Tuesday, February 28, 2006

5 solons in House custody agree to sign waiver of detention


5 solons in House custody agree to sign waiver of detention
First posted 10:47pm (Mla time) Feb 28, 2006
By Maila Ager

THE FIVE lawmakers accused of rebellion agreed Tuesday evening to sign a waiver of detention, placing them under the "protective custody" of the House of Representatives until their preliminary investigation is completed.
But by signing the waiver, House Minority Floor Leader Francis Escudero said Bayan Muna Representatives Satur Ocampo, Teodoro Casiño and Joel Virador, Gabriela Women's Partylist Representative Liza Maza, and Anakpawis Representative Rafael Mariano, gave up their rights to press charges for arbitrary detention.

"We assert our right to a preliminary investigation and not to be subjected to, or accept the validity of any inquest proceeding and we agree to be under the protective custody of the House of Representatives during the pendency of the said preliminary investigation," the waiver stated.

"While we are under the protective custody of the House of Representatives, we hereby waive our right under the provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code," it added.

The five lawmakers have been in the custody of Speaker Jose de Venecia since Monday night.

The lawmakers said they wanted a preliminary investigation so that the court could determine if there was basis for issuing the arrest warrants.

De Venecia said the Department of Justice concurred with the respondents’ decision to sign a waiver of detention, adding they can now stay in their offices or anywhere within the vicinity of the House.

But Ocampo said they would spend the night at the office of the Speaker where they have been staying since Monday.

De Venecia said the waiver would also apply to Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran, who is in police custody in Camp Crame since his arrest Saturday.

On Monday, police filed charges of rebellion against 16 people, including the five lawmakers, suspected of plotting to overthrow the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Arroyo placed the country under a state of national emergency Friday, citing “clear and present danger” from leftist and rightist groups out to grab power.

Mutineer rejects claims of conspiracy with Reds


Mutineer rejects claims of conspiracy with Reds
First posted 02:36pm (Mla time) Feb 28, 2006
By Joel Francis Guinto

A DETAINED mutineer has rejected the military's allegations that he and his comrades have conspired with leftist insurgents to topple President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

First Lieutenant Lawrence San Juan was not allowed to speak to media during a hearing of the mutineers' coup d'etat case in Makati City Tuesday morning, but he issued the denial through his wife, Evelyn, and lawyer, Roel Pulido.

“He specifically denies that he's associated with those charges,” the wife told reporters.

“They [military] are bombarding you with these red scare tactics and yet they don't want Lieutenant San Juan to speak...,” Pulido said.

The military claimed that documents seized from San Juan after his capture in Batangas province last February 21 proved that there was a “political alliance” between disgruntled soldiers, leftist, and rightist groups to unseat Arroyo.

Officials said the documents revealed “Oplan Final Talk 2,” which served as a “memorandum of understanding” between the mutineers and the communist rebels.

Arroyo declared a state of national emergency last Friday, hours after the military claimed to have foiled an attempt to unseat her.

Brigadier General Danilo Lim, head of the First Scout Ranger Regiment in Bulacan province, had since been arrested for his alleged involvement in the plot.

San Juan's presence at the Makati RTC was his first appearance since he his arrest following his escape from detention in January.

Blindfolded and handcuffed to two security escorts, San Juan was escorted to the courtroom before 9 a.m.

All the other mutineers, including Marine Captain Nicanor Faeldon, were handcuffed to two escorts each. During the last hearing, all the accused were handcuffed to only one escort, except for Faeldon.

It was in court where San Juan saw his two children for the first time since his capture.

“He's overjoyed [to see his kids],” Evelyn said.

San Juan even bottle-fed his son while the proceedings were ongoing.

Upon the request of San Juan's other lawyer, Theodore Te, Judge Oscar Pimentel ordered the Army to allow San Juan to be visited by his lawyer and family.

San Juan's wife said that since his arrest, she only saw him once, and only for five minutes.

In a statement released to media, the mutineers called on the public to “question the actions of our leaders.”

“They continue to run away from the issues that could dislodge them from their present position,” the statement said.

“The real essence of democracy is not whether order should be followed but instead order should be questioned. This is the only way to check tyranny,” it said.

“Please be free, it is your God-given right to do so. Think, say, express, show. Go and be a Filipino because you are born to be one,” it added.

protest on Friday, exactly one week after Arroyo's declaration --IBP


Lawyers to defy protest ban
First posted 04:17pm (Mla time) Feb 28, 2006
By Agence France-Presse

LAWYERS said Tuesday they plan to defy a ban on rallies ordered by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo under an emergency declaration she issued to thwart an alleged coup attempt.

Joel Cadiz, president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, the country's main lawyers' group, called on judges, lawyers, students and other activists to protest on Friday, exactly one week after Arroyo's declaration.

"This is a declaration of martial law," Cadiz said. "We have no freedom of assembly and press."

The president invoked her constitutional powers to confront what she called a "tactical alliance" between communist guerrillas and right-wing "military adventurists."

In a widening crackdown, authorities have detained or charged a handful of officers in the military and police along with leftist legislators and others. Police have raided an opposition newspaper, and broadcasters were asked to restrain themselves so they would not inadvertently provide "aid or support" to those calling for the ousting of the president.

Arroyo's declaration came during the 20th anniversary of the "People Power" revolution that toppled dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who had ruled under martial law for nine years.

Cadiz said Arroyo's tactics were excessive and an attempt to hold on to power despite widespread opposition to her rule.

Seventeen lawyers' organizations have asked the Supreme Court to rule that Arroyo's declaration was unconstitutional. At a brief hearing on Tuesday, the Court ordered the lawyers and their government opponents to present oral arguments next week.

The lawyers said they were hoping the Supreme Court would swiftly issue a temporary restraining order against Arroyo's state of emergency.

Cadiz played down the alleged coup plot, saying "if there are people who are seeking to fight this totally corrupt government, that is not a conspiracy."

Even if there were a plot, "that does not justify trampling of the freedom of the press, freedom of assembly," he said.

Other lawyers have said the Arroyo proclamation was not equivalent to martial law and essentially allowed the president to mobilize the military to crush a rebellion. The normal judicial system remained in place.

Committee to Protect Journalists

Committee to Protect Journalists

February 27, 2006

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
Republic of the Philippines
Malacañang Presidential Palace
Manila, Philippines

Your Excellency:

The Committee to Protect Journalists views with alarm the threat to press freedom in the Philippines during the state of emergency you declared on February 24. Your administration's tactics—raiding a newspaper, stationing troops in front of television and radio stations, and threatening to issue government editorial guidelines—jeopardize the democratic advances of the last 20 years.

Early Saturday, Philippine National Police officers raided the offices of the Daily Tribune, seized editorial materials, and threatened to take over the paper. In addition, troops were deployed around the Manila compounds of the Philippines' two largest TV networks, ABS-CBN and GMA-7.

These actions—combined with threats to take over media entities for "aiding" your administration's enemies or violating unspecified editorial guidelines—send a profoundly disturbing message about the limits of press freedom. They also serve to prevent journalists from accurately reporting on the crisis in your country.

Democracy in the Philippines has been threatened in the years since the 1986 revolution, but no administration has used the restrictive means your government has taken. It's deeply disturbing to see political unrest threaten the precious and deeply held concepts of press freedom and democracy.

Ensuring a free and unfettered press is essential to preserving the democratic principles that re-emerged in the Philippines 20 years ago. We ask you to reverse the steps you have taken to control the media, and give them reassurances that they will be allowed to continue their work without fear in the future.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.


Ann Cooper
Executive Director
Committee to Protect Journalists
330 7th Avenue • 11th Floor • New York NY • 10001

Defend our legislators

Oppose Political Repression in the Philippines!
Free Crispin Beltran and Joel Virador!

At this juncture in our nation’s history, the Filipino people stand united against the incumbent illegitimate president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s attacks against civil and democratic rights.

By imposing a state of national emergency via the illegal and immoral Proclamation 1017, Arroyo’s corrupt government is trying to buy more time for its beleaguered self.

Failing to convince the public of its innocence of charges of corruption, political repression and electoral fraud, Macapagal-Arroyo is resorting to dictatorial means to curb growing dissent and restiveness not only within the ranks of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), but among the mass population long sickened and disgusted with Arroyo.

Presidential Proclamation 1017 means warrantless arrests, arbitrary takeover of public utilities and industries, intensified military operations especially in the provinces, and a crackdown on the media and the freedom of speech.

The legislators of the progressive party-lists Bayan Muna (People First), Anakpawis (Toiling Masses) and Gabriela Women’s Party are included in the government hit list.

Well-known labor leader turned lawmaker Crispin Beltran was arrested on February 24. A few days later on February 27, Bayan Muna solon Joel Virador was also arrested.

The four other lawmakers Bayan Muna solons Satur Ocampo and Teddy Casino, Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano, and Gabriela Rep. Liza Maza have been put under the custody of the House of Representatives, but they stand to be arrested at any time .

These lawmakers and the political parties they represent are at the forefront of the Filipino people’s relentless campaign against the burgeoning dictatorship under Arroyo.

Crispin Beltran is a labor leader.

Satur Ocampo a well-known human rights advocate.

Rafael Mariano a peasant activist.

Liza Maza a staunch defender of women and children’s rights.

Joel Virador is a vocal critic of US intervention in Philippine affairs.

Teddy Casino has a long history of student activism.

We Filipinos in Hong Kong seek the support of the Hong Kong people, Church and welfare organizations, the media and Hong Kong’s political leaders in denouncing the Macapagal-Arroyo government’s worsening attacks against the Filipino people’s civil, democratic and human rights.

We urge all Filipinos as well as our fellow migrants and the rest of the Hong Kong community to help us in our struggle for genuine freedom and democracy in the Philippines.

Please make your stand be known.

Write to H.E. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo President of the Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace, JP Laurel St., San Miguel Manila, Philippines as well as other media institutions in the Philippines, and inform them of your solidarity with the Filipino people.

Defend the Filipino people’s civil and political rights!

Free all political prisoners of the Arroyo government!

Fight the burgeoning Macapagal-Arroyo dictatorship!


"(Pesident Arroyo)....is a second rate, trying hard copy cat."
- Imee Marcos, in a privilege speech, Feb. 27, comparing the martial law declaration of his father to GMA's declaration of a state of national emergency.

"Bilang commander in chief, kontrolado ko ang sitwasyon."
-- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Feb 24, 2006, declaring the national state of emergency.

"Rumours of martial law have no basis and the state of emergency will be temporary. The objective is to preserve the constitution, defend the rule of law, prevent violence and disorder."
- Presidential spokesman Ignacio Bunye

"This is foolishness. This is not an inquest, charge me with contempt."
- Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran, lawmaker arrested February 25,2006 on charges of rebellion. He denounced the inquest arranged by the the police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.

"We are here, we are not hiding. We are not cowed. We will see this regime ousted from power."
-Dr Carol Pagaduan-Araullo, chairperson, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN).

"We survived Marcos� 1081, there is no reason to think we will not survive 1017. Arroyo is a poor copy of the dictator Marcos."
- Activist priest Fr. Joe Dizon, convenor of Kairos.

Guingona visits House 'detained' party-list solons


Guingona visits House 'detained' party-list solons
First posted 02:05pm (Mla time) Feb 28, 2006
By Maila Ager

Former vice president Teofisto Guingona Jr. and some protestant bishops showed up at the House of Representatives Tuesday to show support to five party-list lawmakers facing arrest for rebellion.

Guingona told reporters he went to see the condition of Bayan Muna Representatives Satur Ocampo, Teodoro Casiño and Joel Virador, Gabriela Women's Party-list Representative Liza Maza, and Anakpawis Representative Rafael Mariano to make sure that they were being given due process.

Guingona proceeded to the office of Ocampo to personally express his support.

The lawmakers did not attend inquest proceedings set by the Department of Justice at the House, until they said a preliminary investigation would be conducted.

Ocampo said there was a gentleman's agreement Monday night between Speaker Jose de Venecia and Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez that they would remain in the custody of the Speaker until warrants of would be issued by the court.

The five have been charged with rebellion for their alleged participation in a conspiracy to oust President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Some ways to show dissent

Dear Friends,

By now everyone is aware of the current situation facing the country. Just a day after Proclamation 1017 (State of Emergency) was declared by Mrs. Arroyo, warrantless arrests had been undertaken, offices of media had been raided and there is now an official ban on street protests. Martial law is now upon us. We do not need for Mrs. Arroyo to openly declare Martial Law, because we know that they will not, learning from the lessons of the Marcos years.

We urge you to keep the flame of democracy alive by resisting the curtailment of our basic freedoms. Martial Law lasted for more than 14 years because we in the middle class did not actively participate against it. There are many ways to show our dissent. Please consider the following:

1. The La Salle Brothers are offering their chapel in Greenhills as a regular venue for prayer vigils starting at 6pm in the evening. Those who would want to organize vigils are most welcome to do so. Apart from the prayer vigils, films and other documentaries can also be shown after.

2. Wear pins, stickers or put up posters and streamers denouncing Proclamation 1017.

3. Periodically do noise-barrages against Proc. 1017

4. And, for those that can do so, organize lunch-time pickets against the Proc 1017

There are many and creative ways to show our resistance to the return of tyranny.

Keep Vigilant!

No to inquest, warrantless arrests

Press Statement
February 28, 2006

Capulong's advice to Satur et al: No to inquest, warrantless arrests

By Satur C. Ocampo
Representative, Bayan Muna
Deputy Minority Leader, House of Representatives

Upon the advice of our chief legal counsel Justice Romeo T. Capulong, we have refused to be subjected to inquest proceedings being foisted by Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuño.

Inquest cannot be done because we have not been arrested. As per agreement yesterday, we remain under the protective custody of the Speaker, pending the serving of appropriate warrants of arrest.

If the Arroyo government wants to prosecute us, it should follow the law by starting with preliminary investigation based on the complaints purportedly filed by the Philippine National Police.

I advise Mr. Zuño and his representatives to contact Justice Capulong for whatever information they may need.

I reiterate: Reps. Casiño, Virador, Maza, Mariano and I have not been charged in any court. Only courts – not the justice department – can issue valid warrants of arrest. At the moment, we go back behind our office desks, and attend hearings and take part in plenary sessions.

It has also come to my attention that the PNP has sent operatives inside House premises. It is doubtful that they have warrants of arrest. I remind them that they cannot undertake warrantless arrests right here, lest they violate due process and the House resolution against unwanted police and military presence inside the House premises.

I urge the people to uphold their civil and political rights and resist arbitrary, illegal and warrantless arrests.

Military still restive, says Biazon


Military still restive, says Biazon
First posted 03:13am (Mla time) Feb 28, 2006
By TJ Burgonio, Christine O. Avendaño

WHILE IT ended peacefully, the six-hour standoff at Marine headquarters in Fort Bonifacio on Sunday did not quash the restiveness in the military, Senator Rodolfo Biazon said yesterday.

“I don’t know if the sentiments have been placated. A lot will depend on how those who were identified as raising the possibility of withdrawal of support will be treated,” Biazon said at a briefing.

The standoff stemmed from the protest staged by a group of Marines against the relief of their commandant, Major General Renato Miranda.

Biazon said nobody knew the extent of the restiveness. “Not even the chief of staff knows that. Not even the President knows that … the extent and the depth of this kind. It’s boiling inside.”

Biazon, a Marine who once served as AFP chief of staff, was among the first to rush to the Marine headquarters on Sunday to pacify the restive troops and prevent a confrontation with their comrades.

A day after the standoff, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo appeared on national television, thanking authorities for their handling of the problem and warning destabilizers that she would not allow her economic reforms to go to waste.

Despite heavy eye bags, Ms Arroyo was in a good mood and did not dwell much on the recent crisis at a round-table discussion with some Cabinet officials. She said there was no time for any celebration.

Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz said the government was “over the hump.” But he acknowledged that the authorities remained vigilant.

Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said the Palace was thankful the standoff was “peacefully resolved” and that the President was commending the Marines “for acting with a sense of professionalism and for refusing to be used for partisan politics.”

The military yesterday received a reminder from the US government to remain “professional and nonpolitical.”

“The United States reiterates its call that the government of the Philippines, the Armed Forces and the Filipino people respect fully the rule of law, protect civil liberties and human rights, and reject violence,” the US Embassy said in a statement.

“We hope and expect that the Filipino people will seek peaceful solutions to the current situation through constitutional procedures.”

“The United States strongly believes in the principle and practice of civilian control of a professional and non-political military,” it added.

It was the second statement from the US Embassy in line with its “monitoring” of the political situation since Ms Arroyo placed the country under a state of emergency.

It also marked the first time since the declaration that the embassy directed a message to a more specific entity in the Philippine government -- the Armed Forces.

As with the first statement issued on Friday, the embassy’s pronouncement yesterday contained no direct expression of support for Ms Arroyo.

US State department official

Also yesterday, the embassy announced the scheduled arrival in Manila of US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, the department’s most senior official on East Asian and Pacific affairs.

The embassy statement may not ease the seething restiveness in the military.

Biazon, chair of the Senate committee on national defense, recalled that at the end of the standoff, the declaration of the new Marine commandant, Brigadier General Nelson Allaga, that the Marines would follow the chain of command was met with reservations by the junior officers.

“There was an added concern because some of the junior officers said that the statement issued by General Allaga was not a collective sentiment,” Biazon said.

Another officer, Lieutenant Colonel Aquiles Segunlian, raised the issue of clean elections after the standoff, according to the senator.

Biazon said the reasons ran deeper than the unceremonious relief of Miranda.

“You can’t divorce it from events outside that have been transpiring since (Press) Secretary (Ignacio) Bunye waved those two tapes,” he said, referring to the “Hello Garci” tapes that spawned allegations Ms Arroyo stole the 2004 presidential election.

Had it gotten the support of a critical mass of soldiers and people, the protest that grew more tense as soldiers drove four tanks out of their barracks and parked them in front of the Marine headquarters could have turned into something like a “withdrawal of support,” Biazon said.

“I think the soldiers were waiting for the buildup of the crowd. I mean those who are inclined to withdraw support. (Sunday’s) event was along that line, a move with the intention of withdrawal of support,” he said.

Personalities from disparate political groups and members of civil society joined the crowd gathered at the gates of the Marine headquarters to show support for the disgruntled Marines, who feared the military brass would send troops to neutralize them.
Hordes of civilians tried to join the crowd, but were kept at bay by antiriot members of the National Capital Region Police Office and the Southern Police District who set up barricades on Lawton Avenue fronting the Marine headquarters.

Former President Corazon Aquino herself was stopped at Gate 3 of Fort Bonifacio on Pasong Tamo Extension, some 300 meters from Gates 7 and 8 of the Marine headquarters, on orders of NCRPO chief Director Vidal Querol.

Biazon turned emotional when asked if Colonel Ariel Querubin, who led the protest and exhorted the people on TV to proceed to the camp to protect the Marines, could face serious sanctions.

If authorities file charges against Querubin or Brigadier General Danilo Lim, who had reportedly informed the military brass he would join street protests and withdraw support from the administration on Friday before he was restricted to quarters, they should also file charges against the President and Angelo Reyes, the senator said.

“Remember the withdrawal of support is exactly what was done in January 2001. If they file charges against General Lim, I think they should file charges against the President and General Reyes. They did what General Lim was accused of having done,” he said.

Then AFP Chief of Staff Angelo Reyes withdrew support from President Joseph Estrada and backed the hordes that had been massing for days on the streets demanding Estrada’s ouster. This prompted Estrada to step down.

Then Vice President Macapagal-Arroyo was later sworn in as President. With a report from Volt Contreras

Militants show how to beat proclamation


Militants show how to beat proclamation
First posted 04:51am (Mla time) Feb 28, 2006
By Blanche S. Rivera

MILITANT leaders yesterday offered “creative ways” of openly defying President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s Proclamation No. 1017 placing the country under a state of emergency.

“We survived 1081, there is no reason to think we will not survive 1017. Arroyo is a poor copy of the dictator Marcos,” activist priest Fr. Joe Dizon said. The late President Ferdinand Marcos issued Proclamation No. 1081 when he declared martial law in 1972.

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. said people could openly defy Ms Arroyo’s proclamation without being arrested.

They could do this by wearing red shirts, red ribbons or armbands, pins and shirts with anti-Arroyo markings to signify their protest, Reyes said.

Since assembly in private places is not banned, people could gather in freedom parks, private homes, offices and schools and discuss issues related to the proclamation, he said.

No fear

“Be proud of your convictions. Wear them,” Reyes said.

He said people wearing shirts with anti-Arroyo slogans particularly should have no reason to fear.

“I don’t think even the military will dare to ask anyone to undress himself in public,” Reyes said.

Bayan chair Carol Araullo said her group was working to secure the release of Anakpawis party-list Representative Crispin Beltran and others who had been arrested by the police.

Marcos and Gloria

“We are here, we are not hiding. We are not cowed. We will see this regime ousted from power,” Araullo said in a press conference.

Dizon, a convenor of the Catholic lay group Kairos, called on religious leaders to support the people in protesting the state of emergency.

A “very significant” difference between Marcos and Ms Arroyo was that the late strongman had the full backing of the military when he declared martial law, he said. Ms Arroyo did not have that kind of military support when she issued her emergency edict, he said.

Appeal to soldiers

Dizon said Sunday’s standoff among Marines at Fort Bonifacio showed a crack in the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

“We call on them (soldiers) to withdraw their support and join protests for the peaceful removal of Arroyo … not to launch a coup d’état but to support the protests,” the priest said.

Nationwide protests

He said the mobilization of people clinched success for the first “people power” revolt that ended the Marcos dictatorship in 1986.

“If it can happen during the dictatorship, it can happen now,” Dizon said.

Sanlakas president Wilson Fortaleza said that starting today, daily protests would be held in key cities nationwide in defiance of Malacañang’s ban on rallies.

“We firmly believe that the people, especially the workers and the poor, will break the illegal state of emergency through open protests … (Ms Arroyo) does not have a united military to suppress the people,” Fortaleza said in a statement.

Senators urge media to defy gov’t control


Senators urge media to defy gov’t control
First posted 03:10am (Mla time) Feb 28, 2006
By Philip C. Tubeza, TJ Burgonio, Luige A. del Puerto, Leila B. Salaverria

PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo came under fire in the Senate yesterday for allegedly attempting to muzzle the media as a prelude to an assault on basic civil liberties.

Senator Joker Arroyo urged the media to oppose administration efforts to control the press. “Defy the government … continue publishing,” he told reporters.

“If you want to control the civil liberties of the people, you start with media. That’s what government is trying to do. They are now trying to curtail media as a start,” Arroyo said.

Following the President’s declaration of a state of emergency on Friday, the Philippine National Police raided the office of the Daily Tribune.

PNP Director General Arturo Lomibao has also warned that police will take over media facilities if they do not comply with government standards.

Senate President Franklin Drilon, Majority Leader Francis Pangilinan and Senators Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, Rodolfo Biazon and Pia Cayetano yesterday filed a resolution seeking an inquiry into government acts in connection with Proclamation No. 1017.

Other senators have signified their intention to sponsor the measure.

Senators denounce raid

In the resolution, they condemned the police raid on the Tribune’s editorial office and the arrest of private citizens, as well as lawmakers critical of the Arroyo administration.

The senators also maintained that a state of emergency neither suspended the Constitution nor limited civil liberties, basic human rights, freedom of the press and other basic rights enshrined in the fundamental law.

“How can we expect our people to adhere to the rule of law if the highest office in the land can so easily twist and circumvent the fundamental law to meet its desired ends?” Pangilinan said.

Earlier in the day, Liberal Party members in the Senate and the House of Representatives held a caucus and agreed to question on the floor the legality of government acts carried out in connection with the proclamation.

“This is an intimidating act. They first targeted Tribune. Who’s next?” Biazon said.

News stories toned down?

“Do you know what I notice now? The stories have been toned down,” he said, holding a daily. “Even the commentaries have been toned down. Which means the objective of the proclamation is now slowly being achieved.”

Arroyo said any law, executive order or government action that ran counter to the constitutionally protected rights of the press, expression and speech “is unenforceable.”

“Even if the people exercise free speech and expression, or assemble to redress their grievances, nothing will come out of it unless media reports it freely,” he said.

“Thus, the President cannot, under the guise of national emergency or public interest, arbitrarily order the takeover or direct the news content of television or radio stations and thereby deprive the public of free and balanced information.”

“Such an assertion of the government cannot prevail over the superior right of freedom of the press, expression and speech,” he added.

NTC can’t close radio, TV

Arroyo said the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) or any government body was not empowered to draw up guidelines on what electronic media could or could not air “because that amounts to prior restraint which is constitutionally impermissible.”

“They can only regulate the airwaves but they cannot say that they will close (down radio or TV stations),” he said.

“I’m chair of the committee on public services and legislative franchises so I know it by heart. They do not have any power to oversee media,” he added.

The maverick administration senator slammed Lomibao’s threat to take over recalcitrant media.

“How can a policeman understand freedom of the press? He’s a policeman,” Arroyo said.

Total press ban not allowed

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago said that even during a national emergency, “government may not impose a total ban on mass media” because free speech “occupies the highest priority in the hierarchy of constitutional values.”

She said the constitutional provision that authorized the government to “temporarily direct the operation of any privately owned public utility or business affected with public interest” was not found under the constitutional article on the executive department, but “under the article on national economy and patrimony.”

“This provision is applicable, not to a national emergency affecting political stability, but to a national emergency affecting the economy,” said Santiago, also an administration senator.

“Since 1017 applies mainly to political emergency, the invocation of this economic provision has marginal relevance,” she said.

“It cannot be used as a basis for restricting mass media, unless the media report is directly related to the promotion of a coup d’état or rebellion,” she added.

President urged to cease, desist

Saying that “those who wield the gun and not those who wield the pen” were its enemies, Senator Ralph Recto advised Malacañang to “cease and desist” from taking actions which “abridge the freedom of the press.”

He warned the Palace that it will lose “the battle for public opinion if it alienates through underhanded tactics the very sector that shapes it.”

“Malacañang should not pick up a fight with those who buy ink by the barrel,” Recto said.

“If democracy is under attack, then you tap the most potent weapon in its arsenal, which is a free press. You don’t launch a counterattack on the media, but you use it in winning people over to your side,” he said.

Recto said “democracy can never be invoked” in curtailing the freedom of the press.

Recklessly conceived

He described as “recklessly conceived” the assertion that some members of the media had “recklessly magnified” the “claims” of alleged conspirators.

“As far as I know, there were no screaming headlines calling on people to rise against the government,” Recto said.

“On the contrary, it was media’s untrammeled coverage of the demonstrations which probably saved the day for the government. If there was a news blackout, people would have believed the propaganda that a million people are massing up on EDSA (Epifanio delos Santos Avenue),” he said.

“But because the rallies were covered live by TV, they knew the real score.”

Recto said the people “know how to process information; they know chaff from the grain, substance from spin.”

During the swearing-in of a new set of officers of the PNP Press Corps in his office, Lomibao insisted that freedom of the press was “not absolute.”

“These are not normal times, we are in a state of national emergency,” he said.

Media attacks on government were “not good for the economy,” the police chief said.

In a statement signed by 124 students, faculty members and administrative staff, the University of the Philippines’ College of Mass Communication demanded that the President rescind her emergency proclamation, saying “it clearly undermines the role of the free press in the country.”

Cabinet split on ending state of emergency


Cabinet split on ending state of emergency
First posted 01:09am (Mla time) Feb 28, 2006
By Gil C. Cabacungan Jr.

CABINET officials are split on the lifting of Proclamation No. 1017, with the security cluster remaining cool to a proposal by economic managers to rescind as soon as possible the state of national emergency that President Macapagal-Arroyo declared on Friday because of an alleged coup plot.

The announcement by Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye in a statement yesterday that “the state of emergency will remain until such time that we are sure that the threats are contained” indicated that Ms Arroyo was heeding the advice of military and defense officials.

“I believe the public will understand that the lifting of PP 1017 will be slightly delayed,” Bunye said on radio, referring to the emergency declaration.

Issuing her emergency declaration on Friday, Ms Arroyo spoke of a “tactical alliance” between right-wing and communist forces to oust her and “create an unconstitutional regime.”

Two officers from elite security units in the country’s influential military were detained. On Saturday, police arrested an opposition congressman and a retired general, and raided a newspaper office. More persons were arrested yesterday.

Trade Secretary Peter Favila said the economic managers had requested a one-on-one briefing with the Cabinet security cluster last night to enlighten the group on the extent of the threat against the administration.

“We told them (security cluster) to give us the real situation because we want to lift it since the markets have normalized,” Favila said at a briefing in Malacañang.

“We’re asking, ‘What else is there?’ But based on (Defense) Secretary (Avelino) Nonong Cruz’s briefing, we might have to wait for a couple more hours or days and that they’ll just give the signal when everything is clear,” the trade secretary said.


As early as Saturday, Favila said the economic managers had been telling the President of the need to lift PP 1017 considering that the markets had remained sober.

“She was just nodding her head. She was just listening,” he said.

Were it not for the Fort Bonifacio standoff with the Marines on Sunday, Favila said the President would have lifted the proclamation “between now (Monday) and Wednesday.”

“Until noontime Sunday, we were discussing the lifting. Then the Marines started calling for media coverage. We had to drop the issue entirely,” the trade secretary said.

But with the standoff resolved before midnight Sunday and the peso and stock markets behaving normally yesterday, Favila and the economic managers revived their push for the lifting of the proclamation.

Within normal range

Favila noted that the peso’s and stock market’s decline on Friday were well within the normal range of trading activity and was way different from the reaction in the 1989 attempted coup d’état.

He said the bloody coup attempt in 1989 cost the country a 2.2 percentage loss in economic growth, P120 billion in business activity and P12 billion in tax revenues.

“The markets gave a good, encouraging sign that everything was back to normal,” Favila said.

He said, however, that the economic team had “no debate” with the security cluster on the law and order situation because the latter might have more information than it had disclosed to the public.

He said a majority of businessmen reacted positively to the declaration of a state of emergency although there were some who complained that it was rushed and the public had been kept in the dark about its justification.

“If there was no concrete action taken, the market could have taken a tailspin and that would have been worse,” Favila said.


But one of the country’s biggest business groups blasted Ms Arroyo’s declaration of a state of national emergency as contrary to the national interest and an “overreaction to events.”

The Makati Business Club (MBC) said PP 1017 was issued amid Malacañang’s insistence that the situation was under control.

“Just as we urge the government to immediately revoke PP 1017, we also urge the Armed Forces to continue upholding the Constitution,” the MBC said in a statement. “Instead of preserving democracy, the proclamation threatens people’s rights and freedoms reminiscent of martial law.”

“The warrantless arrests, warnings and threats against media appear to be early indicators of a crackdown against voices of dissent,” it said.

“The core problem lies in the lack of transparency and accountability of our political leaders (and) our sad state of affairs is the cumulative effect of controversy and cover-up, which include the 2004 elections, ‘Hello Garci’ tapes and the still unreleased Mayuga Report on military involvement in the elections,” the group said.

The MBC, along with the Financial Executives of the Philippines and various civil society groups, called for Ms Arroyo’s resignation in July last year when 10 Cabinet secretaries and high-ranking Malacañang officials demanded the same.

Guillermo Luz, the group’s executive director, maintained that the MBC had not changed its position and believed that the social unrest was the result of the unresolved controversies. With a report from Ronnel W. Domingo

Party-list solon nabbed; 4 more in House custody


Arroyo cracks down on Left, Right foes
First posted 00:32am (Mla time) Feb 28, 2006
By Michael Lim Ubac, Luige del Puerto

SHRUGGING OFF threats of arrest, four leftist lawmakers strode into the halls of Congress yesterday and declared that it was an honor to be on President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s “enemies list.”

Spurred by Ms Arroyo’s proclamation of a state of national emergency on Friday, police also placed under house arrest Chief Superintendent Marcelino Franco, the sacked chief of the Special Action Force, and put three other police officers under “restrictive custody.”

The lawmakers were among 16 people against whom police had filed charges of rebellion in connection with their alleged involvement in a plot to overthrow Ms Arroyo.

Police did not arrest the militant legislators, but after negotiating with Speaker Jose de Venecia, they agreed that the top House leader would have custody of them within the confines of the Batasang Pambansa.

The arrangement would last pending the outcome of a formal investigation of the charges of rebellion and coup d’état filed against them.

Half a dozen policemen were around when party-list Representatives Satur Ocampo and Teodoro Casiño of Bayan Muna, Rafael Mariano of Anakpawis and Lisa Maza of Gabriela showed up to attend the session.

Another party-list congressman, Joel Virador of Bayan Muna, was not as lucky. He was at the Philippine Airlines ticketing office in Davao City when police agents grabbed and handcuffed him after he resisted arrest.

De Venecia said the lawmakers would be “under detention and custody of the House sergeant at arms and PNP security force here in the House. So they will be under detention. No one is above the law.”

A sixth congressman, Crispin Beltran of Anakpawis, was arrested over the weekend.

Stepping up their campaign to purge alleged coup plotters, police also filed with Department of Justice prosecutors a complaint of rebellion and insurrection against about 50 leftist leaders, including Communist Party founder Jose Maria Sison and National Democratic Front leader Luis Jalandoni. Both Sison and Jalandoni live in self-exile in the Netherlands.

Cojuangco, Saycon

At the same time, Malacañang ordered authorities to investigate former Tarlac Representative Jose “Peping” Cojuangco and political strategist Pastor “Boy” Saycon also for supposed involvement in the plot to oust Ms Arroyo.

Cojuangco and Saycon denied the allegations.

De Venecia told reporters the accused lawmakers would be under his “detention and custody” for the time being.

Except for cases penalized by more than six years’ imprisonment, the Constitution bars the arrest of members of Congress while the legislature is in session.

A defiant Ocampo said he and his five House colleagues did not violate any laws.

He said he and his colleagues were attending the session to maintain the “integrity of our position as House members doing our sacred duty.”

“We don’t accept the legitimacy of the proclamation, and the ensuing crackdown on critics of the government,” Ocampo told reporters before entering the session hall.

Casiño said it was a “badge of honor to be considered an enemy” of the Arroyo administration.

Arroyo tool

Mariano said the arrest orders were issued upon the behest of an “illegitimate President.” He said Proclamation No. 1017 imposing a state of national emergency was the “tool of Ms Arroyo to stay in power.”

Mariano warned the proclamation would “hasten her downfall.”

It was Maza who arrived first at 3:20 p.m., followed by Casiño, then Mariano, as about 80 supporters in the Congress lobby chanted, “No to martial law!” and “Never again to martial law!”

Ocampo arrived last, accompanied by House Minority Leader Francis Escudero, Majority Leader Prospero Nograles and Assistant Majority Leader Art Defensor.

Demonstration in Congress

The three congressional leaders fetched Ocampo from the University of the Philippines in nearby Diliman.

Supporters and staff of the militant lawmakers sang “Bayan Ko” while waving posters reading: “No to Marcosian 1017,” “Marcos Noon, Gloria Ngayon” and “Uphold Civil Liberties.”

A commotion occurred when House security personnel tried to disperse them after the militant lawmakers entered the session hall. Soon, the demonstrators dispersed voluntarily.

Franco and three other police officers were placed under restriction following reports that they had tried to recruit police colleagues to join protesters during Friday’s rally to commemorate the 1986 People Power Revolution, according to PNP Director General Arturo Lomibao.

Breach in chain of command

Lomibao’s admission was the first clear indication of the seriousness of reports about a breach in the chain of command in the PNP.

The SAF is the most seasoned and most heavily armed police unit.

Lomibao said the three other officers -- Senior Superintendent Benjamin Magalong, Chief Inspector Ericson Dilag and Inspector Ryan Paloma -- “are now under my restrictive custody in Camp Crame.”

He said the officers were “not entirely under detention” but they would be restricted to camp and would have escorts.

Only Representative Beltran and 1st Lieutenant Lawrence San Juan, a key official of the Magdalo group, were presented by the police to a panel of public prosecutors at yesterday’s inquest at the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group office in Camp Crame.

‘This is farcical’

Beltran was defiant, raising his fists and crying out that the government was making a “fool of us all.”

“I am questioning the legitimacy of this proceeding,” declared human rights lawyer Romeo Capulong. “This is farcical. This is scripted.”

Besides San Juan and Beltran, among those charged by police for the crimes of rebellion and coup d’état on Friday were Ocampo, Virador, Casiño, Mariano, Maza, lawyer Christopher Belmonte, ex-Senator Gregorio Honasan, retired Colonel Jake Malajacan, retired Captain Felix Turingan, First Lieutenants Angelbert Gay and Patricio Bumidang of the Magdalo, Sison and a person with an alias.

Their cases were entirely different from those filed against some 50 leftist personalities in the DoJ.

At one point during the inquest, Beltran said: “Kalokohan ito (This is foolishness).” He demanded to be returned to his detention quarters.

“We will not allow you to leave,” State Prosecutor Emmanuel Velasco shot back and ordered the police to hold Beltran, who was visibly getting angrier by the minute.

Velasco reasoned that the charges had yet to be proven and his team had yet to study the evidence against them.

Meeting in Cojuangco home

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita confirmed that the Department of the Interior and Local Government had been ordered to invite Cojuangco and Saycon for questioning.

The order was spurred by an article in the international weekly newsmagazine Time which said that one of its reporters had witnessed a meeting at Cojuangco’s home on the night before a supposed coup attempt against Ms Arroyo was supposed to have been launched.

At the meeting, the Time reporter said that Saycon spoke with someone identified as “Lim” on the phone about an alleged plot by a faction of the military.

The military later sacked Scout Rangers commander Brigadier General Danilo Lim for alleged involvement in the plan of some military units to declare their withdrawal of support from Ms Arroyo.

Cojuangco and Saycon denied that they helped Lim plot the ouster of Ms Arroyo last week.

What it was about

Cojuangco confirmed that there was a meeting at his house on Thursday night, but it was about finalizing the plans for the EDSA 1 anniversary celebration. Saycon attended the meeting as a member of the EDSA Commission.

According to Cojuangco, rumors of a coup circulated that night, and soon people were calling them to ask if this was true.

He said “people” also started arriving. At the meeting, Saycon gave a briefing on the current situation, he said.

Cojuangco maintained that the conversation with Lim was about the military plan to join a people’s march on EDSA (Epifanio delos Santos Avenue) on Friday morning.

“Would you invite the press if you were plotting something?” Cojuangco said.

Saycon and Cojuangco were among the founders of the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi), the political party founded in 1996 as a vehicle for Ms Arroyo’s presidential bid in 1998. But Saycon and Conjuangco were eased out of Ms Arroyo’s inner circle due to disagreements arising from campaign funds and other issues.

Cojuangco is the president of the Philippine Olympic Committee. With reports from Armand N. Nocum and Jerome Aning; and Rolando Pinsoy, PDI Mindanao Bureau


Talaan ng mga inirerekomenda ng Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management ng Philippine National Police na arestuhin ng Department of Justice sa bisa ng Proklamasyon 1017:
1. Jose Maria Sison
2. Luis Jalandoni
3. mag-asawang Benito at Wilma Tiamzon
4. Rafael Mariano
5. Satur Ocampo
6. Crispin Beltran
7. Teodoro Casino
8. Liza Maza
9. Joel Virador
10. Gregorio Rosal, AKA "Ka Roger"
11. Tirso Alcantara
12. Benjamin Mendoza
13. Vic Ladlad
14. Nathaniel Santiago
15. Sotero Llamas
16. Julio Atienza
17. Edilberto Escudero
18. Rosemarie Domanais
19. Rogelio Villanueva
20. Leo Velasco
21. Rafael Baylosis
22. Prudencio Calubid
23. Philip Limjoco
24. Julius Giron
25. Allan Jasminez
26. Antonio Cabanatan
27. Fidel Agcaoili
28. Edilberto Silva
29. Maria Concepcion Araneta Bocala
30. Jorge Madlos
31. Eugenia Topacio
32. Francisco Fernandez
33. Carlos Borjal
34. Elizabeth Principe
35. Juliet Sison
36. Randal Echaniz
37. Rey Claro Casambre
38. Edwin Recto
39. Tita Lubi
40. Andias Guadania
41. Mike Gamara
42. @ Ka Selvio
43. @ Kim
44. @ Tasio
45. @ Randy
46. @ Rosa/Lisa/Isid
47. @ Novo
48. @ Elva
49. @ Rose
50. Iba pa na kabilang sa talaan ng JASIG na binigay ng Joint Monitoring Committee
51. Iba pang John at Jane Does na pawang mga miyembro diumano ng CPP/NPA/NDF

Light a candle against tyranny

*Light a candle against tyranny*
*Nationwide youth action vs. 1017 set on Ash Wednesday *

* *

The militant youth group Anakbayan and other organizations under Youth DARE (Youth Demanding Arroyo's Removal) today announced a nationwide youth action in defiance of PD 1017.

Youths and students are urged to converge in churches and chapels on March 1, Ash Wednesday, and light a candle against the tyrannical and Marcosian decree.

"Let our candles shine the beam of unity and enlightenment to all our fellow youth and countrymen. Now is not the time to be cowed but to concert all our efforts and take action against the return of the dark Martial Law years," said Eleanor de Guzman, Anakbayan national chairperson.

She also urged all peace-loving and pro-democracy students to start wearing black to school as a sign of defiance against PD 1017.

"The youth are not afraid but they are fast losing patience with this administration. Instead of quelling dissent, expect more protests from the youth. We refuse to be cowed by this act of desperation. Mrs. Arroyo has just given the youth more reason to hasten her ouster. She has just sealed her sorry fate by declaring war against democracy and freedom of expression," she said.

*Fortress of democracy for youth's heroes*

She also expressed strong condemnation against the warrantless arrest of Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran and reports of impending arrests today of Reps. Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza.

"The youth will guard them if necessary. We will not allow them to arrest our heroes. We have long ago taken cue from them in their lifelong fight for democracy and social justice. If Mrs. Arroyo has battalions of armed men surrounding her, we will build a fortress of democracy to guard our dearest parents and mentors. To arrest them, they will have to get through us first," warned de Guzman. ###


So what's next?

So what's next? mga tanong na madalas itanong sa atin tulad ng......

.... sinong ipapalit kay Gloria dahil walang lumilitaw na single leader,

.....paano bubuin ang isang grupong narun ang mga representatives ng mga nakikibaka para patalsikin si Gloria

.....paano kung tumagal pa si Gloria sa puwesto dahil na rin nga gumagamit ito ng preemptive violence laban sa sambayanan. atb .....

Basahin ang sumusunod na statement.

Press Statement
27 February 2006


By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant
National Democratic Front of the Philippines

It is interesting to consider some problems in the broad united front and mass movement to oust the Arroyo regime and try to solve them. These problems are already well known to the public. It has become commonplace for people to ask questions revolving around the main question of why the ouster of the Arroyo cannot be accomplished quickly in a legal and nonviolent way.

1. The problem of ensuring the legal and nonviolent ouster of Arroyo from power in view of her determination to use violence against the people and the military and police officers who are against her fraudulently acquired presidency.

Solution: There is no other way to ensure the legal and non-violent ouster of the Arroyo regime but for the broad united front of patriotic, progressive and anti-Arroyo forces (coalitions, political parties and mass organizations) to muster its own organized following and mobilize the broad masses of the people to assert their sovereign will, exercise their democratic rights and encourage the military and forces of the reactionary government to side with the people and withdraw support from the regime.

The Filipino people have gained rich experience in overcoming the violence posed by the previous regimes of Marcos and Estrada by employing the policy of broad united front, which is open to the participation of civilian and military officials and personnel of the reactionary government in the movement to oust an incumbent ruling clique.

The broad masses of the people have long hated the Arroyo regime for electoral fraud, corruption, subservience to foreign interests, extreme conditions of exploitation and rampant human rights violations. The Arroyo regime is now far more isolated and far weaker than the Marcos fascist regime in the years of 1983 to 1986 or the Estrada regime from 1999 to 2001.

It has made the fatal mistake of inflicting the tyrannical Proclamation 1017 on the people and threatening them with fascist dictatorship under conditions of economic, political and moral bankruptcy. However, it believes that it can get US support for its escalating use of violence and its prolongation in power in exchange for charter change that seeks to embody the anti-national and anti-democratic dictates of US imperialism.

The political situation is combustible. All that is needed is for the organized forces of the broad united front to do their best in mustering their strength and mobilizing the people to exercise their right to speak and assemble and work for the ouster of the regime. The objective conditions for ousting the regime are exceedingly favorable. It is all a matter of the subjective forces strengthening themselves and rallying the people in their millions on a nationwide scale.

2. The problem of varied platforms or programs of the varied coalitions, political parties and mass organizations in the broad united front.

Solution: The varied forces in the broad united front can unite on a concise one-page platform or program containing the most important basic points that they can agree on.. Such platform or program can include the following points:

a. Replacement of the illegitimate and immoral Arroyo regime due to the commission of electoral fraud, plunder, treason, human rights violations and other grave crimes against the people.

b. Upholding of civilian supremacy and civil liberties and nullification of Proclamation 1017 and all its oppressive consequences.

c. Defend national sovereignty and independence and protect the national patrimony.

d. Carry out genuine land reform and national industrialization and generate employment and livelihood for the people.

e. Promote a patriotic, democratic and scientific culture among the youth and entire people

f. Undertake an independent foreign policy for peace and development and develop closest relations with neighboring countries.

g. Pursue the peace negotiations with the NDFP and MILF and achieve just and lasting peace by addressing the roots of the armed conflict.

h. Drawing up a new democratic constitution and holding elections within a year after the ouster of the Arroyo regime.

3. The problem of having no single leader to replace Arroyo and the related problem of forming the appropriate bodies for accommodating the representatives of all major forces (coalitions, political parties and mass organizations) contributing significantly to the movement to oust Arroyo.

Solution: Apparently having no single leader to replace Arroyo is not really a problem. The important thing is having a concise program on which to unite and having certain bodies which shall eventually be used for choosing the principal leader among so many leaders. The following bodies can be formed:

a. The Transition Council (any similar name to suggest its revolutionary, patriotic or democratic character will do) is the highest policy-making body and it elects its Executive Committee. It includes the representatives of all major coalitions, political parties, mass organizations and groups of retired military and police officers. It may be as large as 100 to 200.

b. The Executive Committee carries out the policies and tasks decided by the Transition Council. It directs the work of various subcommittees focused on certain tasks, including development of the program, reorganization of government, and so on. It is the provisional cabinet. It may have 15 to 30 members.

c. Roundtable Council of Advisors to include former presidents and other senior personages.

d. Unified Command to include representatives of major groups of retired and active military and police officers. It can surface fully after the ouster of the Arroyo regime.

4. What are the consequences of delay in the ousting of the Arroyo regime, particularly because such delay is due to the regime's use of preemptive violence against the people, the opposition parties, mass organizations and even against military and police officers suspected of being against the regime?

a. The anti-Arroyo military and police officers and personnel might ultimately undertake forcible preemptive actions to oust the regime (in concert with the growing mass protests and clamor for the ouster of the regime) because in the first place the Arroyo regime uses violence to prolong itself in power.

b. The crisis of the ruling system will become deeper and graver. The prospect of revolutionary change grows brighter as the broad masses of the people are outraged by the prolonged reign of terror and greed and they demand revolutionary change. The armed revolutionary movement will continue to flourish and win political and military victories in the countryside.

c. The regime is preoccupied with trying to survive in the national capital region. It is drawing the military and police forces to guard the regime and its facilities in the cities and trunklines. It is thereby thinning out these forces in the countryside. Under these circumstances, the people's army can take more initiative in launching tactical offensives and thus grow in strength and advance.

5. After the ouster of the Arroyo regime, will not the pro-US Right prevail in a new regime and, together with their pseudo-progressive hangers on, try to exclude from the government the patriotic and progressive legal forces and even deny the role of the national democratic movement in the ouster of Arroyo, as in the previous ousters of Marcos and Estrada?

It is highly probable that the pro-US Right would still prevail and would hire pseudo-progressives to keep on denigrating the national democratic movement. That is because the bureaucratic and military machinery of the reactionary government remains intact despite the ouster of the ultra-Right and fascist Arroyo ruling clique and also despite the emergence of a progressive movement among the civilian and military personnel of the reactionary government. Nevertheless, we must recognize the unprecedentedly new phenomena in the ever developing situation.

The chronic crisis of the ruling system has reached such a point that the intrasystemic anti-Arroyo forces, civilian and military, need to cooperate more conspicuously than ever before with the national democratic movement in ousting the Arroyo regime and to engage the legal patriotic and progressive forces in a new government if their objective is to have some relative stability at least for a while.

The process of ousting the ultra-Right and fascist Arroyo regime is strengthening both the legal and revolutionary forces of the national democratic movement. At the same time, the revolutionary forces have openly manifested interest in negotiations with the post-Arroyo government for a just and lasting peace by addressing the roots of the armed conflict.

However, if the reactionary government under a new ruling clique chooses to further pursue the armed counterrevolution, the revolutionary forces of the people are obviously prepared to further advance the armed revolution against ruling system that is acutely crisis-stricken and is clearly in a state of decomposition. ###

Senate condemns illegal acts under Proclamation 1017

News Release Refer: Lyn Eyana (0916-7068148)
February 27, 2006

Senate condemns illegal acts under Proclamation 1017

The alleged illegal acts and excesses committed by government forces
such as the warrantless arrest of political opponents of President
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, including a member of the House of
Representatives, and the police takeover on the Daily Tribune
newspaper were condemned in a resolution introduced in the Senate
this afternoon.

In a resolution principally authored by Liberal Party leaders Senate
President Franklin Drilon, Majority Leader Francis Pangilinan,
Senators Mar Roxas, Rodolfo Biazon as well as independent Sen. Pia
Cayetano, the Senate condemned the "raid and exercise of control
over print media, the warrantless arrest of several citizens
including a member of the House of Representatives, and other
similar acts carried out by the government pursuant to Proclamation
No. 1017 issued by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo."

Drilon said several other senators, including those from the
majority and the minority, have signified their intention to co-
sponsor the resolution.

"During these difficult and uncertain times, we must prevent the
weakening of our democratic institutions and protect civil liberties
as the cornerstone of our democracy," Drilon said.

The Senate President explained that as "the elected representatives
of the people, senators can not stand idle while overzealous
functionaries of President Arroyo trample upon the bill of rights of
our people under the guise of a real or an imagined national

In the resolution, the senators claimed that "these acts carried out
by the government pursuant to Proclamation No. 1017 on its face
contravene the fundamental guarantees of the Constitution
particularly the basic civil liberties enshrined therein and deserve
outright condemnation."

"Despite Malaca�ang's claim that Proclamation No. 1017 was a mere
statement of fact, alarming acts have been carried out pursuant to
said Proclamation, including: (1) all scheduled rallies, with or
without permit, were cancelled; (2) some protesters, including UP
Professor Randy David and Akbayan President Ronald Llamas, were
apprehended for inciting to sedition and violation of the Public
Assembly Act; (3) the National Telecommunications called a meeting
of the members of the Kapisanan ng mga Broadcasters sa Pilipinas
(KBP) and discussed the possible revocation of franchise or take-
over of media companies that engage in biased reporting or
publication of matters affecting national security; (4) a 6:00 p.m.
curfew was imposed on the press corps of Malaca�ang; (5) one major
newspaper, The Daily Tribune, was raided and other major dailies
were placed under surveillance; and (6) Party-List Congressman
Crispin Beltran was arrested based on a warrant of arrest issued
during Martial law, while other lawmakers are under threat of
arrest; (7) attempted arrest of Bayan Muna partylist Representative
Satur Ocampo; (8) retired Police Major General Ramon Montano was
likewise arrested while other lawmakers and opposition leaders are
under threat of arrest," the resolution said.

The resolution noted that on February 24, "even before the issuance
of Proclamation No. 1017, officials of Malaca�ang categorically
declared on national television that an attempt to overthrow the
government has been successfully quelled and restrained."

The resolution cited that Article VI, Section 23 of the 1987
Constitution, "allows the Congress to authorize, by law, the
President to exercise certain powers during times of national
emergency, for a limited period and subject to restrictions set by

"In accordance with Philippine constitutional practice and
precedents, the declaration of a state of national emergency does
not in any way suspend the Constitution and does not limit the civil
liberties, basic human rights, freedom of the press and other
fundamental rights enshrined therein," it added.

The resolution also noted that Congress, as a separate and
independent body, "has a constitutionally mandated duty to ensure
that the demarcation defining the powers of the three branches of
government are maintained and ensure, as part of the democratic
checks and balance, that the acts of any other branch do not

The resolution noted that President Arroyo's declaration of a State
of National Emergency under Proclamation No. 1017 "was a statement
of fact and does not entail the President's exercise of additional

"Pursuant to Proclamation No. 1017, the President issued General
Order No. 5 calling "upon the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to prevent and suppress
lawless violence in the country" and directing "the Chief of Staff
of the AFP and Chief of the PNP to prevent and suppress acts of
terrorism and lawless violence in the country," the resolution said.

"The directive issued under General Order No. 5 gives the Armed
Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine national Police
(PNP) and the PNP unbridled and broad discretion to carry out the
supposed policy of Proclamation No. 1017, possibly opening boundless
opportunities for abuse and violation of fundamental human rights,"
the Senate resolution pointed out.

Congressman Beltran walks out of inquest proceedings

This story was taken from www.inq7.net

Congressman Beltran walks out of inquest proceedings
First posted 01:20pm (Mla time) Feb 27, 2006
By Joel Francis Guinto, Luigi del Puerto
INQ7.net, Inquirer

(UPDATE) A DEFIANT partylist lawmaker Crispin Beltran refused to recognize the inquest proceedings he was being subjected to over rebellion and coup d'etat charges and walked out of the proceedings in Camp Crame Monday.

"This is foolishness. This is not an inquest, charge me with contempt," Beltran shouted, as he raised a clenched fist in defiance of the proceedings conducted by justice department prosecutors.

Several policemen tried to placate Beltran, who alongside his lawyer Romeo Capulong, refused to take their seats.

This compelled Senior State Prosecutor Emmanuel Velasco to submit the case for resolution.

Capulong denounced the inquest proceedings as a "mockery of justice," and dismissed it as a "farcical script of Malaca�ang."

Beltran and several other personalities were charged on Monday by the police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of rebellion and coup d' etat.

Beltran, arrested based on a 22-year-old arrest warrant, was charged Monday with rebellion and coup d' etat.

The inquest was conducted following the filing of charges.

Beltran was arrested in Bulacan by CIDG operatives last Saturday. Upon arrival in Camp Crame, he was shown a 1985 warrant of arrest issued during the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos.

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

Bayan Muna solon arrested without warrant in Davao

February 27, 2006

National (as of 3:34 PM)

Bayan Muna solon arrested in Davao

Police arrested another congressman Monday, three days after the
declaration of emergency rule in the country.

Initial DZMM reports said Bayan Muna Rep. Joel Virador was arrested by
operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of
the Philippine National Police inside his home in Davao City.

The arrest came a few hours after the Department of Justice filed coup
d'etat and rebellion charges against him and 15 other persons.

Before his arrest, Virador scored the charges as a form of curtailment
of the right to free speech.

Police earlier arrested Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran and former
police officer Ramon Monta�o on Saturday.

Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo said he will attend Monday's session at
the lower chamber despite the possible threat of arrest. Police failed
to arrest Ocampo and fellow Bayan Muna representative Rafael Mariano
at a news forum in Quezon City last Saturday.


Samahan ng Nagtataguyod ng Agham at Teknolohiya para sa Sambayanan
132 B Matahimik St., Teacher's Village QC
info at agham.org

*No to Proclamation 1107! Never again to Martial Law!*

AGHAM, a group of activist scientists strongly condemns the declaration of State of Emergency, giving the beleaguered Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo the power to arrest civilians without warrants, to takeover public utilities such as the media and banning all kinds of public assembly.

We vehemently denounce such action that curtails the civil liberties of the people that we have long been defending. The insecure regime of Macapagal-Arroyo has resorted to manipulation and use of force to cling into power and a position that does not belong to her in the first place. The irony is not lost to us and the thousands of Filipinos who fought for our rights and freedom during the First EDSA People Power that these same rights and freedom are now threatened by Arroyo's State of Emergency declaration.

We clearly see through the series of illegal arrests and raids that followed after Proclamation 1017 that Gloria Arroyo is out to silence all critics of her anti-Filipino policies. We will not be surprised anymore that the same act will be done to any one within the ranks of progressive and patriotic scientists who ever since exposed and opposed the policies of her administration that undermines the interests of the Filipino people like the Mining Act, Oil Deregulation Law, EPIRA, and RVAT among others. We can not allow that to happen.

We believe that the longer her administration stays in power the greater is the risk to civil liberties not only of scientists but of all Filipinos in general. That is why we reiterate our call for her tostep down and get out of Malacanang. If she won't, we vow to do all we can to amplify the movement to oust her.

We are calling upon all freedom-loving Filipinos, especially among the scientists to once again rise up to the challenge and defend our rights and our civil liberties. Let your voices be heard!###

Dr. Giovanni Tapang
National Chairperson

Show Us Edsa --Diokno

Show Us Edsa

On July 2 last year, the Jose W. Diokno Foundation called on Mrs.
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to step down from office. Today, on the 84th
birth anniversary of Pepe, we no longer address Mrs. Arroyo, who heeds
no one but herself and her coterie of advisers, and needs Proclamation
1017 to prop up her flagging government. We prefer to address our
people, whom Pepe so loved and with whom he struggled for a better

On the matter of leadership, we say: Out of 80 million Filipinos, Mrs.
Arroyo is not the best we can produce. She does not even come close to
the best. But Mrs. Arroyo's display of arrogance is not what disturbs
us, though I must admit it is irksome. It is, rather, the implicit
assertion that we deserve her kind of leadership�for our people do
not�and that there is no alternative to her, when there are. Remember
that martial law lasted as long as it did in part because some
accepted the notion of a so-called 'lesser evil'.

We who have asked Mrs. Arroyo to resign from office are often
criticized for being disunited. So let us examine the sources of our
disunity. Clearly there is an element of distrust, that some in the
political opposition are out for their own ends just as some among
organized groups are perceived to have their own agenda. Suppose we
accept this to be a fact of our present political life. Is it
nonetheless possible for us to come together on the basis of certain
principles? I believe it is.

For example, we all want our elections cleansed of corrupt election
officials, cheating and other corrupt practices. We desire an
electoral process and system that will bring out new, good leaders who
have a fair chance of winning.

We do not want the constitution changed at any and all cost, in the
manner that Mrs. Arroyo and Speaker de Venecia know best. They make no
effort at subtlety in their attempt to subvert elections and remain in
power in the name of constitutional change.

Most of all, we reject the social inequity that our political system
feeds on. Using the poverty of the people against the people is the
worst, most painful crime of all.

So what is to be done? First and most immediate, we must not surrender
our civil liberties. Sometimes I think that martial law was effective
because it didn't hurt enough people; the dictatorship selected its
targets skillfully and then isolated these targets from the public
view. A false sense of comfort thus resulted. Let us not allow
ourselves to be fooled again. One act of suppression, if unopposed,
makes possible other acts of suppression.

Second, let us seriously work out the bases of our unity and agree
that we cannot have all that we want now. This is a difficult task�I
know how hard Pepe worked to bring the opposition together during
martial law. But try and try again we must.

In all this I ask that we think of our youth and consciously cultivate
young leaders. We widows and veterans of martial law have reached the
pre-departure area; our knees do not allow us to line the streets and
march in protest. This is not just a world we are about to leave, but
one we will bequeath to our children, grandchildren and, in my case,
great grandchildren. Listen to 17-year old Jose Miguel Bermudez, a
freshman studying in Las Pinas, who wrote in the Inquirer's 'Young
Blood' column. "Everyday of my life," he says, "my teachers and my
parents admonish me to shape up. I think it is now my generation's
turn to tell my parents and those who run this country that it is time
for them to shape up. They are being selfish and myopic when they
complain about the inconvenience and disruption caused by people
protesting against lying, cheating and stealing. They would rather go
about their regular business even if that means leaving many
fundamental and moral issues unresolved." Talking about how these
issues will haunt the next generation, Jose Miguel asks: "Guess who
will be left to deal with this ghost when it returns? Guess who will
be left to deal with the ugly litter of an irresponsible and apathetic
generation that would trade their children's future for short-term
convenience?" (7 February 2006)

My own grandson, Jose Lorenzo�we call him Pepe for short, who was born
a little over a year after Edsa, wrote in yesterday's Inquirer: "We
relegate Edsa to these four days, we remember Edsa only when we feel
the need to and we kill Edsa�. It makes me angry that the revolution
to most of us has become a set of dates and actions that little
children memorize for Sibika. And I'm angry that most of what we've
read so far is about the events that transpired, and the generals and
politicians 'who made Edsa happen'. Edsa is not about them. Edsa is
also more than the people who were there. It's even more than the
leaders it ousted." My other Pepe ends with a request: "I'd like to
ask a favor from you who were lucky enough to have felt the joy of
revolution. Don't tell us about it. Show us Edsa. A lot of us don't
even know what it looks like."

So we who know, must show Edsa. But in this process of showing, I
advise our youth: do not be passive onlookers. Your job, like that of
my generation that is about to pass, is to constantly improve upon
what is shown and to never give up. This was Pepe's dream of a nation
truly for our children, and it remains ours.

Carmen I. Diokno

La Salle Greenhills
26 February 2006

Proclamation 1017 creates a 'chilling effect'

Vol. 1 Issue No. 107 | Monday | February 27, 2006

"Proclamation 1017 creates a 'chilling effect'-and that may be its
intended purpose"

Maria Ressa
ABS-CBN vice president for news and public affairs

THE mass media entities were the first to bear the brunt of
Proclamation 1017 and its General Order No. 5, leading not a few to
wonder aloud why, if there was indeed a "right-left conspiracy" to
violently overthrow the Arroyo government, why aren't any of the
supposed rebel officers being taken in, with the exception of Scout
Ranger chief Gen. Danilo Lim? While Ferdinand Marcos quickly trotted
out before the world several rebel officers allegedly caught in a
failed coup against him just before Edsa 1 erupted, President Arroyo's
men have so far only managed to detain Lim in quarters, subsequently
arrested former police general Ramon Monta�o; then used old cases
against two supposed conspirators-party-list Rep. Crispin Beltran and
former senator Gregorio Honasan.

The government justified the crackdown on media thusly: the media has
been a tool, continues to be a tool, of destabilizers. Who these
enemies of the state are, it isn't clear-so why are the journalists
who cover them first on the firing line, as witness the raid on the
Daily Tribune newspaper and the National Police's warning it will take
over others that don't follow "government standards."

For a clearer insight on how news executives view the media's role,
rights and relationship with the State in this crisis, BusinessMirror
correspondent Honey Madrilejos-Reyes interviewed Maria Ressa, ABS-CBN
vice president for news and public affairs, and former CNN bureau
chief in Jakarta .

What are the broad implications of the proclamation for the mass
media? Its implications on freedom of speech, which is the highest
value in the bill of rights/democracy?

First, the media are included as one of the reasons for Proclamation
1017: "Whereas, the claims of these elements have been recklessly
magnified by certain segments of the national media."

This means the media have already been judged. The question is by whom
and by whose standards? This was a question I posed to the National
Telecommunications Commission (NTC) last Friday when they asked us to
come in for a meeting. The response I got was that the NTC is merely
the body tasked to implement this proclamation with media. That is no
answer at all.

We repeatedly asked for guidelines and were told KBP will help develop
those points along with the NTC. That is an unsatisfactory answer
because it means the government can take action against media
organizations now without having to explain itself.

We also pointed out that foreign media will continue to report what
they see. This will create a schism between local and foreign press.
Why are we creating different standards? Why should local journalists
follow? I am also personally caught in a quandary because I continue
to report for CNN and other foreign media groups even as I head
ABS-CBN News. Does that mean I can write something for a foreign media
outfit but not put it to air here?

The NTC called for open dialogue and appealed for fair and balanced
coverage. If that is all it wants, then there is no problem and no
need for this proclamation. For ABS-CBN, being fair and balanced are
key elements of our Standards and Ethics Manual.

You cannot have freedom of the press if you curtail that freedom.
There is no middle ground. You either have a free press or you don't.

The watchdogs have become the watched. Who will now watch government?

Proclamation 1017 creates a "chilling effect"-and that may be its
intended purpose. That is why it's important that journalists define
boundaries we cannot cross and still call ourselves journalists.

We at ABS-CBN News & Current Affairs are professional journalists. We
will continue doing our jobs in line with our Standards and Ethics

How will the media now be able to report the news in its entirety,
given that a lot of what we say might be construed as "inciting to
sedition"? Could we even interview the political opposition?

I think it's even more important to interview as many sectors of
society as possible.

As journalists, we need to be more vigilant during times of national
crisis. But those times are also when public demand for accurate,
timely information increases. We aim to fill that demand. We at
ABS-CBN will not censor our reports.

What are the checks that we have at our disposal?

As the proclamation stands right now, the power is all on the
government side with little accountability. What do we have on our
side? Truth and justice-those are universal ideals which cannot be

How do you see Philippine media acting under these circumstances? How
will this affect reportage?

It has already had a "chilling effect" on some, and I think we in
media are watching closely to see what will happen next.

A newspaper office (Tribune) has been raided. What if the same happens
to a broadcast entity-what will the KBP do about it?

You should ask the KBP. I think it would be a mistake for the
government to shut down any broadcast organization. The signal that
sends out would be damaging for our country both domestically and

Kindly confirm reports that there are soldiers guarding ABS-CBN.

Since this is print, I can say yes, there are soldiers guarding
ABS-CBN. But that is something I can't air on ABS-CBN nor ANC after
the NTC meeting Friday.

Having covered all the coup attempts in the past (and having been
stuck in this building in 1987 when it was PTV 4), I know it's
standard practice to send the military to guard military and broadcast
installations when there is any threat of a coup.

However, Proclamation 1017 could make me interpret this move in a new

Where does this put your organization, considering the Lopez family
and its businesses have in the past been at the receiving end of
similar treatment from the Marcos regime?

There are many rumors that ABS-CBN is a target and will be shut down.
If that happens, it's not because we are not doing our jobs as
journalists. We will take appropriate measures.

How will this affect (if any) your organization's news gathering?

It renews and further ignites my organization's sense of mission.

COPYRIGHT (c) 2005 Philippine Business Daily Mirror Publishing, Inc.

Message from Philippines Solidarity Network of Aotearoa

NZ Government Must Condemn Imposition Of State Of Emergency In Philippines

Chief Reporter

The Philippines Solidarity Network of Aotearoa calls on the New Zealand government to join us in condemning, in the strongest terms possible, the declaration of a State of Emergency by Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

This is the latest desperate move by the President to cling to power in the face of a tide of popular protest arising from the blatant electoral fraud that was used to steal the 2004 Presidential election.

It harks back to the 1972-86 reign of terror that the Philippine people endured when the murderous tyrant, Ferdinand Marcos, imposed martial law. The greatest irony is that this State of Emergency has been imposed during the 20th anniversary celebrations of Marcos' overthrow by the world famous People Power.

There are other troubling throwbacks to the Marcos dictatorship. One of the first people to be arrested on Friday was Representative Crispin Beltran, who became well-known to New Zealanders when we toured him through the country in 1999, in his capacity as a national trade union leader. He is being held on a 1985 charge i.e. one that dates from the martial law period.

In the not too distant past, New Zealand governments used to get greatly outraged when Communist countries on the other side of the world (such as Poland) sent the troops into the streets. But when it happens in our own backyard, not a peep from the Government so far.

We call on the Government to condemn this imposition of the State of Emergency. Call in the Philippine Ambassador and deliver that message in person. If necessary, withdraw our Ambassador from Manila and suspend diplomatic relations. Demand that the Sate of Emergency be revoked and that (the latest batch of political prisoners) be released immediately.

The root causes of the whole ongoing Philippine crisis are massive poverty, inequality, institutionalised State violence and corruption. There have been two simultaneous civil wars (one with Communists, the other with Muslim separatists) going on for decades. One way that New Zealand could play a constructive role in the affairs of this near neighbour is by offering our expertise in brokering peace agreements. The Philippines desperately needs peace and social justice. The last thing it needs is a reversion to a military dictatorship as a discredited and desperate President tries to cling to power. At this time of crisis, the Philippine people need all the help they can get. It's time for New Zealand to prove itself as their friend.

Murray Horton

Philippines Solidarity Network of Aotearoa
Box 2450, Christchurch, New Zealand
cafca at chch.planet.org.nz

Monday, February 27, 2006

Resist Gloria Arroyo's new fascist dictatorship

Resist Gloria Arroyo's new fascist dictatorship

Central Committee
Communist Party of the Philippines
February 26, 2006

The Communist Party of the Philippines condemns in the strongest possible terms Gloria Arroyo's "State of National Emergency". The CPP further calls on the Filipino people to resist and struggle ever more vigorously to overthrow Arroyo's new fascist dictatorship.

Gloria Arroyo has long been using state violence against those protesting its antinational, anti-democratic and antipeople policies and acts as well as its illegitimacy, compounded lies and abject rottenness. She has bared her fascist fangs.

Martial law has long been in the making under the Arroyo regime. It has carried out a litany of fascist policies and acts including the "no permit, no rally" policy, "calibrated preemptive response," Executive Order 464, systematic killings of activists and leaders of the anti-Arroyo protest movement, massive military operations and abuses targetting civilians in many parts of the country, surveillance on leaders of the opposition and democratic mass movement, and the like.

It has long desired to officially declare some form of martial law. It has made a number of attempts in the last several months to impose a fascist dictatorship. Widespread vehement protests, however, frustrated its attempt in October 2005 to take advantage of the increasing crisis brought about by rising oil prices and officially declare a "State of National Emergency" through draft Executive Order 467.

Akin to Marcos's Presidential Proclamation 1081 declaring martial law, Arroyo has issued her own Presidential Proclamation 1017 to further its repressive and fascist acts, including plans to arrest leaders and activists of democratic and progressive organizations and parties, and government, military and police officers and personnel critical of the Arroyo regime. In issuing Proclamation 1017, Arroyo has arrogated martial law powers. It is extremely ironic that exactly 20 years after the Marcos fascist dictatorship was overthrown, a new fascist dictatorship has been established by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Like Marcos, Arroyo has resorted to concocting outright lies about a purported "tactical alliance by the Left and Right (referring this time to a supposed alliance by the CPP-NPA and rebel forces within the AFP-PNP)... engaged in a concerted and systematic conspiracy to bring down the duly constituted government," a supposed rebellion codenamed "Oplan Hackle" by "misguided elements" within the AFP-PNP, all aided and abetted "by certain elements of the national media" and the like.

To justify Proclamation 1017, Malaca¤ang claimed that military and police units including their elite forces were to declare their withdrawal of support and join a scheduled protest march and rally. The commanding general of the 1st Scout Ranger Regiment, and several commanders of the Philippine Marines, PNP Special Forces and other provincial AFP-PNP units were arrested or removed from their positions and placed under tight watch.

The immediate trigger and target of Proclamation 1017 were the massive protest marches and rallies scheduled on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the EDSA people power uprising cum military rebellion against the Marcos dictatorship. Invoking Proclamation 1017, Malacanang revoked rally permits, ordered police forces to violently disperse rallyists marching towards EDSA and arrest its leaders, and restricted demonstrations in Ayala Avenue and different areas around Metro Manila. Proclamation 1017 seeks to terrorize the people and dissuade them from joining demonstrations for fear these would snowball into a mass uprising.

Proclamation 1017 also seeks to break the broad anti-Arroyo united front through sheer brute force. It has already led to the arrest of the Arroyo regime's most vocal critics. Anakpawis Congressman Crispin Beltran was arrested yesterday by police agents supposedly on the basis of a 1985 arrest warrant. Military and police operatives also tried but failed to arrest Representatives Satur Ocampo and Teodoro Casi¤o of Bayan Muna and Representative Lisa Maza of Gabriela Women's Party. Another outspoken critique of Arroyo, former constabulary chief Ramon Monta¤o, was likewise arrested together with former police general Rex Piad. Former senator and Reform the Armed Forces leader Col. Gringo Honasan and several other former military and police officers were also issued arrest warrants. At least 100 have already been arrested since Friday. There is a list of at least 200 military, police and civilian "destabilizers" that the Arroyo regime plans to arrest.

Proclamation 1017 imposes prior restraint and threatens a clampdown on the mass media. In the early morning of February 25, the editorial office and printing house of the oppositionist Daily Tribune was raided without a warrant by police operatives supposedly looking for some documents and materials. Meeting media representatives, the National Telecommunications Commission issued a thinly veiled threat, declaring that the state could take over broadcast companies that fail to comply with new stringent policies on media reporting set by the Arroyo regime. To ensure compliance, the police has also announced the formation of a group to monitor the media.

All these moves to curtail civil liberties, suppress people's protests and crush the movement to oust the Arroyo regime are bound to fail. On the very day Arroyo issued Proclamation 1017, tens of thousands of people defied the "no rally" policy and held mass demonstrations at Ayala Avenue in Makati. Gloria Arroyo's Proclamation 1017 intensifies the Filipino people's clamor for the overthrow of her dictatorship.

As the Marcos dictatorship failed to stop protest rallies and its eventual overthrow, so will the Arroyo dictatorship fail to stop the surging nationwide protests and mass resistance. Arroyo has only succeeded in steeling the people's determination to further build up mass protests towards another people power uprising. She has only furthered unrest within the military and police forces and broadened the ranks of those determined to withdraw their support to the Arroyo regime. The Filipino people will not be coerced into submission. They are determined to continue resisting the Arroyo regime's fascist acts. They demand the end of the Arroyo regime and its replacement by a government that truly advances national freedom and democracy.

The illegitimate, puppet, corrupt, rotten and now barefacedly fascist Arroyo regime is intensely abhored by the Filipino masses as well as by a majority of the officers and men of its own armed forces and police. In establishing itself as a dictatorship, the Arroyo regime has further isolated itself.

The Party calls on all revolutionary forces to do their utmost in resisting and helping bring down the new fascist dictatorship. Even as the New People's Army (NPA) will continue to abide by the policy of not intervening in the mass protest demonstrations in Metro Manila and other urban areas, its units should launch tactical offensives that can be won against diehard pro-Arroyo and fascist units of the reactionary armed forces and, whenever the opportunity presents itself, coordinate with the anti-Arroyo and other friendly units within the AFP and PNP.

The Party and the revolutionary movement call on the democratic forces and the broad masses of the people to heighten the antifascist aspect of the struggle against the Arroyo regime. The CPP urges the military and police to defy fascist orders from their generals to suppress the people's civil liberties. Anti-Arroyo forces and other positive elements within the government's military and police who are prepared to withdraw support from the Arroyo regime are likewise asked to join and support democratic forces who persist in building the requisites for a new people power uprising.

The struggle of the revolutionary forces, anti-Arroyo elements within the military and police and the entire Filipino people against the tottering but obstinate Arroyo regime has further heightened with the emergence of barefaced fascism. The revolutionary forces and the Filipino people are ever determined and united in the struggle to bring down Gloria Arroyo's fascist dictatorship.