- Defiance meets GMA threat of arrests.
If you ask me, I think GMA overplayed her hand in this situation. Thanks, GMA.
Anti-Arroyo forces yesterday said they have a ready answer to the President’s threat to arrest protesters holding illegal assemblies: "See you in the streets"
"The opposition will not be cowed by the biggest bully of them all – GMA. If standing up for the truth and fighting for it would mean politicking and destabilizing, I should not mind being called politician and destabilizer," Sen. Panfilo Lacson said.
Senate minority leader Aquilino Pimentel said no amount of "bullying tactics" from Malacañang would discourage the people from airing their discontent with the Arroyo presidency.
"President Arroyo is dead wrong if she thinks that she can suppress dissent against her misrule and illegitimate government by resorting to fascistic methods of curtailing the people’s constitutionally-guaranteed right to peaceful assembly," he said.
Pimentel said the order to clamp down on street protests and demonstrators only shows that Mrs. Arroyo is now feeling "extreme desperation over the incessant calls for her resignation."
"Banning rallies like that is an unmitigated exhibition of fascistic mentality that even Marcos did not do. Neither Cory, Ramos nor Estrada did it," he said. "Only a president like Gloria, who has no concern for the rights of the people, is daring to do that. She might succeed but her victory will only be momentary and pyrrhic."
Pimentel said the President’s order to break up rallies and round up protesters without permits could only be intended at "silencing her critics and curtailing all forms of dissent, in the wrong belief that this will ensure her political survival in the face of strong proof that she won the 2004 election through massive electoral fraud."
The reason why Arroyo is resorting to extreme tactics now is because it worked well before in the past, when she threatened the TV networks against airing the "Hello Garci" tapes.
Hanggang ngayon, takot pa rin ang ABS-CBN (Ch. 2) at GMA7 (ch. 7) na iparinig (with subtitles) at ipa-authenticate ang GLORIAGATE tapes sa tv stations nila. The best they can do is play bits of it on AM radio. Bakla kasi ang GMA7 at ABS-CBN eh. Hawak ni Arroyo ang dalawang tv stations sa bayag.
Additional info from the Tribune... Gloria, DILG chief all set to suspend pro-rally mayors
Malacañang is bracing for a coup d'etat sometime in October, which dovetails with the time frame in the ultimatum issued by varied groups of retired generals under a unity covenant for President Arroyo to resign.
Massive street demonstrations are reportedly being planned by opposition forces slated in October, which will reportedly have military backing. This much was admitted by the Executive Secretary yesterday.
This is also reportedly the reason the President has adopted the position of the “rule of calibrated preemptive response” to anti-Gloria rallies, a Palace insider told the Tribune, adding that in line with this new policy, local executives, namely mayors, who are identified with the opposition and known to grant rally permits to anti-Arroyo groups, are to be suspended for a period of time which could be anywhere between three to six months.
Tapped to work on the suspension of these mayors is Department of Interior and Local Governments Secretary Angelo Reyes. He has been tasked to throw all legal cases against these local executives, targetting primarily Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay.
The Palace insider admitted the President had already “coordinated” with Reyes to have Binay suspended.
And here's the Malaya's editorial:
GLORIA Arroyo had been warned. Manipulations in the House to block the impeachment complaints against her would force the opposition to bring its case to the streets. The warning was ignored. Now she’s reaping the whirlwind.
The near-daily pocket protests are punctuated by the occasional bigger rallies in Makati. The government now says these protest actions have gone too far, inconveniencing people and disrupting business. As a result, the government has decided to abandon its "maximum tolerance" policy and henceforth will disperse all "illegal assemblies" and arrest participants.
Not since the Marcos strongman rule have we heard the term "illegal assemblies" rolling off officials’ tongues.
The term "illegal assemblies" at the moment is being used, purposely we believe, by Malacañang in two different contexts. The first is legalistic. The second is political.
Gloria and principal law-and-order advocate in the Cabinet, retired general Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, say no rallies will be permitted without permits.
Fine. Local officials, the permit-issuing authorities, need enough time to plan for traffic rerouting, to advice residents to take the rallies into account in planning their activities, to prepare for ambulances in case protesters suffer exhaustion or heat stroke, etc.
But what if local authorities routinely reject applications to hold a rally or deny protesters access to historically recognized venues for the airing of grievances such Edsa, Liwasang Bonifacio, Mendiola bridge or Plaza Miranda?
The right of peaceful assembly is turned into a sham by Gloria’s local government lackeys.
Let’s go to the more insidious version of Gloria’s appeal to the rule of the law as it relates to street protests.
There is this vaguely articulated claim that the demands of street protesters should not exceed some "acceptable" boundaries, limits that have no relation to public safety, public health and respect for the rights of others.
Those who accept the impeachment verdict of the House are welcome, Gloria says. Those who do not, those who persist in going to the streets will be treated with the "full force of the law," she says.
The bottom-line of what Gloria is saying is that protests against her lying, her cheating, and her thievery will henceforth no longer be allowed.
We’re hearing murmurings of "fascism," a word that had been out circulation since the downfall of Marcos’ strongman rule. But why should we be surprised? Repression is the standard weapon of unpopular regimes in quelling disenchantment, discontent and dissent.
Gloria will do her worst to stay in power. The issue is whether the people will allow themselves to be cowed by this proto-dictator’s bullying.
Hindi naman ganito si Erap dati ah! Hindi naman siya nagbabawal ng rallies like what Arroyo is doing now.
Liberties are not absolute, says Gloria, using the iron hand approach. Henceforth, she says, since liberties have now abused and have become licentious, rallies will be banned, especially in Makati City, with her preemptive strike policy on rallies and demonstrations, which she says are meant to destabilize her government with the goal of toppling her, apart from “millions being lost by business” due to these rallies.
She has also dropped her efforts at unity and reconciliation, saying those who do not accept her olive branch will be dealt with the “rule of law” and that they have been forewarned.
So who is she scaring with her tough talk? Certainly not the political opposition or the militants. And just what rule of law is she speaking of, considering the fact that she and her elite cabal in 2001 disregarded her rule of law and grabbed power through highly unconstitutional means?
Did she and her elite Edsa II not stage rallies and demonstrations, and, as she herself had admitted in public, to oust then sitting President Joseph Estrada, a plot which she and her treacherous military and bishops, along with her elite businessmen, hatched a full year before the actual ouster of Estrada?
And she dares to even speak of adhering to the rule of law and her version of the constitutional liberties when she has been found too many times violating the Constitution and trashing the rule of law whenever it benefits her?
As for those frigging businessmen, the likes of Ronnie Concepcion and Donald Dee, why should they complain about rallies in Makati? Have they forgotten that in late 2000 and early 2001, they even staged a rally luncheon with militant peasant, labor and farmer groups, leftists and matronas, and held rallies at Edsa and elsewhere, without giving a single thought to the economy and foreign investments or even the sentiments of the majority of the people who wanted the impeachment trial to go on?
Yet now they have the gall to complain that rallies in Makati disrupt business and drive away foreign investors? Hello. It has been sometime since foreign investors held an interest in the country - long before the calls for Gloria to resign. And since when do constitutionally guaranteed liberties of the people be deemed subsumed to the interests of business?
- Impeachment ayaw pang isuko ng anti-arroyo group
SC asked to nullify junking of impeach complaints
LAWYERS from the Roque and Butuyan law firm, who helped draft the amended impeachment complaint against President Arroyo, and Cebu Rep. Clavel Martinez yesterday petitioned the Supreme Court to nullify for being unconstitutional the House of Representatives’ dismissal of the impeachment complaints last Sept. 6.
The petitioners questioned the House committee on justice’s decision to prioritize deliberations on the "prejudicial questions" on whether the three impeachment complaints filed against Arroyo were to be treated as separate complaints ahead of the determination of sufficiency in form and substance of the three complaints.
- Dahil sa sobrang corruption sa Arroyo admin, the $20-M US foreign aid to the Philippines is in peril
NEW YORK — Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo yesterday admitted the Philippines cannot avail of the $20-million funding from the United States government under the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) if Manila does not make refinements in its anti-corruption plan.
This after Washington continued to raise concerns about governance and transparency issues in the Philippines and asked the Arroyo administration to revise its programs in order for it to gain access to poverty alleviation funds under the MCA.
“If we comply with the requirements for good governance, investment, anti-corruption and all that, then we become beneficiaries. So it's up to us. It's in our hands,” Romulo, who met with Millennium Challenge Corporation officials in Washington Wednesday, stressed.