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Never again! Filipino-Americans condemn Arroyo’s imposition of a new martial law in the Philippines; affirm call for total withdrawal of US support for Arroyo’s fascist dictatorship

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With her Justice Secretary caught red-handed by the media with the draft declaration ready to be signed, the Arroyo administration has resorted to flat-out lying to mask the intended return of a full-scale declaration of martial law in the Philippines. Filipinos in the United States, with the largest community of Filipinos living outside of the Philippines, many of whom left in mass exodus precisely to escape the intensified political repression under Marcosian Martial Law, affirm more stridently than ever our total opposition to the return of Martial Law under the fake and morally-bankrupt Arroyo regime.

As the Arroyo administration swiftly advances towards its unveiling as a full-blown fascist dictatorship, we reiterate our call for the U.S. government to withdraw all forms of support, especially the multi-billion allowance of American tax dollars allotted in military aid, to a regime that must end for the good of both the Filipino and American people.

Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales Jr.’s drafting of Executive Order 467, which proclaims the Philippines under a state of national emergency and pushes for the quelling of so-called lawlessness, should sound off the loudest wakeup call for the Filipino people and global advocates of human rights. This is tantamount to an official declaration of martial law and fascist takeover.

The Filipino people cannot afford the human cost of another of martial rule in the Philippines. We will not stand silent as the days of darkness so bitterly wrought out by People Power 1 return to damn the Filipino people back to hell. We will not stand for the return of fascist rule, of military authority over people’s rights, of torture, assassinations, civilian militia, warrantless arrests and detainments, military harassment, curfews, media censorship, and seizure of businesses that seeped through the nation under Marcos’ draconian iron fist.

The global human rights community also cannot afford the record-breaking tally of human rights violations and deaths that will surely continue and escalate if martial law will be allowed to proceed and develop full force in the Philippines once again.

Even with Gonzales’ outright admittance of the nature of the Executive Order 467 draft to declare a state of lawless violence, rebellion, and therefore justify a state of national emergency, Arroyo continues to tow a line of deceit and dishonesty towards the Filipino people by masking the order as a shallow matter of Land Regulatory Authority.

Meanwhile she continues with her endless thievery of the people’s democratic rights and slaughter of the Philippine Constitution’s integrity with the forceful implementation of the Calibrated Preemptive Response (CPR) and Executive Order (EO) 464.

While the CPR brutally squashes the people’s right to peacefully assemble in protest, EO 464 spits at the co-equal authority of the Senate and Congress to hold congressional hearings with and challenge the Executive Branch, virtually protecting the Arroyo regime from having to answer to the people and their representatives on any official matter of concern.

Under EO 464, Arroyo has guarded herself from having to answer any of Congress’s legitimate queries and investigations, including over her wasteful pooling of P50 million in public funds to pay off top-billed US lobby firm Venable LLC in a hush-hush contract to lobby for U.S. support for charter changes to the Philippine Constitution. The U.S. lobby firm’s appeal would also gather more U.S. financial commitment for the Arroyo regime in the form of grants and loans, outside of the $80 billion in military aid already allotted to Arroyo from American tax dollars.

While Arroyo’s brand of the iron fist persists, US financial, political and military support continues to pour in to help reconstruct fascism in the Philippines under the guise of the so-called war on terror. The population of U.S. troops increases exponentially as more and more ships, such as the unidentified U.S. military ship that has landed on the shores of Basilan and Zamboanga this past week, much to the denial of Malacanang, proves.

By providing for the Arroyo regime, the U.S. provides for the establishment of martial law and state terror in the Philippines. It forces working Americans to foot the bill for the systematic killings of activists, trade union leaders, lawyers, progressive party-list members, journalists, church workers, and human rights advocates in the Philippine. While the American majority suffers from the Bush budget cuts on social services– most despicably illustrated with the devastated and impoverished communities displaced not by the Katrina disaster, but by the criminal negligence of the Bush administration– American tax dollars are funneled towards terror projects such as the Arroyo government.

The U.S. should stop all support to the Arroyo regime and stop making a mockery of the Filipino people’s national sovereignty. This includes immediate termination of contracts with lobby firms and a comprehensive end to political meddling in Philippine affairs. This includes the withdrawal of U.S. troops to support state terror against the Filipino people.

We also appeal to the international Filipino migrant community to likewise assist in constricting all forms of financial support to the corrupt Arroyo regime by opting not to remit their dollar earnings through traditional bank-to-bank channels, where the Arroyo government automatically demands a significant percentage of your deposits, but through non-traditional door-to-door channels instead.

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a fool if she believes such reproachable acts against the Filipino people will go unchecked. Each day spent at the Presidential seat she stole from the people’s sovereign will only confirms the day when her stolen power will be pounded out decisively and reclaimed by the Filipino people.

The daily mass demonstrations and protest actions all over the Philippines and especially towards Mendiola reveal the truth about Arroyo–that she is destined for a downfall of epic proportions, reminiscent of the people’s extraction of her ill-fated predecessors Marcos and Estrada. That the establishment of a multi-sectoral and truly democratic transition council is the only decent option to protecting the democratic rights and interests of the Filipino people in the face of rampant corruption towed by one too many traditional politicians.

We applaud the unwavering bravery and resistance of our compatriots who have been bloodied and bruised by the whipping batons and crushing shields of the fascist police in these past weeks since the imposition of the CPR. We salute the fierce commitment of those who have been subjected to unlawful arrest and detainment in asserting the people’s right to criticize the government.

These daily heroic acts are the work of the true protectors of the Filipino people’s rights, the Filipino people themselves.

We look forward with keen direction upon the Philippines and especially Mendiola because we know the mass demonstrations cannot and will not stop. As long as fascism exists under Arroyo, blood will continue to spill over the streets of Manila and all over the Philippines not because of the people, but because this is the Arroyo administration’s response when forced to confront the will of the people’s movement.

With the inspiration of our valiant compatriots back home, we too will not be cowed into deafening silence. We pledge complete support for our compatriots back home by exposing the truth about the Arroyo fascist dictatorship to the world, by educating and mobilizing Filipinos in the
U.S. We will heighten and increase mass actions against martial law, state terrorism, and gather international pressure towards the total ouster of the US-Arroyo regime.