By Bb. Joyce Cabral, Sugar Hicap and Billy Javier Reyes
Manila, Philippines- Leftwing activists belonging to the fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Friday said they were convinced the Ampatuan massacre was the brainchild of top national security officials of the Macapagal-Arroyo government to justify the imposition of Martial Law in Maguindanao province.
Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said the powerful Ampatuan clan was coaxed and motivated by national security operators of Malacanang to commit the mass murder of people to stop the rival clan from pursuing their bid to wrest the control of political power in the province, justify the imposition of Martial Law and spoil the holding of elections in 2010.
“In committing the carnage to justify the declaration of Proclamation 1959 and the failure of elections in Maguindanao, the biggest winners here are President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her political allies in Maguindanao—the Ampatuans, who like President Arroyo wants to perpetuate themselves all over Maguindanao by all means,” added Hicap.
“This regime led by Ms Arroyo is very much obsessed with the declaration of Martial Law. The current terrorist Manila government has been plotting Martial Law since it assumed the presidency and its rallying call is to do whatever it can do to justify martial rule. The Ampatuan massacre is part of the game plan for Martial Law,” he added.
The Pamalakaya leader singled out Defense Secretary and National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzalez as the chief operator of Maguindanao massacre, which was processed and approved by top security officials of the Arroyo government, that includes the newly installed defense chief.
“Secretary Gonzalez, the silent operator of the terrorist and national security obsessed regime has been pushing for the declaration of Martial Law in the name of President Arroyo’s political survival. Perhaps, by creating intrigues, hatred and war between the rival clans in Maguindanao, the government could achieve its objective, which is the declaration of Martial Law that could be expanded in other provinces and Philippine territories the soonest time possible ahead of the May 2010 elections,” Hicap explained.
Pamalakaya feared that Malacanang and Secretary Gonzalez could spark wars among political and warlord clans in Mindanao to justify the expansion and extension of Martial Law.
The militant group said Palace national security officials could spark the clan wars between the families of Wahab Akbar and Gerry Salapudin in Basilan, Sakur Tan and Tupay Loong clan in Sulu, the Jaafar clan against its political rivals in Tawi-Tawi, the Dimaporo clan vs. political enemies in Lanao del Norte and many clans in Lanao del Sur to justify the imposition of Martial Law in these areas of political conflicts among politician- warlords.
Pamalakaya said the government might also exploit the activities of criminal groups all over Mindanao like bank robberies and hostage taking to create a climate of terror and lawlessness to justify the imposition of Martial Law.
Meanwhile, the group urged Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile and House Speaker Prospero Nograles to quit from their posts ahead of the scheduled joint session of Congress on whether to affirm or revoke Proclamation 1959 placing the entire Maguindanao province under Martial Law.
Pamalakaya said Enrile and Nograles have already expressed their support to Palace declaration of Martial Law in Maguindanao, and they cannot exact objectivity and fairness as leaders of Congress in determining the legal, political and moral correctness of Proclamation 1959.
“The present Senate President and the Speaker of the House are not the right persons to lead the joint session of Congress as far as Proclamation 1959 is concerned. Mr. Enrile is the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos partner in crime in declaring Martial Law in 1972, while Nograles, a has been politician from Davao City sees the extreme military measure as a way to keep himself to political eternity, the way Mrs. Arroyo wants herself to be,” it said.
“Mr. Enrile and Mr. Nograles are President Arroyo’s rah rah boys in Congress. We cannot entrust the fate of this country to GMA boys and rubber stamp politicians in Congress”, the Pamalakaya added.
Earlier, Pamalakaya urged congressmen allied with President Arroyo to cross party lines and vote against the imposition of Martial Law in Maguindanao. The militant group also appealed to administration congressmen who shifted party loyalties to Nacionalista Party of Senator Manuel Villar and Liberal Party of Senator Mar Roxas to join the eight militant party list representatives—Satur Ocampo, Teodoro Casino and Atty. Neri Javier Colmenares of Bayan Muna, Rafael Mariano and Joel Maglunsod of Anakpawis, Liza Maza and Luzviminda Ilagan of Gabriela and Rep. Raymond Palatino of Kabataan Party in opposing and voting against Proclamation 1959.
Pamalakaya said pro-GMA congressmen should rise above the occasion and quell the grand plan of Malacanang and the National Security Council to slowly but surely place the entire country under Martial Law with the Maguindanao massacre as a laboratory for eventual declaration of martial rule all over the country.
The militant group said the statement of House Speaker Nograles justifying Proclamation 1959 is politically dangerous, and tantamount to endorsing the eventual dissolution of the House of Representatives. Pamalakaya further asserted that Nograles is toeing the Palace line for the across-the-nation imposition of Martial Law.
“Remember the imposition of Martial Law is one of the available legal measures for President Arroyo to perpetuate herself to power beyond 2010. Mrs. Arroyo and her ruling gangland will do everything, anything, whatever the cost maybe to justify martial rule and keep the reigning political syndicate to power. This will lead to the eventual closure of the House,” added Pamalakaya.
Pamalakaya said congressmen allied or oppose to President Arroyo should take cue from the Supreme Court which said that Malacanang has no basis to declare Martial Law in Maguindanao because the court system in Maguindanao is functioning.
“The Supreme Court is clear, the court system is working and in fact that judge in Kidapawan had issued six search warrants that authorized the raids on several Amputuan residences. The cruel intention of Mrs. Arroyo and National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzalez is highly exposed here—they want the Maguindanao to jumpstart the well planned imposition of Martial Law all over the country,” the group said.
“It appears to us that the Maguindanao massacre orchestrated by the powerful Ampatuan clan had the official blessing if not tacit approval of the national security mafia in Malacanang to justify the possible declaration of national state of emergency or even Martial Law across the country. Palace think tanks believe the situation could be exploited to justify the martial rule not only in Maguindanao but also across the country in not so distant future,” Pamalakaya added.
The militant group asserted that aside from President Arroyo, Secretary Gonzalez and ex-defense chief Teodoro, previous defense secretaries and chiefs of the Armed Forces of the Philippines should be made to explain why they allowed the proliferation of CAFGUs, armed Civilian Volunteer Organizations (CVOs) and private armies in Maguindanao and have them enlisted and functioned as military and security personnel and private armies of the powerful Ampatuan warlord clan in Maguindanao. #