of reported activities of some militant groups to disrupt or create violent incidents in time for the President's State of the Nation address.' He denied reports that a standby force had been deployed inside Camp Aguinaldo, the military headquarters in a Manila suburb, to repel a coup attempt. He said the forces were there to respond to any civil disaster that might arise from typhoon Imbudo, which had just passed through the Philippines. Colonel Lucero said the military had received reports that militant groups identified with the communist rebels were preparing to march to Camp Aguinaldo to protest against alleged human rights violations. Those linked to Estrada are also being closely watched by both the police and military. Presidential spokesman Ignacio Bunye denied that Mrs Arroyo was worried over coup threats that had been spread through mobile phone text messages. He said tighter security around the presidential palace was a 'normal precaution'.