27 FEBRUARY 2006, MONDAY, RALLY: 5:30-6:30PM (Leafletting: 10:00 am -2:00 pm)
Philippine Consulate, 556 5th Ave., NYC (between 45th & 46th Sts. In Manhattan)
Directions by Subway: 4/5/6 to Grand Central OR B/D/F/V to Rockefeller Center OR 7 to 5th Ave.
For more info: firstname.lastname@example.org, 212.592.3507
GABRIELA Network Opposes De Facto Martial Law!
THE MOST ONEROUS EMERGENCY IN THE PHILIPPINES IS ITS DE FACTO PRESIDENT
In an act of collective punishment, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, still claiming the title and position of president of the Republic of the Philippines despite the general perception that she cheated at the elections, declared a “State of National Emergency through out the archipelago. The so-called state of national emergency bans all rallies and demonstrations; allows warrantless arrests; seizure of private property including media outlets; and the usurpation of civil authority by the Armed Forces of the Philippines on the say-so of the alleged president.
Even though the justification given was nebulous reports of an impending coup by some military officers, Macapagal-Arroyo chose to afflict all of the people of the 7,100 islands of the Philippines, murdering in one fell swoop their guarantees of civil liberties, freedoms and human rights. Proclamation 1017 on the state of national emergency called on the Armed Forces of the Philippines “to quell all lawlessness,” including a so-called conspiracy of the extreme Right and the Left.
By any other name, it is martial law. No Philippine president would, of course, dare undertake such a drastic grab for power without the approval of its colonial master. It is no coincidence that this comes while 5,500 US troops are in the Philippines, distributed in strategic areas from north to south of the archipelago. It is the largest number of US troops to be in the country in a decade. A meeting of perversities can thus be found in this proclamation: Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s obscene desire to cling to power and the office of the presidency, in the face of the Filipino people’s repeated and sustained calls for her ouster; the desire of certain senior military officers to wield political power and thus be able to enrich themselves; and the US intent to open new bases in a territory close to the region’s vast oil and natural gas reserves. These desires require constitutional changes so vast that, among others, they effectively remove such guarantees as freedom of the press. This meeting of political perversities can only mean a war of terror on the Filipino people.
GABRIELA Network condemns this pathetic and imitative ploy of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her ilk to set themselves up as the new Philippine dictatorship. We note how the shadow play that forms the backdrop of this so-called state of emergency -- a shadow play of explosions that injure no one; of alleged conspiracies of such disparate elements as the left and the right; of coup attempts by military officers never court-martialed for their actions – all are redolent of the stink of the dictatorship of the late Ferdinand E. Marcos. No wonder Macapagal-Arroyo was buzzing cheek-to-cheek with Imelda Marcos at a recent public event.
GABRIELA Network calls on Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to be mindful of the Filipino people’s long and historic struggle for genuine democracy and liberation; of the sacrifice that has sustained the national democratic movement for forty years; of the increasing overt truth that the socio-economic structure in the Philippines is not viable; and of the Filipino people’s repeated and sustained calls for her ouster. The fervor with which her ouster has been sought by the people should convince Macapagal-Arroyo that, as of now, the most grievous disaster to afflict the Philippines is her own self. She should step down and bring political relief to this much-beleaguered country.
GABRIELA Network condemns this handover of political power to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, elements of which have fed at the trough of US military aid for decades. GABRIELA Network calls on all men and women who believe in true democracy and liberation to join us in opposing this de facto president’s declaration of de facto martial law.
Join us in mass actions against the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo regime and against the schemes of multinational corporations to use US foreign policy to loot the resources of poor and underdeveloped nations.