Monday, December 19, 2005

Martial Rule is coming to town

15 December 2005
Casiño bewails rushed, half-baked anti-terror bill
Rep. Teodoro A. Casiño

"Congress terrorized the people late last night by railroading a
half-baked anti-terror bill (ATB) just in time before its Christmas break."

Thus said Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño, adding, "It was clear they
railroaded the anti-terror bill to meet the President's deadline. It
took only three sessions of interpellation while in contrast, some less
important bills stagnated for months on the floor without being passed."

According to Casiño, "With the approval of the ATB, the so called
government's 'infrastructure for de facto martial rule is now complete'."

"Coupled with Executive Order 464, which radically inhibited the access
of the public to details of government transactions, and the CPR that
authorizes violent dispersals of legitimate protests, the ATB becomes
more lethal, punitive, and condemnable."

"Under the bill, street protests, mass actions, labor and transport
strikes may be classified as terrorist acts, said Casiño, adding, "The
ATB grants Malacañang draconian powers to quell legitimate political
dissenters and even silence the traditional legal opposition."

Casiño also noted that his party-list, Bayan Muna, has everything to
worry about Malacañang wielding powers from the said anti-democratic
bill. For instance, the
AFP resolutely claims that Bayan Muna, along with other progressive
party-list groups and organizations, has links with the CPP-NPA-NDF,
which the US tagged as a terrorist organization. Since then, 73 Bayan
Muna members were killed.

One much publicized AFP report even tagged Rep. Satur Ocampo as a bomb
plot financier. Both Ocampo and the NPA denied the allegations. Also, by
virtue of the CPR policy, strings of cases hound rally organizers and
prominent legislators, including Casiño. Moreover, with the anti-terror
bill, rally organizers can immediately be detained.

Is the rushing of the ATB part of Negroponte's agenda?

Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño gravely suspects that the ATB was passed on
the heels of U.S. top spy John Negroponte's visit in Manila.

Negroponte, Director for the U.S. National Intelligence, of which agency
commands the CIA, arrived in Manila last December 6 and reportedly left
two days later. His itinerary, according to U.S. Embassy spokesperson
Matthew Lussenhop was to talk to Philippine officials, particularly
National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, regarding the anti-terror
drive in the Philippines.

"Even while House Bill 4839 was a bill certified by the President, we
all knew that its passage was doomed as the Christmas break was
approaching. But it was rushed to meet a December 14 deadline," Casiño

"It is evident that the railroading of the anti-terror bill is part of
the bargain for continued U.S. support to the GMA regime. ###

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