(via Political Junkie and Ellen Tordesillas)
In its March 5, 2001 issue, Graphic Magazine (one of the oldest in the Philippines) published the following account given by newly-ascended First Gentleman Mike Arroyo, of the "Edsa II People Power" events that culminated in the 20 January 2001 swearing in as President of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo by then Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide Jr. This interview is undeniable proof and testimony, from the mouth of one of the conspiracy's principal architects, that Edsa II is quite well described by the words used in the 2006 Proclamation 1017: "as elements in the political opposition have conspired with authoritarians of the extreme Left represented by the NDF-CPP-NPA and the extreme Right, represented by military adventurists...who are now in tactical alliance and engaged in a concerted and systematic conspiracy, over a broad front, to bring down the duly constituted Government..."
But here is First Gentleman Mike Arroyo describing his own 2001 Leftist Rightist Coup d'etat, in which, if you skip to the last paragraphs, he was prepared to use violent and riotous force in a march on Malacanang Palace to overthrow Joseph Estrada! --
FIRST GENT MIKE ARROYO (Graphic Magazine 5 Mar 2001):THIS REALLY SOUNDS LIKE MIKE ARROYO WAS PREPARED TO KILL PRESIDENT JOSEPH ESTRADA!
"She had really left the Cabinet at the right moment: the timing was perfect. If she had tarried a moment longer, she would have been too late for EDSA: she would have made it there as an opportunist. And as for the ill-feeling in Metro Manila, we tackled that by going back to the door-to-door campaign: she went from barangay to barangay explaining her motives, outlining her program. And it worked. Then came the impeachment trial, and from there, tuloy-tuloy na.
"There was a time honestly, when I felt I erred in advising her to resign from the Cabinet. The masa in Manila apparently wanted her to stick it out with Erap. And when she started attacking him, everything fell on us - grabe!- everything! But I told myself: it's now or never; if we lose here we're totally destroyed and it's goodbye to her political career - but if we win here, she becomes President! So we really fought.
"We got all those Erap tapes from Ramon Jacinto and distributed them all over. We bought one million and a half million copies of Pinoy Times to give away so the public could read about the Erap mansions and bank accounts.
"And when EDSA happened, we texted everybody to go running there. EDSA, EDSA: everybody converge on EDSA! Panalo kung panalo. Patay kung patay! Jinggoy had already announced what they would do to us if they won.
"Chavit Singson had Plan B involving elements of the military to strike the first blow. They would kindle the spark by withdrawing from the government, and one by one others would follow: Class '71 would also withdraw, then Class '72, and so forth. But General de Villa warned that the timing had to be precise because one untimely move against the government and the military would automatically defend it. The move must be made at what De Villa called a 'defining moment.'
"You see, General De Villa had his Plan A, which was better than ours, because his was focused on the Chief of Staff and the Service Commanders. At past one o'clock p.m. January 19, Chief of Staff Angelo Reyes defected but we knew that already the night before, when negotiations had lasted until the small hours. By past 2 a.m. we knew Reyes had been convinced to join. His only condition was: Show us a million people on EDSA so it will b easier to bring in the service commanders.
"And they asked when the crowd was thickest; we told them: from three to five in the afternoon. So they agreed to come to EDSA at around that time. But while hiding in their safehouse, they got reports that General Calimlim could not be located and their first thought was: "He's out looking for us!" So they decided to rush to EDSA right away. When they got there, why there too at the Shrine was Calimlim! He had been looking for them all right, but to join them, not to arrest them!
"Our group there was a back-up strike force. In fact, it was our group that won over to our side the PNP first. If Panfilo Lacson had resisted, he and his men would have been repelled: there would have been bloodshed, but not on EDSA. In every place where Erap loyalists had a force, we had a counter-force to face it, with orders to shoot. And not only in Metro Manila. Carillo had already been sent to the provinces; and in Nueva Ecija, for instance, we had Rabosa. This was a fight to the finish. That's why those five days that Erap was demanding were so important. He was counting on counter-coups and baliktaran.
"I was negotiating with Pardo up to three o'clock in the morning: niloloko lang pala kami. But I told him point-blank: "If by six o'clock this morning you haven't given us the resignation letter, we will storm the gates of Malacañang!' But they insisted on more talk: with De Villa up front, and my back channel debate with Pardo, which even became a three-way contest, with Buboy Virata pitching in.
"But the threat to march to Malacañang was for real. And so was the danger of bloodshed. I wasn't telling Gloria everything: I didn't want her alarmed. So she didn't know about the orders to shoot."
The Left-Right tactical alliance was there in full force with Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, though the Leftist component was in the audience watching the scene on stage, probably already knowing they would soon be out of the picture, along with a lot more non-leftist, non-rightist patriotic people like me in the watching crowd. One important player of these events, in which Left and Right are tragically mixed, as they are in Gloria Macapagal Arroyo herself, was then Colonel, later General Victor Corpus, whom many tag as the go-between between the Vice President, the First Gentleman and the Chief of Staff Angelo Reyes (shown to GMA's left in the picture). Corpus would go on to become GMA's chief of the Intelligence Services of the Armed Forces (ISAFP), until he resigned on July 28, 2003 the day after the Oakwood Mutiny and the most disastrous turn at the intelligence post. Together with Mike Defensor, Corpus and other close GMA allies worked closely with and coordinate the actions of radical left groups that could provide lots of warm bodies for the anti-Erap demonstrations, rallies and mass actions that had been going on for many months before the picture shown at top. These include mass organizations suspected to be allied with the CPP-NPA-NDF, though there were many, many more organizations and individuals who were not. In 2004, it is alleged that Isafp conducted the illegal wiretapping operation during the elections that has led to Gloriagate and the current impasse. General Reyes has been amply rewarded with three successive Cabinet posts: Defense, Local Government and currently Environment Secretary.
Gloria's absurdity grows
in irony's revealing throes.
in irony's revealing throes.
On Proclamation 1017, read all about it here:
As the Sun Sets and Darkness Falls Over My Sad Archipelago
The events of 19 January 2001, including a Chronology of Events by Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Amando Doronila from his book The Fall of Joseph Estrada is here:
When Last the Military Withdrew Support
And those of the climactic 20 January 2001, with many links to other related posts, here:
The Real Coup d'etat
On a more philosophical vein is:
The Citizen Soldier's Moral Dilemma
Many of the individual dramatis personae -- good and evil and in between -- are getting in for some old-fashioned blogging at:
Ye Olde Philippine Commentary
Have fun everyone...No Sunday Commentary tomorrow...Saddle up the mountain bikes, Rizalist!