Feb 25, Reuters

MANILA - Security was tight in the Philippine capital on Monday ahead of rallies calling on President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to resign over a corruption scandal.

Allegations of $130 million worth of kickbacks in a $329 million government telecoms deal with China's ZTE Corp. has revived calls for Arroyo to go with deposed president Joseph Estrada adding his voice on Monday.

"I hope she will be enlightened that it is time for her to go to avoid bloodshed and violence. When the people are already beyond the limit of their patience you should respect them as a leader," Estrada said in an interview with Al Jazeera television.

Estrada was ousted in a military-backed revolt over corruption in 2001 that propelled Arroyo, his then vice-president, to power. He was convicted of plunder last year but Arroyo pardoned him a month later.

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photo: Thousands of protesters carry banners and placards calling for the ouster of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo while marching along a street in Manila February 25, 2008. The protesters held a rally outside the presidential palace in the capital on Monday (REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco)