Saturday, February 25, 2006

GMA’s Proclamation 1017 triggers outrage among Philippine bloggers

Proclamation 1017 issued by President Gloria Arroyo to quell what she perceives as a “clear and present danger” to the Republic posed by Leftsts and Right wing “military adventurers” seems to be triggering a backlash from the citizenry, or at least from citizen bloggers.

Yes, I am afraid, like anybody else, to speak out because I might be arrested even though I'm just a simple blogger. But I feel strongly about this issue [the state of emergency] and I cannot let it pass without giving a genuine comment. I feel strongly about it because I am involved, as a Filipino. I won't pretend I'm speechless because I am not,” Cheenee Otarra, in Princessic Thoughts of Cheenee (

How could she?! How could she take away the freedom of other people to speak out? This is indeed another name for Martial Law: State of Emergency,” Cheenee adds. “To arrest people who are against her just because she's threatened by a coup isn't enough reason for her to arrest them. That is indeed a political harassment. Hello, Gloria? Where's Democracy?”

For Maria Jose in her blog Alleba Politics (, the proclamation shattered her.

“Tonight I cry. I cry because of fear, anxiety and frustration. There is something very wrong with the country today and not enough people care,”she said. “Yesterday, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared the entire Philippines under a “State of National Emergency.” Having done so has allowed her to arrest without any warrants and interfere with the right to freedom of expression.”

“Our dear Philippines has been under the state of national emergency since Friday,” says Mai in Mai Buhay ( It's ironic how twenty years ago we fought for our freedom and had won - and now that we're celebrating our democracy we're being deprived of it. This is absurd.”

Says ebonietheweird in State of emergency: what a load of crap! GMA is just hiding behind all her lies and her inability to properly govern a country. We can't really blame her for everything. I mean, the Filipino people did vote for her. But then the issue of her treachery comes to mind again. So it's all really confusing.”

These are some of the reactions that BusinessMirror obtained from blogs randomly selected through the search engine Blogger.Com. And many of these bloggers fear the state of emergency may bring back the dark days of Martial Law, especially after the news spread that the Daily Tribune was “taken over by the government.”

Muses Dean Jorge Bocobo in Philippine Commentary ( “1017 outlines the new conjugal dictatorship in the Philippines… The die is cast in many ways, by the brazen, gang-banging nature of Proclamation 1017's mandates and the manner of its execution. A red line has been crossed in the closure and seizure by the Philippine National Police of the opposition Daily Tribune, and open threats by General Arturo Lomibao of closures and seizures of other newspapers, television, and radio outlets that do not toe the line of "Responsible Journalism."

“The thinking of some now is that Proclamation 1017 does not give the Executive enough powers to contain and quell the rising anger and mobilization of Civil Societies and mass organzations across the entire political spectrum at the audacity of the government's crackdown. The attempt to paint everyone as coup plotters and military adventurists as the reason for the pogrom is melting as the government is starting to go after patently legitimate opposition,” Bocobo adds.

Others though are hoping that GMA would get to her senses and cancel the Proclamation 1017.

Mr E in Bunker Chronicles ( “With the way police are implementing Proclamation 1017, and the impending barrage of protests to be lodged in the Supreme Court for its immediate declaration of unconstitutionality, it won't be long for President Arroyo to be forced to withdraw its controversial open-ended provisions in order to save face this time with the international community, who are now seeing more and more of her "dark" side with the implementation of Proclamation 1017.”

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