Early this morning Channel 7 was airing live feed of armored vehicles traversing EDSA. The news crew tailed the convoy until they entered Camp Aguinaldo gates without any trouble. The news anchors were understandably speculating whether these were 'friendly' or 'hostile' to the government. Turns out they were extra protection from Tarlac.
I went to try and get online and see how the blogosphere and international news wire was reacting. But our landlines are dead. This isn't necessarily out of ordinary, we've had disruption of service for no reason before. But what a strange day for our lines to be out today. So here I am blogging from an internet cafe.
At around 9am there was a lull. Channel 2 at this time was the lone TV station covering the unfolding events from 8 onwards. The President was expected to air a statement at around 9 and the anchors Korina Sanchez and Ted Failon hung on 'til 11, but still no news from Malacanang. Channel 2 went back to regular programming for about an hour.
At noontime, the President went on air and declared a State of National Emergency in response to a failed coup attempt by certain factions of the military and the supposed threat to State security. Chief of Staff Mike Defensor was interviewed later and explained what they meant by "State of National Emergency." He said warantless arrest may be made, all permits to rally on this day, the EDSA revolution's 20th anniversary, are revoked and public utilities may be taken over by government should there be clear and present danger.
The images on the tube are that of uniformed men dispersing rallyists at the EDSA shrine. Understandably, we are all concerned.
When I woke up today, I knew something was up. I texted my friend Luisa "I've a feeling something's gonna happen today. There's electricity in the air." She responded, "Is it good or bad?" I replied, "Good for some, bad for others, but exciting for all."
Don't you love it here? :)
Proclamation 1017 courtesy of Inq7.net:
MALACAÑANG PALACE MANILATo see Proclamation 1017, click here.
PROCLAMATION NO. 1017
PROCLAMATION DECLARING A STATE OF NATIONAL EMERGENCY
WHEREAS, over these past months, elements in the political opposition have conspired with authoritarians of the extreme Left represented by the NDF-CPP-NPA and the extreme Right, represented by military adventurists--the historical enemies of the democratic Philippine
State—who are now in tactical alliance and engaged in a concerted and systematic conspiracy, over a broad front, to bring down the duly constituted Government elected in May 2004.
WHEREAS, these conspirators have repeatedly tried to bring down the President;
WHEREAS, the claims of these elements have been recklessly magnified by certain segments of the national media;
WHEREAS, this series of actions is hurting the Philippine State--by obstructing governance including hindering the growth of the economy and sabotaging the people’s confidence in government and their faith in the future of this country;
WHEREAS, these actions are adversely affecting the economy;
WHEREAS, these activities give totalitarian forces of both the extreme Left and extreme Right the opening to intensity their avowed aims to bring down the democratic Philippine State;
WHEREAS, Article 2, Section 4 of our Constitution makes the defense and preservation of the democratic institutions and the State the primary duty of Government;
WHEREAS, the activities above-described, their consequences, ramifications and collateral
effects constitute a clear and present danger to the safety and the integrity of
the Philippine State and of the Filipino people;
NOW, THEREFORE, I Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President of the Republic of the Philippines and
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested upon me by Section 18, Article 7 of the Philippine Constitution which states that: “ The President…whenever it becomes necessary,…may call out (the) armed forces to prevent or suppress…rebellion…, “ and in my capacity as their Commander-in-Chief, do hereby command the Armed Forces of the Philippines,
to maintain law and order throughout the Philippines, prevent or suppress all forms of lawless violence as well any act of insurrection or rebellion and to enforce obedience to all the laws and to all decrees, orders and regulations promulgated by me personally or upon my direction; and as provided in Section
17, Article 12 of the Constitution do hereby declare a State of National Emergency.
IN WITNESS HEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the Republic of the Philippines to be affixed.
Done in the City of Manila, this 24th day of February, in the year of Our Lord, two thousand and
GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO President Republic of the Philippines