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Bolder’ martial law seen
« on: December 12, 2009, 08:27:03 AM »
By Christine Avendaño
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:29:00 12/12/2009

Filed Under: Martial Law, Maguindanao Massacre, Security (general), Election Violence

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Close this MANILA, Philippines – Disturbed by events that occurred on Thursday in Mindanao, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago warned of a “conspiracy” to bring about a “bolder” martial law beyond the province of Maguindanao.

Santiago, a staunch ally of President Macapagal-Arroyo, said the objective of the alleged conspiracy was to “seize power and preempt the national elections” in 2010.

She named four suspects behind the purported plot—the powerful Ampatuan clan believed responsible for the Nov. 23 massacre of 57 persons, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), a “cabal” supported by a group of military officials including the defense and interior secretaries, and “a new RAM” in the military (a reference to the Reform the Armed Forces Movement that mounted a series of coup attempts against the administration of the late President Corazon Aquino).

Maguindanao has been under martial law since Dec. 4 as a result of what Malacañang had described as a looming rebellion among the supporters and followers of the Ampatuans, who are closely allied with the President.

Interviewed Friday by reporters, Santiago expressed concern over the hostage-taking of 75 people in Agusan del Sur, the beheading of kidnap victim Marquez Singson in Basilan, and the abduction of Basilan State College vice president Orlando Fajardo.

Not random developments

She also cited the Thursday night ambush of a military convoy carrying evidence in the government’s case against the Ampatuans.

“The [incidents] of more lawlessness and violence in areas near Maguindanao are part of a script. I have reason to believe these are not random developments. They’re not just happening,” Santiago said.

She said the timing of the events was “suspicious” and that this “pattern of behavior” had not been previously seen.

“I believe there is a conspiracy to prepare the ground for a bolder martial law, perhaps to cover the entire country,” she said.

Arroyo ‘under pressure’?

Santiago said the President was not involved in the alleged plot.

“She knows that the public will immediately suspect her, and she is not hoping to risk her candidacy in Pampanga for public outrage,” she said of Ms Arroyo, who is running for congresswoman in her home province in 2010.

Santiago, however, added it was also possible that Ms Arroyo “might be under pressure from some of the suspects I mentioned.”

But Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales and Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Victor Ibrado, who were both in the Senate Friday, denied there was such a plot or that they or the military was involved in one.

Gonzales said he was also concerned and was looking into “why groups are emboldened these days.”

“What I can assure you from my end [is that] if I make recommendations, we will not have martial law one day longer than necessary,” he told reporters.

Ibrado dismissed the suggestion that the military was behind the latest violence in Mindanao.

“We will never do that to create a scenario. For what? In the first place, why will we do that? I can tell you I will not allow anything like that to be done by anyone,” Ibrado said.

Even Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile contended that the incidents in Basilan and Agusan del Sur did not necessitate the extension of martial law beyond Maguindanao.

“Even assuming that the whole Mindanao is in turmoil, it’s isolated. You can put that place under martial law without [doing so in] the Visayas and Luzon to control the situation,” Enrile said.

Consider pleasures as they depart, Not as they come.


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Re: Bolder’ martial law seen
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2009, 10:50:02 AM »
I dont think we need fear bout "bolder" martial law.

The Filipino people are more intelligent now...


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Re: Bolder’ martial law seen
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2009, 12:53:05 PM »
It was lifted already last night.

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