Saturday, February 25, 2006

PCPR's statement on GMA's declaration of State of Emergency

Statement on GMA's Declaration of State of Emergency
February 24, 2006


Around 11:30 am today, Mrs Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared emergency powers effectively authorizing warrantless arrests, dispersal of people's assemblies and systematic suppression of the Filipino people's right to participate in collective actions that go against Arroyo's wish to stay in power. Ironically, GMA issued the proclamation on the very day that the nation commemorates the 20th year of victory of the people's collective action for the ouster of a dictator.

Moments after GMA's declaration, church people in front of the multi-sectoral rally along EDSA reported the picture of its immediate implementation: Priests, pastors, seminarians, religious sisters and lay members of Roman Catholic and Protestant congregations were water cannoned and aggressively pushed by police forces as they linked arms to maintain their peaceful assembly.

We condemn in strongest terms GMA's Proclamation 1017 which is short of formally declaring Martial rule. Let us not allow the nation to be thrown into the dark days when political activists and supporters of people's movements demanding regime change are arrested without warrant, brutally killed and forcibly disappeared; when freedom of the press is suppressed; and when all instruments of the state are directed to quell the dissent of people seeking urgent political and socio-economic reforms. In fact, even before such proclamation, GMA's record of political killings and violations of civil liberties, especially with her Calibrated Preemptive Response (CPR) scheme, is now the worst since the downfall of Marcos.

We call on the governments around the world to withdraw support to the Arroyo government which proved to be best in stealing, lying and cheating rather than governing the nation towards genuine progress and democracy.

GMA's Proclamation 1017 is grossly illegal, immoral and serves no one but the illegitimate president who refuses to heed the people's demand for her to step down. In her extreme desperation to hold on to power, GMA ordered the heads of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to implement the force of repression against all civilians, military forces and politicians perceived to be part of various movements demanding her ouster.

Contrary to GMA's speech today that the protesters are bringing down the economy and creating lawlessness, it is her corrupt administration that has aggravated the economic miseries of our people. GMA cheated her way to victory in the May 2004 elections, using public funds to secure votes in her favor and rig the election results. She has now committed another grave crime by robbing the people again of the least democratic space they could have enjoyed after the EDSA I and II uprisings.

To our friends and partners in the international community, we urge you to speak and act again in solidarity with the Filipino people in this challenging period of our life as a nation. To the members of the AFP and PNP, may you join the ranks of patriotic officers and elements who side with the people in the quest truth, justice and meaningful change.

EDSA Spirit Alive as Filipinos Unite in One Call to Oust Gloria
No permit, no rally policy defied

Today, as the nation marks the 20th year of the people's victory against the Marcos dictatorship, the EDSA spirit is very much alive as thousands of Filipinos congregate at the People Power monument in Manila as well as various protest centers nationwide with a single call: Oust Gloria Now! From 8:00 am, church people from the Roman Catholic and Protestant congregations gathered towards the People Power Monument and joined other sectors in defying the government's no permit, no rally policy.

Promotion of Church People's Response (PCPR)

For interviews:
Fr. Jerry Sabado, OCarm
PCPR Spokesperson

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