Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Philippine Coup Rumors Intensifying

PAJAMAS MEDIA's Austin Bay picks up on this Voice of America post on the coup rumors that have been circulating for the last few weeks. Ricky Carandang of ABSCBN News had the good post and discussion on this matter, as of course, MLQ3. I've offered this theory on these and a number of blogs: The Palace has been fuelling the rumors themselves as a means of diverting attention from the fact that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has been studiously avoiding the Edsa celebrations -- both this week's Edsa I commemoration of the overthrow of Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, and that of her own coup d'etat in 2001's Edsa II People Power Coup.

My post on the Anniversary of Edsa 2 last month:
The Real Coup d'tat
On the Oakwood Mutiny:
Did the Oakwood Mutiny Fail Because Gringo Stole Erap's Money?
Backgrounder for US visitors to this website:
America's Interests and the Fate of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
America Should Withdraw Support for GMA's Mob Rule

BREAKING (0655) I just heard Lt. Larry San Juan, one of the four escaped Oakwood Mutineers talking to radio anchor Eli Saludar (RMN News) on AM Radio in Manila. He is asking residents of the area around Malacanang to "move out temporarily of their homes" this coming Friday...This follows an explosion in a garbage can just outside Malacanang Palace around noon yesterday and persistent rumors. Two organizations, the Young Officers Union-New Generation (YOUNG) and the Reformed Armed Forces of the Philippines (RAFP) Nothing however, happened during last Saturday's homecoming in Baguio City of the Philippine Military Academy...and the radio announcer just hopes civilians are kept out of whatever now happens.

It's bright and hazy in the Archipelago at the moment, a thick fog covers the City of Manila away to the eastwards towards the Antipolo hills...early morning traffic is already building up from the honking sounds...

(UPDATES all day)

(0830) DZXL RMN News Radio in Manila is reporting that a Lt. Lawrence San Juan has just been arrested by Batangas Provincial Police in Padre Garcia Town. Minutes before the news, announcer Eli Saludar asked Atty. Roel Pulido, a defense lawyer of the Oakwood Muitneers, if the voice on their interview of Lt. Larry San Juan at around 6:45 am this morning was that of the Lt. San Juan whom he knew. Atty. Pulido said it sounded like "his friend" and the client of his colleague Atty. Theodore Te.

WILL GMA DECLARE A STATE OF EMERGENCY? Perhaps the analogy I've made to "Light a Fire Movement" is wrong. Maybe the correct analogy is the faked assassination of then Justice Sec. Juan Ponce Enrile in 1972 as a prelude to the delcaration of martial law by Ferdinand Marcos. Seems to me the risible Justice Secretary of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Sec. Raul Gonzalez has been making claims that he is on a hitlist of the Magdalo/Oakwood mutineers. She wouldn't dare! It's not the same herd of sheep that Marcos faced any more!

(0848) Hmmm has RMN Radio News announcer Eli Saludar been reading Philippine Commentary? He is talking about Radulan Sahiron and is giving out details from this old post last year: Did Philippine Govt Arrest the Wrong ONE-ARMED Bandit Terrorist?

(0906) PhilVolcs reports from Albay province that Mount Mayon is getting ready to erupt. What's next after stampedes, landslides, coup d'etat?

(1000) ABSCBN News' Ricky Carandang is reporting on jitters in the investor community over the coup rumors roiling the Archipelago, including "blog-chatter" on US blogs. RMN News follows up on the arrest of Lt. Larry San Juan and two others in Padre Garcia town, Batangas province. Subversive documents are reported to be in their possession with the suggestion being made that he was arrested in the company of NPA members. This rather "convenient" line was introduced by one of Eli Saludars co-anchors earlier. It's a tip-off possibly that a State of Emergency is in the offing, as some are speculating...It's simply inconceivable that the Snake Handlers are now in bed with the serpents! But if you wanted to make the Left and Right look like they were in on a conspiracy, maybe you could declare martial law on the Center. More later when they present the prisoner and his "comrades"...

(1200 GMT+8) Asked by the original Mutineer and Coup Plotter of them all, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, what he thought the chances of coup d'etat were at this time, the Armed Forces Chief of Staff told a Senate budget hearing this morning in Manila that the chance is "VERY LOW." Whereupon Enrile gave him a lecture on the need for omerta in planning and executing a coup d'etat (not its announcement on national radio as I've noted earlier) Well, Enrile should know, he failed in 9 out of 10 attempts against Cory in the 80s. His only "Win" happened at Edsa I, and he's been long upstaged by Fidel Ramos, his co-mutineer against the dictator, Ferdinand Marcos.

(2230 GMT+8)It seems pretty clear what the point of the exercise was today: Spread the line that the Oakwood Mutineers and the CPP/NPA are now together in plotting to overthrow the Arroyo administration. The reason I say it is a "line" is that in looking over the day's blogging, that "line" emerged in the earliest AM radio broadcasts. As I've mentioned on this blog, I often monitor the day's earliest radio morning broadcasts on two or three key stations because I've discovered this is where the Palace often puts out its talking points. Those "lines" that survive the rest of the day going around the media mills are usually "official." So there it is for today: the Right and the Left are now united against GMA. These official "lines" confirm their nature by disappearing from the "headlines" in a few days...we shall see if these coup rumors really were meant to last only till the Edsa celebrations are over this weekend. Of course, I don't actually know, perhaps there is an alliance now between the serpents and the snake-handlers that used to hunt them down. What do I know?


Amadeo said...

As you already know, glad to note Philippine Commentary's exposure in Austin Bay's blog, through a link provided by Glenn Reynolds' InstaPundit.

Mr.Bay had to post a second entry to accommodate new details.

Mr. Bay is a respected author, military affairs expert, and writes about international affairs.

Rizalist said...

ABSCBN NEWS (Ricky Carandang) was reporting at the mid morning business newscast on ANC that bond holders are getting nervous because of all the blog-chatter and MSM reporting on the coup rumors. Press Vehicles are being excluded from the Palace grounds.

Without Borders said...

djb: remember you asked me about "equality among religions"? well so far, the most relevant one i got is about the "the theory of the dialogue among civilizations" developed by muhammad khatami, the former scholar and reformist president of iran. the concept is good. i wonder if he is the martin luther of islam? (if ever there would be such a person) i have yet to read it. supposedly he published a book on it. you may begin with this link: http://www.un.org/Dialogue/background.html.

Rizalist said...

NOt to worry WB, we are NOT done with the Mohammed Cartoon Controversy. I have one more post in the works on it and addresses these very questions. thanks

Marcus Aurelius said...

After spending a couple of weeks in Cebu I can see how the situation at St. Bernard developed.

Marcus Aurelius said...

Ignore my comment on St. Bernard I was using Konqueror and now am using netscape.

Anyway I don't know if I am glad to be away from MNL or not. It would be an exciting story if the ominous foreshadowing points at something that is really about to happen but of course there is likely to be nastiness and my wife and her family are of the definite mold to avoid nastiness. Not a wholely bad thing but....

Rizalist said...

The provocative suggestion all over the Palace influenced media is that there is now an alliance between the Leftists (CPP/NPA) and the Magdalo.

What do you guys think?

Anonymous said...

As far as I heard....
the Senate defense committee chairman has been talking to both The Magdalo and the CPP....
as to whether it is normal..I do not know...



Re: "there is now an alliance between the Leftists (CPP/NPA) and the Magdalo."

Possibly so, DJB.

At Edsa II, Joma Sison himself admitted that his CPP provided many of the warm bodies.

The junior officers of AFP are quite young and terribly idealistic. Judging from news reports, their ideal converges with that of the CPP today: the toppling of Gloria so, it seems possible to me that these two groups may forge an alliance for this purpose.

(Didn't Gen Vic Corpuz set a precedent?)

In the end, if indeed that an 'alliance' is forged between those 'freedom warriors, there's only Gloria to blame.



I've just read this on the Inquirer net:

"CA defense committee defers promotion of Army chief/Asks for results of wiretap probe by military"

The deferment of Esperon's confirmation to 3-star rank may be a morale booster for the dissatisfied elements of the army. At least, there's one elected official who's taking allegations of wrongdoing by Esperon seriously.

However, save for a bit of personal embarasment on Esperon, the army chief has nothing to worry about. He can technically hold on to his 3 stars and wear them officially anywhere on earth and addressed as Lt General, CA confirmed or not - the confirmation is mere formality.

The only hitch as far as Esperon is concerned, is that when he retires unconfirmed by the CA, he will not be entitled to the pension scheme and other retirement benefits reserved for confirmed lieutenant-generals. Will that matter to him? I guess not. I suspect he will have made loads and loads of money by the time he retires.

The most important thing is that Chairman Biazon's message is heard today - somehow, there's an AFP 'fiscalizer' somewhere in government.

Rizalist said...

HB--I really admire Pong Biaxon a lot. He used to be a "stutterer" but boy does he have a clear voice now. Loud and Clear General. Saludo!

Rizalist said...

By the way, I'd like to encourage all the regulars here at Philippine Commentary to go visit all those nice folks at Austin Bay's Blog. There is a SECOND posting from him on the PHilippines with comments already from me and MLQ3. But you guys are the experts on the Philippines so by all means pay those folks a visit and add what you know to the conversation. Have fun visiting America bloggerdom!



As one of your regulars, I would like to confirm to you that I have visited the link and read its contents.

As to General Pong, I've always appreciated the good, old marine turned politico; I believe he's not only one of the one of the more decent officers the AFP ever had but is also one of the more level-headed and respectable politicians we've got on board today. (The nation ought to thank his wife who knows very adroitly how to make the General "toe the line"! Tee-heeh!)


By the way, "toe the line" is a naval term and quite a propos for Senator Pong.

Rizalist said...

HB--I predict the Senate will disappoint.