PRESIDENT GLORIA MACAPAGAL ARROYO has just addressed the nation to announce the lifting of Proclamation 1017 and the state of national "emergency." Yet in the six days that have transpired since last Friday, the administration has demonstrated a willingness to trample upon the most precious rights and freedoms of the Filipino people. A vicious attack on Press Freedom, typified by the treatment given the Daily Tribune, will however not be soon forgotten by the Good Guys. Warrantless arrests and warrantless raids on newspaper offices have no place in a democratic society. Indeed, I will not be surprised if the entire Mass media files a criminal class action suit against, for example, Police Chief Arturo N. Lomibao for carrying out patently illegitmate orders to seize and supervise one daily newspaper and to make threats to do the same to others. Although her stated target was tactical alliance between the extreme Left and the adventurist Right, she has actually aided the CPP-NPA the most, because while the above ground parliamentary struggle allies of the Communist Party were apparently hit hard by this, the Central Committee in Utrecht will probably reap a windfall in donations from their old EuroCommunist allies. Similarly, the New People's Army should see a pretty good spike in recruitment as a result of the ineradicable impression that Democracy is dead or dying in the Philippines, that peaceful, nonviolent protest against the government will only be met by fascist repression and Orwellian double speak of hot-heads like Secretary of Justice Raul Gonzalez and the over-eager-beaver New Second in Command, Mike Defensor. In undertaking this foolish enterprise the Palace has only strengthened the hand of the Communists and weakened the pro-Democracy forces and civil libertarians. She has also damaged the reputation of the duly constituted authorities, whom she has indeed prostituted in this way to the needs of her personal political survival. The people may be poor and downtrodden, but they are not stupid. They know what fascism was like under Marcos and recognize this for what it is. Fascism and a mockery of the Constitution by playing cat-n-mouse with the Law. I say this in no uncertain terms. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is an enemy of Freedom and Democracy, both of which she has diminished by her own selfish authoritarianism and totalitarianism. She doesn't fool anybody except those who don't consider themselves the "Jews" of our present-day Krystallnacht.
THANKS A LOT COMRADE GLORIA!
UPDATE: Most people including me, were not expecting the lifting of Proclamation 1017 until tomorrow. What could possibly have accelerated it's lifting? Well the almost universal condemnation and calls for the lifting of the Proclamation by the public, from the business sector, including the local American Chamber of Commerce (the oldest in Asia), from Civil Societies, from Media both local and international, and from the Senate, may all have had something to do with it. I also listened to the remarks of US Undersecretary Christopher Hill yesterday, here on a 3-day sudden visit at midweek. He said it was "up to the Filipino people" and that the US government was not about to interfere in an internal matter. Hmmm, considering that the Palace had declared a state of national emergency, this doesn't sound like he believed the Palace's scary fairy tales for adults either. Besides, it was George W. Bush himself, speaking to the National Endowment for Democracy in November, 2004 who said that America would never again support brutal dictatorships around the world after the Cold War was won by seizing the high moral ground against totalitarian states like the Soviet Union. After deposing Saddam Hussein, that seems to be the only morally consistent position for America to take. And as the point is made that lifting the Proclamation does not absolve top officials of their well-recorded actions against legitimate protest and dissent, I noticed that officials like Press Secretary Bunye had that scared-rabbit look in his eyes for the first time since he stood up and revealed the Gloriagate Garci tapes last June 6, 2005. AROINT FASCISTS!
Deliciously ironic-satiric retrospective from the Political Junkie at Philippine Politics '04: The very same forces of "leftists" and "communists" and "coup plotters" and "destabilizers" that Mrs. Arroyo is oppressing and arresting today, were the very same people with whom she had forged a tactical alliance in 2001. Read it all. Killer post!