Sunday, March 12, 2006

Philippines: State of Emergency for the U.S. Empire

Philippines: State of Emergency for the U.S. Empire
by Dave Pugh

On the morning of February 24, 2006, President Gloria Arroyo issued Proclamation 1017 (PP 1017), which declared a State of Emergency throughout the Philippines. Using identical words as those of Ferdinand Marcos when he declared martial law in 1972, Arroyo ordered the armed forces to suppress "any act of insurrection or rebellion." Arroyo claimed there was an imminent danger of a coup planned by the "extreme left" and "extreme right," with the goal of setting up a "military-communist dictatorship." The Arroyo regime, with US backing, apparently believed that the bigger the lie, the more likely it would be believed.

It was no coincidence that Arroyo issued PP 1017 during the nationwide 20th anniversary celebrations of People Power 1, which resulted in the overthrow of the Marcos dictatorship in 1986. In fact, the State of Emergency, which lasted for a week, was aimed at the main forces of the Philippine left: Nationalist, democratic organizations such as BAYAN and Gabriela, six progressive congressional representatives from Bayan Muna (People First party), Gabriela Women's Party, and Anakpawis (party of workers, peasants, and urban poor), and the Maoist Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People's Army. These forces had been working to unite all political forces to bring down the Arroyo government and replace it with a transitional government composed of patriotic and democratic forces.

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