Pres. Arroyo Does Another Houdini; Malacanang ‘Admits’: No Rebellion (Retitled, Updated)
Given how it’s really just a numbers game, the realm’s senators and representatives are not at all expected to revoke 6-day- old Proclamation 1959.
Still, today’s continuation of the joint session of the two houses of Congress has value in terms on confirming the suspicion of many: that Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was goaded into placing Maguindanao under martial law on the basis of non-existent rebellion much less invasion.
This much was woefully apparent on the first day of the joint session with the president’s men unable to present solid proof of the supposed “taking up of arms of men following the orders of the Ampatuan (disgraced Palace election-operation allies) clan.”
Sure citizens trooped to Mendiola and the Congress compound to show their indignation over this first ever martial law edict since 1972, but no one was there to really listen, it seemed, except for the anti riot police.
Congressmen Teddy Boy Locsion and Didagen Dilangalen even took time to massage their egos.
Where was Mrs. Arroyo?
Oh she was dimply at Bacolor, Pampanga for a ‘more momentous’ event: the creation of a state university in her home congressional district.
For good measure, following their zarzuela’s storyboard, the military is even going through the charade of raining ala-war-time leaflets urging the supposed rebels to surrender.
Except for the obtuse, it’s apparent the Ampatuans are already on the carpet and have at no time even called out any one to rise up against the Arroyo regime.
The strongest call any of the Ampatuans has made is for them not to be tried by publicity.
As it is, the emerging accounts about their direct role in the November 23 massacre of at least 57 people have left no doubt in any observer’s mind about who was behind the heinous crime.
The joint session of the Senate and the House of Representatives, no matter how long it runs, will result only in this: the latest successful Houdini act of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Philippine Star now reports:
Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita admitted on Wednesday night that President Arroyo proclaimed martial law in Maguindanao without an “actual” rebellion taking place in the province as required by the Constitution.
But in response to questions raised by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, Ermita pointed to the presence of armed groups supporting the Ampatuan family that were preventing the authorities from enforcing the law, which, he added, was frustrating the ends of justice.
Ermita said the government considered the “presence” or “massing” of the Ampatuans’ armed followers as “rebellion,” one of only two grounds under the Constitution, aside from invasion, for the imposition of martial law.
Ermita though conceded there was no actual rebellion taking place, in the sense of people taking up arms to withdraw allegiance from the central government or prevent it from enforcing the law.