Thursday, November 29, 2007

notes on the Makati stand-off

Senator Antonio Trillanes and Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim walked out of the Makati Regional Trial Court this morning and led a herd of Magdalo soldiers and their armed guards in a march towards the Manila Peninsula Hotel.

Trillanes and Lim called on the public to support the overthrow of the Arroyo government. below was their statement issued to the media:
“Today, we address all decent Filipinos to announce that now is the time to end the sufferings and miseries inflicted upon us by the illegitimate Gloria Macapagal Arroyo government and start a new life, a new Philippines. The die is cast pursuant to our constitutional mandate as protector of the people and state.

And by these acts the officers and men of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police supported by the masses of our people and the various political forces give substance to the constitutional provisions which says the Philippines is a democratic and republican state.

Sovereign peace resides in the people and all government authority emanate from them. That we take the faithful steps of removing Mrs Arroyo from the presidency and undertake the formation of a new government.

Mrs Arroyo had occupied the presidency under a questionable mandate publicly disputed by a vast majority of Filipinos. She stole the presidency from President Estrada through unconstitutional and deceitful means and later manipulated the results of the 2004 elections to perpetuate herself in power.

some of Trillanes' supporters as well as some civil society groups trooped to Makati while this Inquirer article reports how websites responded to Trillanes and Lim's call.

Bayan (Bagong Alyansang Makabayan), on the other hand, synthesizes the national democratic movement's position on the stand-off.

i personally sympathize with Trillanes and view his groups' demands as legit. but i have no confidence whatsoever in any puschist means of instilling change in government (or Arroyo's ouster for this matter) but only via a powerful mass movement (People Power). some of the issues brought forth by Trillanes and Lim were the unresolved cases of electoral fraud (Hello Garci 1&2), corruption scandals, extra-judicial killings, economic plunder and human rights violations.

the stand-off lasted for 7 hours until military troops forcibly entered the Manila Penn by ramming an APC tank into the hotel's entrance, and only after an exchange of gunshots.

Trillanes and Lim surrendered. arrested with them were former Vice President Teofisto Guingona, former UP President Francisco nemenzo, Bishop Labayen, Father Robert Reyes, the other Magdalos and their supporters and some 50 journalists and members of the media.

a late press conference in Malacanang had DILG chief Puno announcing that the media people could be charged with 'obstruction of justice.' i was saddened to learn that former Philippine Collegian correspondents DJ Yap was among those 'arrested'. and for what? no other reason but the Arroyo administration's overkill tactics. geesh, they were only doing their jobs! some media crew were even dragged out of the hotel in handcuffs! Sen. Chiz Escudero, in a radio interview, said that the troops have the media to thank for if not for their presence there would have been bloodshed. (update: as of press time, 11 abs-cbn personnel freed)

tonyocruz here and here offers a first-hand account of the events in Makati today while he was covering the stand-off for Malaya.

another overkill: Arroyo will enact a curfew starting at 12 midnight tonight to 5:00am tomorrow. Police Chief Avelino Razon admits that the imposed curfew is meant for operations to arrest 'threat groups' -- a very similar scenario 35 years ago, before the declaration of Marcos' Martial Law.

today's events, if anything, just made the public more vigilant against repressive measures that the government may implement. tomorrow's rally spearheaded by Bayan will go on as planned. it will be peaceful (at least, from our end), and a legitimate exercise of the public's democratic demands.

view photos of the Makati stand-off at Arkibong Bayan.

gusto ko lang sabihin na naaawa ako kay VP TG. ginagawa siyang laughingstock ng Malakanyang when his greatness is more than any of them will ever achieve.

tomorrow, november 30, is Anakbayan's 9th anniversary. mabuhay! ###


At 10:06 PM, Anonymous bantay bayan said...

President Macapagal Arroyo is big shitee lier. She is the most cruel and vindictive President of the Philippines of all time. Hoy Madam Gloria Arroyo wala kang hiya!


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