Thursday, November 29, 2007

Breaking News--Stand-off at the Peninsula Hotel--Trillanes--Danilo Lim

I am monitoring TV and Radio coverage in Manila of a breaking news event involving Senator Sonny Trillanes, General Danilo Lim, and the highest levels of the government over an incident at Makati's posh Manila Peninsula Hotel. As of this posting a Live Press Conference is going on from Malacanang Palace with Press Sec. Ignacio Bunye, DENR Sec. Lito Atienza, Presidential Legal Adviser Sergio Apostol, Trade Sec. Peter Favila, Finance Sec. Gary Teves. Messages of support from provincial governors and city mayors are being highlighted as supporting the president. Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez has just made an appearance. Updates will be in the Comment Section for an accurate time stamp.


DJB Rizalist said...

The comments of Jess Dureza were particularly chilling. He mentions receiving "many text messages" from people hoping the situation at the Peninsula can be resolved "quickly"--all with each of the other secretaries chanting the phrase "rule of law."

GMA TV News has a transcript of General Danilo Lim's statement from the Makati Peninsula Hotel earlier.

"Today, we address all decent Filipinos to announce that now is the time to end the sufferings and miseries inflicted upon us by the illegitimate Gloria Macapagal Arroyo government and start a new life, a new Philippines. The die is cast pursuant to our constitutional mandate as protector of the people and state.

And by these acts the officers and men of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police supported by the masses of our people and the various political forces give substance to the constitutional provisions which says the Philippines is a democratic and republican state.

Sovereign peace resides in the people and all government authority emanate from them. That we take the faithful steps of removing Mrs Arroyo from the presidency and undertake the formation of a new government.

Mrs Arroyo had occupied the presidency under a questionable mandate publicly disputed by a vast majority of Filipinos. She stole the presidency from President Estrada through unconstitutional and deceitful means and later manipulated the results of the 2004 elections to perpetuate herself in power.

We have individually and collectively tried all means to resolve this legitimacy issue through the normal electoral, juidicial, and congressional processes but Mrs Arroyo used naked power through the issuance of Executive Order 464 and other executive proclamations and the sheer weight of numbers to paralyze the impeachment process procured at the people's great expense to fustrate us at every turn.

After all these have failed our people tried to air their grievances in peaceful street assemblies. They thought they were exercising a combination of constitutional right which no official or agency of government may legally abridge but they were stopped and dispersed violently with cannons from firemen and truncheons from the police.

The abuses of our government continue the deliberate the deliberate refusal or failure of the dubious leaders to castigate and prosecute the people responsible for the scandalous Hello, Garci electoral cheating, the Joc-joc Bolante multi million peso fertilizer scam, Impsa bribery, the Jose Pidal and Jueteng scandals involving billions of public funds, the North Rail Project, scandal, the Venable contract scandal, the NBN scandal, the wholesale bribery of congressmen in Malacañang as well as the unabated and unresolved extrajudicial killings of citizens particularly journalists and members of the judiciary and the use of military and police officers for some unlawful mission.

Among others, these are clear proof of her failure for good and decent governance. There are numerous illegal and immoral activities and transactions conducted by these government with impunity that betray the citizens and the state of their pristine right to exist as a people with decency, dignity and integrity.

With all the avenues closed by the use of naked force, no other means remain but for the officers and men of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to exercise their constitutional mandate and to take the side of the sovereign people against this illegitimate and unjust president.

We take due indulgence and apologize for any untoward disruptions attendant to fighting this righteous cause.

We are confident that the will of the sovereign people will prevail. The end of the corrupt and vicious government and its bogus leaders is long overdue.

We support the political and economic reforms that will be initiated by the new government regardless of the personal cause it may impose on each one of us.

We therefore call on our people and all the government around the world to give the constitutional rescue initiated by our patriotic brothers in the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police a chance to work.

To the task of organizing a new government and pursuing a program of total and no nonsense reform, we commit our full support.

We shall do whatever we can too to prevent any backsliding to the corruption and abuse of power of the immediate past and advance the cause of truth, freedom and justice, peace and progress for all Filipinos. God bless the Filipino people. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas."

DJB Rizalist said...

Secretary Gonzalez has just stated that it is useless to be issuing ultimatums and then nothing happens. A 3pm deadline has apparently been set by the police for Sen. Trillanes and Gen. Lim to surrender. Sec. Gonzalez states that the Makati Court has issued a contempt charge against both men and ordered their arrest, not the Palace.

DJB Rizalist said...

Skypatrol coverage (Ricky Velasco) shows a column of APCs and at least one tank in the vicinity of the Makati Peninsula Hotel. Both Ayala and Makati Avenues have been closed near the intersection where the hotel is located. Near the Makati Stock Exchange crowd dispersal units of the PNP are awaiting orders. Vice President Teofisto Guingona is known to be in the hotel with Gen. Lim and Senator Trillanes.

It doesn't look like that "ultimatum" will be "strictly enforced" as Raul Gonzalez wishes as Geary Barias just said he was prepared to be flexible and that he wants to give civilians in the hotel an opportunity to get out.

Heh heh, poor Gen. Barias, he was trying to shake off the frenzied media, asking that he be given a minute to do his job and that he would be back, but please not to follow him around.

Haha. They didn't let him and are grilling him now. poor guy is literlaly running away from the mikes! he's wiping the sweat off his face as the media swirls around him as he tries to shake them. it's a farce that could soon turn tragic...

DJB Rizalist said...

Sen. Sonny Trillanes has issued a statement challenging the public to choose between Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and change. "(Gloria o pagbabago)"

The Warrant for Arrest issued for contempt by Makati RTC Judge Pimentel is in the hands of police who had earlier issued a deadline of 3pm for them to surrender.

In response Trillanes says they have "enough political will and fighting spirit" to bring this govt down.

He challenged the authorities to come and get them! (via news patrol)

DJB Rizalist said...

Police are asking media people to evacuate the hotel now or even "to take cover" as action is imminent. However, the cut to Pinky Webb shows the second floor area where Gen. Lim and Sen. Trillanes are holed up is crawling with people! A 3pm deadline has passed and a SWAT team is reportedly ready to serve the contempt arrest warrant.

DJB Rizalist said...

Gunfire and explosions of some kind. (News Patrol live tv coverage)

DJB Rizalist said...

An assault on the Makati Peninsula Hotel is underway. PNP Special Action Forces appear to be posing for the cameras at the front of the hotel, but earlier gunfire seemed to be coming from elsewhere. Troops are moving in from various directions visible in the news patrol helicopter coverage.

Strange though... many of the soldiers seem to be mugging for the cameras.

DJB Rizalist said...

Teargas has been fired into the first floor of the Makati Manila Peninsula Hotel. Multiple gunshots and other explosions are being aired live by tv and radio coverage in Manila.
In the most recent interview with Sen. Trillanes, he reiterated calls for the GMA govt to step down and vowed not to leave the Rizal Ballroom where he is present with about 500 persons, media and guests.

Tremendous firing of gunshots, automatic fire it sounds like can be heard as news reporters are covering events live.

DJB Rizalist said...

A tank has busted through the front door of one of the the poshest hotels in Manila and about 50 SWAT personnel in full battle gear and gas masks have rushed in. On the 2nd floor Rizal Ballroom are Sen. Antonio Trillanes and Gen. Danny Lim with former VP Teofisto Guingona, and several hundred civilian and media personalities. The Magdalo cohorts of Sen. Trillanes are reportedly armed and have engaged in gunfire with assaulting govt forces. A tank and several APCs have entered the Manila Peninsula Lobby.

blackshama said...

These developments are extremely disturbing. We have two parties who have repeatedly stabbed the Constitution giving us an ultimatum who should lead the Republic.

Trillanes and cohorts (who have stabbed the Constitution before) want us to ditch Macapagal-Arroyo (whose legitimacy to rule will forever be in doubt and in doing so bludgeoned the Constitution). Why are we allowing these idiots to diss the citizens of the Philippines?

These politicians Macapagal-Arroyo and Trillanes have their insane messianic tendencies. It is time that the citizens of the Republic do away with them, through the processs provided by the Constitution!

Now what the hell is General Danny Lim saying that the replacement leadership will come out like a mushroom after a heavy rain(ang papalit ay lilitaw!)?!?! This is an insult to the electorate! None of them seems to have read the manual on how to install a government to power!

Trillanes should stand trial for sedition and if found guilty, rot in jail (despite his election victory) and Macapagal-Arroyo if found guilty of acts violating her Presidential oath, impeached.

This we have to see. And no pardons please!

cvj said...

DJB, thanks for the liveblogging!

sonus said...

Thank you for keeping us posted.

DJB Rizalist said...

17 Media practitioners (all Filipinos though four of them worked for foreign news services) arrested earlier are to be released according to PNP spokesman Jesus Versoza.

DJB Rizalist said...

PNP Chief Avelino Razon has just announced an overnight curfew (midnight to 5am) in the National Capital Region, Central Luzon and Southern Luzon at a Press Conference in Malacanang Palace. He mentions a large number of exceptions, including night shift workers and legitimate media people and provincial bus customers and members of the diplomatic corps.

Lawyer Marichu Lambino claims the whole thing is illegal for lack of publication, legislation and notices in writing.

Dave said...

Another fine mess you've gotten us into, Stanley. I've nothing in particular against bloodless coups, but brainless ones are plumb annoying. Looks almost like the plotters want to be victims/martyrs. Do you think that the PI could use a few good imperialists, just to set thing straight?
More seriously, thanks for the blogging Dean> I would not have known a thing about it otherwise.

Leslie Bocobo said...

Dean, I'm so disappointed with Gen. Esperon's boorish behavior! Imagine this guy ordering his boys to ram and destroy the main entrance of the Manila Pen just to park his reconditioned tank in the hotel lobby? Has his so-called brain forgotten that the hotel has an excellent VALET PARKING service?!