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Arroyo “Lifts” 1017 by People’s Demand; But De Facto Martial Law Still In Practice, Protests Won’t Stop

While news of Malacanang’s so-called lifting of Presidential Proclamation 1017 has reached the United States, Filipino-Americans and U.S. allies are not swallowing it.

“Proclamation 1017 was a major violation on Arroyo’s part and she felt the popular condemnation of the people as soon as she issued it. In fact, it has made her even more unpopular as the protest actions on the streets increased because of it. Now she is calling for a lift to merely save her own skin. But the de facto martial law policies and laws she has been pushing all this time against the people are still in place. The repression is still intact. The people’s call for Arroyo’s ouster will continue,” stated BAYAN USA chair Kawal Ulanday.

Ulanday affirmed Filipino groups and American allies under BAYAN USA will not lessen their resolve to launch US-based actions and build popular support for Arroyo’s ouster and the establishment of a transition council in her place.

“The lifting of PP 1017 is a testament to the power of the Filipino people who did not bog down even when it was declared,” he stated.

He also reiterated the Filipino-American alliance’s demand for a full release of political detainees Crispin Beltran of Anakpawis party list, Joel Virador of Bayan Muna, Dennis Maga of the Gloria Step Down Movement, and many others who were unjustly arrested days after PP 1017 was declared.

“Arroyo’s targeting of progressive party list leaders and opposition leaders is obviously not ceasing either, proving her sentiments with this so-called lift are completely insincere,” Ulanday continued.

BAYAN USA pointed the aggressive implementation of the Calibrated Preemptive Response (CPR) by military and police forces against peaceful assemblies in public are also not backing down in tandem with the supposed lift.

“Five years of damage by the Arroyo administration has been done. Since her ascendance into office in 2001, Arroyo has become the country’s most infamous anti-patriot continuously working against the interest of the Filipino people and bowing down to the dictates of foreigners. The united movement of patriotic and peace-loving Filipinos on the streets is a force she cannot withstand. If she believes she can sustain her position just because of this lift she is in for a rude awakening,” Ulanday ended.

References:
Kawal Ulanday, Chair, BAYAN USA, email: chair@bayanusa.org
Berna Ellorin, Media Officer, BAYAN USA, email: ny@bayanusa.org

[bayanmuna.net] House applauds resolution of standoff over warrantless arrests

The House of Representatives tonight unanimously adopted House Resolution 1169 granting sanctuary and protective custody for six partylist representatives against warrantless arrests arising from charges filed against them.

Applause from House members and the mass members of the three partylist organizations welcomed the adoption of the resolution.

No arrest is thus expected to be undertaken against the five partylist solons under House custody being harassed by the Arroyo administration. They maintain that the charges levelled against them were mere fabrications and lies, and a punitive action by the Arroyo administration to their role in exposing, opposing and joining the calls for the resignation of the president.

In the resolution, the House asserts the rights of its members to preliminary investigation and against warrantless arrests.

In a related development, the five of six partylist representatives of Bayan Muna, Anakpawis and Gabriela have asked Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuño for a preliminary investigation and waived their right under Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code.

Said letter to Zuño was also signed by lawyers Ernesto B. Francisco Jr. and Neri Javier Colmenares as counsels of the partylist representatives, and by House leaders Speaker Jose de Venecia, Majority Leader Prospero Nograles and Minority Leader Francis Escudero.

[Message from Liza Maza]

This speech was delivered by Representative Liza Largoza Maza of the GABRIELA Women’s Party at the Congress of the Philippines as elements of the military and police waited to arrest her and four other representatives of the progressive political parties Bayan Muna and Anakpawis. Ms. Maza is also Vice-chairperson of the GABRIELA Philippines National Women’s Alliance.

Privilege Speech

By Rep. Liza Maza
Gabriela Women’s Partylist
February 27, 2006

Mr. Speaker, distinguished colleagues:

I rise today on a question of personal and collective privilege, with much alarm, indignation and defiance over the recent actions that the Arroyo government has taken in the past three days.

On Friday, in the midst of commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the People Power uprising, Malacanang (Presidential Palace) issued Proclamation 1017, placing our country in a State of Emergency. The irony is not lost on us. That we are being placed under Martial Law as we commemorate the ouster of the Marcos dictatorship is not only ironic, it is tragic as well as unforgiveable.

Saturday morning, we awoke to reports of the raid on the newspaper Daily Tribune and the arrest of our fellow representative in this assembly, Anakpawis (workers) Congressman Crispin Beltran who had been rudely picked up, illegally arrested and invited for interrogation by elements of the CIDG.

Call it what you want, Mr. Speaker, distinguished colleagues, what was done to Representative Crispin Beltran was a testament to the Arroyo government’s lack of respect for the rights of the members of this Congress and of the people in general.

At the end of the press conference by the House Minority members, we learned that we – myself, Representatives Satur Ocampo, Rafael Mariano and Teddy Casino – were slated for arrest outside the Sulu Hotel that evening. Because we knew that what the police and the military wanted to do was unwarranted, illegal and outrightly violates our rights, we deemed it best to look for other ways to exit the place, thus avoiding the Arroyo regime’s minions who were attempting to pick us up illegally that Saturday.

Last night, in the middle of what is now known as the Fort Bonifacio stand-off, Presidential Chief of Staff Mike Defensor announced that the Arroyo government was intent on arresting me and my fellow representatives Satur Ocampo, Teddy Casino and Rafael Mariano. Representative Joel Virador has already been arrested this afternoon.

If to rise in this Congress on behalf of womankind is a crime, so be it.

As the women’s representative even during the 12th Congress, I have been among those who sponsored and fought for two pieces of legislation for women: the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act and the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act. I was also among the authors of the Juvenile Justice Act, which is close to approval by this congress and which will respond to the issue of children who are in prison for crimes. I was also chosen to be part of the bicameral committee which will tackle the said bill.

As representative of the Gabriela Women’s Party, I have persevered, within this congress, in advancing and fighting for legislation which will both bring relief and respond to women’s complaints: the 125 pesos increase in the minimum wage for workers and 3,000 pesos increase in the salary of government employees. Our party also continues to call for the junking of E-VAT (12% tax on everyday necessities) and for price controls on LPG (cooking gas) and kerosene.

On Wednesday, first day of March, women’s month begins. This March 8th, the whole world will celebrate International Women’s Day. This is a day made historic by the principled stand of women workers for wage increases, better working conditions and decent livelihood – calls which remain alive today and which continue to be fought for by womankind and by the people. The tradition of a hundred years of struggle symbolized by March 8th will continue so long as the reasons to struggle remain.

Mr. Speaker, fellow representatives, I am among the many and increasing number of women who are speaking out, who want and are calling for change. Is this a crime? Shouldn’t arrest and punishment be inflicted upon those who implement policies depriving women and their families of their basic rights?

The women’s call for food, shelter, jobs, wages, health and education is just and legitimate. Is this what the Arroyo regime wants to suppress?

Mr. Speaker, distinguished colleagues, to dream and to struggle for a better society that I can leave my children, our children and the future generations is not a crime. It is a noble cause that all of us, women and men alike, as members of this chamber and as citizens of this country, must espouse, take to heart and act on.

I really might be arrested by the Arroyo regime’s iron hand after this speech, per the announcement last night.

But even then, it will not mean that women will fall silent or will be afraid. Mr. Speaker, fellow representatives, expect the women’s call for basic rights, civil rights and true freedom to continue and indeed grow louder.

The Gabriela Women’s Party and countless women will rise up to defy repression and to trash Proclamation 1017, in defense of our rights. The call I will leave you tonight is the same that women will continue to call out, in the dark of our state: MAKIBAKA, HUWAG MATAKOT! Dare To Struggle, Do not fear…

KMU update and action alert

Two leaders of the Alliance of Nationalist and Genuine Labor Organization (ANGLO-KMU) arrested while negotiating to visit Rep. Crispin Beltran in Camp Crame.

10:45 a.m. – Two leaders of the KMU federation Alliance of Nationalist and Genuine Labor Organization (ANGLO-KMU) were arrested while they were negotiating to visit Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran in his detention cell in Camp Crame.

Dennis Maga and Marcial Dabela, Secretary General and Vice President for Organization respectively of ANGLO-KMU, were brought to Camp Karingal in Quezon City immediately after the arrest.

The two were part of about a hundred protesters from KMU and Anakpawis who marched to Camp Crame to demand the immediate release of Ka Bel. Ka Bel was illegally arrested and detained last Saturday, Feb. 26, a day after Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo declared PD 1017, putting the country into a state of national emergency.

The protesters were blocked by anti-riot police in the intersection of Camp Crame and Santolan Avenue in EDSA. The negotiating panel, of which Maga and Dabela were part of, said that they also intend to visit Ka Bel to show support for him, especially since Ka Bel is the former national chairperson of ANGLO-KMU. The police responded that the protesters are too many for the ‘supposed’ visit. Both parties then agreed that 3-5 leaders would be allowed to enter and the others would have to move back. As the other protesters were moving back, the police hastily arrested the two leaders, breaking the earlier agreement.

“The arrest not only shows how treacherous this government is but more so, how dangerous is PD 1017 and how it can be subject to grave abuse. It is so disgusting that you can be arrested even when all you want to do is visit an illegally detained political figure,” said KMU Chairperson Elmer Labog.

“We will not be cowed by this kind of intimidation. We would be readying for more protests in the coming days, until our comrades Ka Bel, Maga and Dabela are released and until PD 1017 is revoked. We will continue to intensify our mass actions until Gloria is ousted,” ends Labog.

The following actions are recommended:

1. Send protest letters to the Philippine president and other concerned government agencies
2. Send solidarity message
3. Hold protest actions in front of the Philippine Consulates
4. Hold dialogues with Philippine Ambassadors
5. Any pertinent actions you may deem necessary

Send protest letters to:

H.E. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
President of the Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel St., San Miguel, Manila
Philippines
Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968
Mobile: (+ 63) 919 898 4622 / (+63) 917 839 8462
E-mail: corres@op.gov.ph / opnet@ops.gov.ph

Hon. Avelino J. Cruz, Jr.
Secretary of National Defense
Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo, E. de los
Santos Avenue Quezon City
Voice: +63(2) 911-9281 / 911-0488
Fax: +63(2) 911 6213
Email: osnd@philonline.com

Hon. Purificacion Valera Quisumbing
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., UP Complex
Commonwealth Avenue
Diliman, Quezon City
Philippines
Fax: (+632) 929 0102
Email: drpvq@chr.gov.ph

You can send solidarity messages to:

Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
Email: crispinbeltran@gmail.com

Dennis Maga & Marcial Dabela
ANGLO-KMU
Email: kmuid@tri-isys.com

Please furnish the KMU (kmuid@tri-isys.com) with any actions you may take.

Thank you very much for your support to the Filipino workers and people!

In solidarity,
Kilusang Mayo Uno