US president lauds Gloria Arroyo and warns that any attempt to overthrow her will not be tolerated President George W. Bush conducted an all-out charm offensive yesterday by heaping praise on the Philippines, its leaders and people as a 'great light' of democracy 'to all of Asia and beyond'. Mr Bush all but endorsed President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's election attempt next year. Subtly, he said the US and the Philippines had finally completed a comprehensive review of the latter's security requirements and both had committed to a five-year plan to modernise the Philippine military. 'I commend the president and your military leadership for taking this bold action,' he said, in an apparent assumption that Mrs Arroyo, whose stint ends in May, would continue to spearhead the modernisation. He warned that any attempt to overthrow her would not be tolerated. He condemned an attempted coup on July 27 in which more than 200 renegade junior military officers and enlisted men took over a shopping mall in Makati, the business area of the capital. He said: 'Members of the Philippine forces are commissioned to fight for freedom, not to contend for power.' A packed audience of bipartisan congressmen, senators and prominent politicians warmly applauded Mr Bush's 19-minute speech. Two lawmakers - Satur Ocampo and Liza Masa, both representing the left, walked out before Mr Bush's speech. Both are linked to the Communist National Democratic Front which the US has blacklisted as a terror group. Mr Bush slammed the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf as an enemy of freedom and religion that should be eradicated. But he had kind words for the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) even though the group has trained members of the radical Muslim Jemaah Islamiah network in bomb-making and using high-powered firearms. He reminded MILF members that 'shortly before his death, [their chairman,] Ustadz Hashim Salamat wrote a letter to me professing his rejection of terrorism'. 'I call on all the members of the MILF to reject terror and to move forward to political negotiations', he said. Mr Bush promised aid after it signs a peace pact with the Arroyo government. 'The terrorists will continue their missions of murder and suicide until they are stopped. And we will stop them,' Mr Bush said. 'Murder has no home in any religious faith and these terrorists must find no home in the Philippines.' Opposition Senator Gregorio Honasan, who apparently felt alluded to when Mr Bush lashed out at military renegades, snapped afterwards that the July 27 coup attempt was 'a purely internal matter' that Mr Bush had no business talking about. The suspected coup mastermind said the speech was 'nice to hear but let us wait for substantial consequences'. Opposition Senator Edgardo Angara said the speech of 'the leader of the mightiest nation' was 'a moral booster'. But, he said Mr Bush failed to address the corruption in the military, police and judiciary, which is undermining freedom.