Please convey to Ka Bel, Ka Satur and companions, the attached stand taken by the Socialist Party of the Netherlands. The KOE, Communist Organization of Greece, the GML (Marxist-Leninist Group)/Rode Morgen (Red Morning) of the Netherlands, the support group in Norway, the MLPD of Germany, and the organizations here in the Netherlands, have come out to condemn the GMA regime and to express support for Ka Bel, Ka Satur and company and the Filipino people.
Please keep us informed how Ka Bel is and how Ka Satur and the four other parliamentarians are. Are they still being held in custody in the House of Representatives?
Warmest regards, the stand of Ka Bel and all others, and that of Elian, are inspiring.
Mr. Harry van Bommel, a prominent member of the Dutch parliament, belonging to the Socialist Party, raised questions in the parliament today regarding the political situation in the Philippines, condemning the Arroyo government�s declaration of a state of national emergency and demanding that the Dutch government protest against the arrest of Filipino parliament members, the curtailment of press freedom and the suspension of civil liberties by the Arroyo government. The following article was published by the Dutch Socialist Party in its website, www.sp.nl, on March 2, 2006.
Van Bommel: Release the Filipino Parliamentarians!
The Hague, March 2, 2006 � Harry van Bommel, Socialist Party Parliament member, posed questions to Foreign Minister Ben Bot on the situation in the Philippines. President Arroyo of that country declared a state of national emergency end of February. The reason is said to be an attempted coup d�etat from rightist and left parties. A number of low-ranking military have been arrested.
The Phlippine President has caused the arrest of two left parliamentarians, Beltran and Virador and four parliamentarians are detained in the parliament building. These are Ocampo, Maza, Mariano and Casino. In the parliament building, the members cannot be arrested by the police, but the chairman of the parliament decided to put the four left parliamentarians under his responsibility in custody. Moreover, the critical newspapers, the Daily Tribune and Abante [Forward], have been closed down.
President Arroyo stood under increasing pressure to resign since she was reelected in May 2004 with the help of dubious methods. The movement that demands her resignation declares that she has committed fraud and has in that way won the elections. Last week on Friday there would have been a big demonstration organized to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the people�s uprising against the dictator Marcos.
Van Bommel declared: �It is altogether clear that it became too hot for Arroyo that she sought a pretext to disable the opposition. A lame excuse to eliminate the opposition and to destroy the rule of law, pretending to save it. I want the Dutch government to protest against the arresting of parliament members, the curtailment of the press and the suspension of civil liberties.�
Harry van Bommel Raises Questions at the Dutch Parliament on March 2, 2006
Questions raised by Parliament Member Harry van Bommel (Socialist Party) to the Foreign Minister [Ben Bot] on the political situation in the Philippines:
What is your opinion on the political situation in the Philippines since February 24, 2006? Do you share the official analysis that there was an alliance of rightist and left parties and movements which together were supposed to perpetrate a coup d�etat to overthrow President Arroyo? If so, on the basis of which data do you arrive at that judgment? If not, what is your analysis of the situation? Are you aware of the closing down of newspapers, such as the Daily Tribune and Abante and the arrest of parliament members Beltran and Virador? Do you agree with me in the judgment that this is unacceptable in a state under the rule of law? If not, why not? (1) Do you agree with my opinion that it is unacceptable that members of the parliamentary opposition, such as Ocampo, Maza, Mariano and Casino are �taken in custody� in the parliament by the parliament chairman? If not, why not? Do you agree with my opinion that Presidential Proclamation 1017 is a serious infringement of the democratic rule of law? If yes, will you insist on the Philippine government to withdraw this proclamation? If not, why not?
Source: See website of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, www.nujp.org