[News] Philippines update

Anti-Imperialist News News at freedomarchives.org
Mon Feb 27 08:42:45 EST 2006

The following message was read by Dr. Reynaldo Lesaca Jr, chairman of
Bayan Muna, at a vigil and solidarity gathering held tonight, Feb. 25,
2006, at the La Salle Greenhills chapel:

President and Partylist Representative, Bayan Muna
Deputy Minority Leader, House of Representatives
Feb. 25, 2006

Much as I would like to be with you tonight, the developments within
the last 24 hours, especially the attempted forcible abduction against
me this morning, has constrained me from exposing myself in public,
lest I succumb to the dangers posed by the rampaging monster that is
the Arroyo regime.

Indeed, my colleagues from the Independent Bloc of progressive
partylist organizations and myself are faced with grave danger after
Mrs. Arroyo's declaration of a state of national emergency. Between 8
to 8:30 this morning, Anakpawis Partylist Representative Crispin
Beltran was forcibly abducted on his way to a House Minority press
conference and arbitrarily detained at Camp Crame for "questioning."
The absurd basis for the illegal police action was a two decade-old
trumped-up case filed against him by the Marcos dictatorship in 1985.

A few hours later, emerging from the said press conference at Sulo
Hotel, I was almost abducted by at least three police agents in
civilian clothing with their guns drawn - one had a high powered rifle
and the other two were armed with automatic pistols - who blocked my
vehicle in front of the Hotel in full view of the media. Luckily, I
was riding a different car so they ended up arresting my driver and

I was one of the longest-held political prisoners during martial law.
I do not particularly mind being arrested for my political beliefs.
The problem is when the arrest is made arbitrarily and without due
process, like the attempted arrest this morning where the authorities
did not even have the decency to formally serve a warrant of arrest.
Instead, they resorted to the martial-law tactic of blocking my
vehicle and threateningly waving their firearms like I was some
fugitive of the law. Who knows what could have happened had I been in
that vehicle? Remember, more than 80 of Bayan Muna's leaders have been
summarily executed since Mrs. Arroyo took power in 2001.

Friends and comrades in arms, what happened yesterday and this morning
cannot be taken lightly. The declaration of a state of national
emergency is not only patently illegal; it is also aimed at
suppressing the civil liberties and political rights of our people.
How else can we explain the bellicose pronouncements from Malacañang,
the blanket ban on rallies and demonstrations, the violent dispersal
of our peaceful assemblies, the closure and harrassment of critical
media outlets, and the arbitrary and illegal arrest of opposition

Mrs. Arroyo's true colors have emerged. Her regime is nothing but a
fascist dictatorship in the works.

I therefore appeal to you, on this 20th anniversary of the ouster of
the Marcos dictatorship, to hold fast to our hard-earned rights and
liberties. Let us not be cowed by the Arroyo regime's fascist tricks.
Never again should martial rule destroy our country.

More than this, we should continually press for Mrs. Arroyo's removal
from office. Only her removal will prevent the setting up of another
dictatorship that is more brutal and more corrupt. Together, let us
struggle for a just, sovereign and democratic Philippines.

Makibaka, huwag matakot!
Mabuhay ang sambayanang Pilipino!

A subscriber in another yahoogroups pointed out the
verbatim coyping - yes, word for word -- of the "Now,
therefore I" Marcos 1081 by GMA 1017. Tinamad na
sigurong magisip yong nagdraft ng 1017 kaya copy and
paste na lang:

Marcos 1081:

NOW, THEREFORE, I ...do hereby command the armed
forces of the Philippines to maintain law and order
throughout the Philippines, prevent or suppress all
forms of lawless violence as well as any act of
insurrection or rebellion and to enforce obedience to
all the laws and decrees, orders and regulations
promulgated by me personally or upon my direction.

GMA 1017:

NOW, THEREFORE, I ....do hereby command the Armed
Forces of the Philippines to maintain law and order
throughout the Philippines, prevent or suppress all
forms of lawless violence as well any act of
insurrection or rebellion and to enforce obedience to
all the laws and to all decrees, orders and
regulations promulgated by me personally or upon my


This story was taken from www.inq7.net

Police chief warns of more arrests, media takeovers
First posted 04:36pm (Mla time) Feb 25, 2006
By Joel Francis Guinto

(UPDATE) INVOKING President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's declaration of a
state of national emergency, police on Saturday warned of arrests
without a warrant and the takeover of media entities posing a "clear
and present danger" to government.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Arturo Lomibao
aired the warning after his troops "temporarily took over" the Daily
Tribune newspaper and arrested Anakpawis Party-list Representative
Crispin Beltran and retired generals Ramon Montaño and Rex Piad for
alleged inciting to rebellion.

Lomibao claimed that under General Order number 5 issued in the wake
of Proclamation 1017, the PNP has a "clear mandate" to "carry out
appropriate action and security measures to prevent an escalation of
the situation."

While the military has crushed a plot to unseat Arroyo on Friday,
Lomibao said "some people responsible for it are still out there."

When asked if the general order empowers authorities to arrest
suspected anti-government plotters without a warrant, Lomibao said,

"To contain this clear and present threat, General Order number 5
empowers the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine
National Police to immediately carry out necessary and appropriate
actions and measures to suppress and prevent acts of terrorism and
lawless violence," he said.

Between 12 midnight and 1 a.m. Saturday, operatives of the Criminal
Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) raided the Manila offices of
The Daily Tribune, which Lomibao accused of being "deeply engaged in
continuing propagation of disinformation and publication of seditious
and scurrilous remarks or articles."

"We are not closing it. We are just going to recommend to government a
review of all the articles that will be published," Lomibao said.

When pressed by reporters, Lomibao said police could also take over
media outlets that "will not contribute to stability." He skirted
questions on whether or not the police's actions were an attack on
press freedom.

"As I have said, we have standards to follow the standards are in the
presidential proclamation, GO number 5," he said.

Lomibao said news reports "should not hurt the Philippine state by
obstructing governance including hindering the growth of the economy
and sabotaging the people's confidence in government and their faith
in the future of this country."

Lomibao also formally announced the arrests of Beltran and Montaño.

Superintendent Ben Delos Santos of the CIDG confirmed in a phone
interview that Piad, former chief of the directorial staff of the PNP,
was arrested with Montaño, the former chief of the Philippine
Constabulary who called on Arroyo to resign last Friday.

"Well, the evidence so far gathered is that they are part of a
conspiracy to commit rebellion," Lomibao said of Beltran and Montaño.

The PNP Chief said Beltran also had an outstanding warrant of arrest
for inciting to rebellion in 1985. Beltran's lawyer, Romeo Capulong,
claimed that the case was dropped in 1986 after democracy was restored
in the country.

"Piad was arrested on the same allegations against Montaño, inciting
to seditionŠ They were together," Delos Santos said.

Montaño and Piad were arrested while playing golf in Dasmariñas town,
Cavite province, while Beltran was on his way to a family outing in
San Jose del Monte town, Bulacan province.

Arroyo issued Proclamation 1017 on Friday noon, hours after the
military claimed to have foiled a plot to unseat her on persistent
allegations of election fraud.

Army Brigadier General Danilo Lim was relieved from his post as
commander of the elite First Scout Ranger Regiment for allegedly
trying to convince military chief General Generoso Senga to withdraw
support from Arroyo.

Another officer, Marine Colonel Ariel Querubin, is being investigated
on the same charges.

(c)2006 www.inq7.net all rights reserved

February 25, 2006

National (as of 8:46 PM)

Over 100 arrests under Proclamation 1017...so far

More than 100 people were arrested since President Arroyo used a state
of emergency to weed out opponents she blames for an alleged plot to
oust her, abs-cbnNEWS.com learned Saturday.

On Friday more than 100 protesters, including University of the
Philippines professor Randy David, were among the first to experience
the consequence of Presidential Proclamation 1017 after they were
arrested by police on EDSA.

More than 5,000 demonstrators led by David were stopped by police at
the foot of the Santolan flyover in Quezon City. Also arrested was
lawyer Argee Guevarra.

On Saturday police tried to round up opposition figures, including a
left-wing congressmen and retired generals. They also targeted media

"As far as I'm concerned, if you are taken in for custody, you are
being arrested," retired general Ramon Montaño, former chief of the
now-defunct Philippine Constabulary, told Reuters after he was
"invited," while playing golf, to go to the Philippine National Police
headquarters at Camp Crame for questioning.

"They approached me at the 18th hole," said Montaño, who had
previously called on Mrs. Arroyo to resign.

Montaño, said Rex Piad, a former deputy director general of the PNP,
was also asked to come to Camp Crame.

Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran was earlier detained for police
questioning along with a bodyguard, his wife and two other companions.
The five were arrested in Beltran's San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, home
at around 8:30 a.m. Saturday. They were reportedly taken to the
offices of the police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group
(CIDG) at Camp Crame.

PNP chief, Director General Arturo Lomibao, meanwhile, told reporters
that former senator Gregorio Honasan, hailed as a hero in the uprising
against Marcos, was No.1 on their list.

Before dawn, police raided a pro-opposition newspaper, The Daily
Tribune, gathering documents, confiscating copies from the printing
press and padlocking the office.

"They just swooped down, went inside," editor-in-chief Niñez
Cacho-Olivares, said on radio. "This is like martial law."

Malacañan later said it was not aware of the Tribune raid.

Police also went to the Abante tabloid but Elvira Altez, a member of
its board, said the officers left after seeing crews from two
television stations.

Marites Danguilan Vitug, editor-in-chief of Newsbreak Magazine, said
the country stands the risk of losing the freedom of the press it
regained 20 years ago..

"We view the raid on Tribune, an opposition newspaper, with alarm. It
appears to signal the start of a crackdown on media organizations,"
Vitug said in a statement.

"We have always believed that repression is never the answer to a
critical press. We remind the authorities that a free press is a
cornerstone of a democracy. Without it, we cannot claim to be a
democratic country," she added.

The President's allies defended the newspaper raids as a legitimate
step against attempts to incite unrest.

Mrs. Arroyo, who survived a crisis last year over allegations of
vote-rigging and corruption, invoked Proclamation 1017 declaring a
state of national emergency on Friday, citing a "systematic
conspiracy" against her by members of the opposition, communists and
"military adventurists."

Manila's streets were calm after officials banned rallies celebrating
20 years of freedom from dictator Ferdinand Marcos on Saturday. The
sight contrasted with the chaotic scenes of 1986 when one million
people stood up to tanks on Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA),
forcing Marcos to flee after a two-decade rule marked by martial law.

There have been a dozen coup attempts in the last two decades, but
some analysts say Mrs. Arroyo's government amplifies threats to ward
off plotters and shore up public support.

The indefinite state of emergency dented investor sentiment, with the
peso falling one percent to 52.20 to the dollar on Friday.

Personal sacrifice

At a Mass to celebrate the "people power" movement, Manila's
influential archbishop said the government should consider "personal
sacrifice," a phrase used by former presidents Corazon Aquino and
Fidel Ramos when they separately called on Mrs. Arroyo to resign last

"Military posturing of any kind and for any reason severely risks our
position among the family of honorable nations," Gaudencio Rosales
told the congregation, which included Mrs. Aquino, an icon of the EDSA
demonstrations, and Ramos, who succeeded her.

Hours before the emergency declaration Friday, the military detained
Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim, chief of the Army's elite 1st Scout Ranger
Regiment, as the leader of troops allegedly planning to incite crowds
at anti-Arroyo rallies. Police later broke up two protests of about
5,000 people each, one by using fire hoses and batons.

But there were no protests on Saturday and Mrs. Arroyo, surrounded by
aides and security, visited one of Manila's malls, which were
unusually quiet as shoppers avoided possible flashpoints.

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, an ally of Mrs. Arroyo and former
judge, said the President's order did not clearly specify the scope
and limits of the emergency powers but still respected the rights of
citizens, including the freedom of speech.

But Ramos said he was dismayed by Mrs. Arroyo's move. "Why is
everybody panicking there in Malacañan? It is so unfair to the

Rights group Amnesty International said it was concerned the state of
emergency "may increase the risk of serious human rights violations
and may undermine the rule of law in the Philippines."

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