Tuesday, February 28, 2006

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’├ętat 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 Malaca├▒ang’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.

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