2006 State of Emergency in the Philippines
at regime change
in the Philippines
Civil unrest (1970)
The Philippines was under a state of emergency, announced by presidential spokeperson Ignacio Bunye on the morning of February 24, 2006, by the virtue of Proclamation No. 1017. This occurred after the government claimed that it foiled an alleged coup d'état attempt against the administration of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo earlier that same day. The Philippine government security service also claimed that it had arrested a general who was involved in the coup attempt. The president lifted the state of emergency on March 3, 2006 by the virtue of Proclamation No. 1021.
The state of national emergency also led to a temporary suspension of lower-level education classes and an immediate revocation on all licenses and permits to hold demonstrations and protests. The Arroyo administration, which is known informally as Malacañang, after the presidential palace, also suspended all public activities on the same day and even on succeeding days. Under the provisions in the constitution of the Philippines, at the moment, the government is allowed to detain anyone indefinitely without the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.
President Arroyo assures that the situation was under control <ref> PGMA says situation is well under control Office of the Press Secretary. February 24, 2006 </ref> and the state of emergency would not be abused <ref> Proclamation 1017 will never be abused - Palace Office of the Press Secretary. February 25, 2006 </ref>.
Arroyo had justified her declaration of a state of emergency with her statement of "clear and present danger to our republic that we have discovered and thwarted." Critics claim that this is an attempt by Arroyo to seize political power due to her sagging influence and popularity, and some draw similarities to the actions of deposed Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos when he declared martial law in 1972.
The coup attempt follows the 2003 Oakwood mutiny where President Arroyo, certain members of her cabinet, and the military were charged with corruption and the Hello Garci scandal, where in 2004, Arroyo and certain election officials were charged with electoral fraud in the 2004 presidential elections.
This also comes after Executive Order No. 464, where the President forbade government officials under the Executive branch to attend Filipino Congressional hearings, and the Calibrated Pre-Emptive Response, where street protests were disallowed without securing a rally permit.
This has led to a drop at the president's popularity ratings from +28% right after EDSA II to -30% by December 2005. <ref> Satisfaction with the President Social Weather Stations. February 25, 2006 </ref>
Timeline of events leading up to the proclamation
The coup was first reported when 14 junior military officers were arrested for plotting a coup on Wednesday, February 22. By around midnight of the 24th, many military vehicles were seen entering Fort Bonifacio at Taguig City. Then, at 2:00 a.m., several more vehicles were seen entering Camp Aguinaldo at the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue. Brigadier General Danilo D. Lim of the Scout Rangers was put under the custody of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.<ref>Gov't arrests senior military officer for anti-Arroyo activities Philippine Star. February 24, 2006 </ref>
Former President Joseph Estrada was awoken by the police around 3:00 a.m. in San Juan Medical Center because he was ordered return to his resthouse in Tanay, Rizal. He did not follow the request of the police, because it has no authority from the Sandiganbayan (the court which is trying his case). He said that "Magkakamatayan kami" (over my dead body). His eye operation succeeded despite the political unrest within Metro Manila.
Hours later, large demonstrations were held at EDSA Shrine, the site of the first People Power movement in 1986. The Presidential Malacañang Palace has been heavily guarded since a lacquer thinner bomb exploded outside of the building on Thursday, February 23 <ref> Gloria tells Cory she’s part of Edsa I The Daily Tribune. February 24, 2006 </ref>. The coup is part of a plot codenamed "Oplan HACKLE."
Arroyo claimed that the coup was a plan between right-wing factions in the military and leftist anarchists, a highly questionable claim since it has been pointed out that both sides have fought each other in the past, and would make unlikely allies. <ref> Filipinos take to streets in protest of president's state of emergency Chron.com February 24, 2006 </ref>
By mid-morning, President Arroyo had declared a moratorium on all school activities from elementary to college level, issued through the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education. Around 11:25 a.m., Arroyo issued Proclamation No. 1017 on national television, which places the entire nation under a state of emergency in an attempt to quell the rebellion — many fear this step might eventually lead to the introduction of martial law. General Order No. 5 was issued by the President to implement Proclamation No. 1017. It orders the Armed Forces of the Philippines to "maintain the peace and order of the country and to protect it from terrorism or chaos." <ref> Tinawagan ni PGMA ang AFP na pairalin ang mga batas at sugpuin ang mga kaguluhan at ligalig Balitang Malacañang. February 25, 2006 </ref>
Events after the proclamation
The EDSA Shrine protesters were dispersed by the police by noontime. Some made their way to La Salle Green Hills, while others went to the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Ninoy Aquino's monument on Ayala Avenue at Makati City, the metro's central business district.
On the other side of EDSA, protesters led by University of the Philippines Professor Randy David were violently dispersed by the security forces at the EDSA-Kamuning intersection. Prof. David and Atty. Argee Guevarra were arrested and was charged with inciting to sedition in Camp Karingal in Quezon City. He was later released by nighttime, with all of the charges dropped. Ronald Llamas, a leader of the center-left]] Akbayan party, was arrested as well. <ref> Police arrest UP prof, Akbayan leader ABS-CBN Interactive. February 24, 2006 </ref>
Around 3:30 p.m. demonstrators from different sectors gathered around at the Ninoy Aquino Monument in Makati City to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution. Prominent personalities like former President Corazon Aquino and her daughter Kris Aquino, Senate President Franklin Drilon, former Vice President Teofisto Guingona, Bishop Teodoro Bacani and Bishop Oscar Cruz, as well as other senators like Sen. Aquilino Pimentel took part in this event. Protesters believed that Makati would be a safe gathering place because it is governed by Mayor Jejomar Binay who is an opposition leader. However, numerous police personnel have been deployed in the area to control the situation. The traditional throwing of confetti was carried out by some building occupants and a helicopter. The rally concluded by a dispersal made by the Philippine National Police around 7:30 p.m. <ref> Cops disperse Makati rally ABS-CBN Interactive. February 24, 2006 </ref> This is contrary to the statement of the police which said that the protesters "voluntarily" left the site where they held their protests.
This article is part of the series:
| Political history · Constitution
Benigno Aquino III
|Commission on Elections
Other countries · Atlas
On the morning of February 26, 2006, the Armed Forces denied the text messages stating that there would be unusual military movements <ref> AFP denies troop movement in Metro Manila ABS-CBN Interactive. February 26, 2006 </ref>. Malacañang said that those statements who came from Mayor JV Ejercito of San Juan, Metro Manila are not true. Mayor Ejercito denied the information that came from Malacañang. Malacañang also said that there are no unauthorized troop movements.
Fort Bonifacio crisis
Around 6:00 p.m. of February 26, 2006, Maj. Gen. Renato Miranda was either relieved <ref> Head of Philippine marines relieved of duty MSNBC February 26, 2006 </ref> or was asked to be relieved from his position as Commandant of the Philippine Marines. Philippine Navy Chief Vice Admiral Mateo Mayuga and Malacañang said that Miranda asked to be relieved because of personal reasons, while others perceived it as the firing of Miranda. He was replaced by Brig. Gen. Nelson Allaga, who will assume the position as Acting Commandant of Philippine Marines. Colonel Ariel Querubin protested those actions <ref> Coup rumors swirl; sacked colonel seeks civilian help The Daily Tribune February 27, 2006 </ref> from the Philippine Navy and marines went to the chapel of Fort Bonifacio, to start their prayer vigil as their protest. Actions of these marines could lead to a "withdrawal of support." <ref> Marine commandant gets wish for relief ABS-CBN Interactive. February 26, 2006 </ref> <ref> Marine chief relieved at his request INQ7.net. February 26, 2006 </ref> Presidential Chief-of-Staff Mike Defensor said that the decision is within the military so Malacañang has no influence of the matter. He also said that the media should not cover the events that was happening in the Fort (the major private stations covered the crisis in defiance, while the government-owned stations did not).
The armed forces implemented measures to counter the crisis such as blocking Lawton Ave. (which is the main road to the Fort) from possible protesters, turning off the lights in the Fort, and the deployment of loyalist troops to quell the situation.
However, former Vice President Teofisto Guingona, Jr., De La Salle University President Bro. Armin Luistro, FSC, former President Cory Aquino, Rep. Benigno Aquino III, Sen. Ramon Magsaysay, Jr., Rep. Imee Marcos, and prominent opposition members went to Fort Bonifacio, but the Civil Disturbance Team went there 7:05 p.m. to control civilians. The civil society held their prayer vigils, lead by La Salle Brothers, in front of the Fort.
On the evening of February 26, 2006, Capt. Geronimo said that the crisis between the Philippine Marines was over. The newly appointed Commandant of Philippine Marine Corps, Brig. Gen. Nelson Allaga, assumed control of all of the marines. Querubin was later fired from the armed forces. He bid his comrades goodbye at Marawi City.
New Marine Corps Commandant Brig. Gen. Allaga said that the situation in the Marines was over <ref> Commandant: Marine standoff settled ABS-CBN Interactive February 26, 2006 </ref> and the whole Philippine Marine Corps will still will follow the "chain of command" <ref> Marines will follow the chain of command--Allaga INQ7.net. February 26, 2006 </ref> despite of the events happened earlier. This is a result of a gentlemanly agreement to have a vote of whether to follow the chain of command or not. The result was 9 would follow the chain of command while 6 would not. <ref> Officers' vote ends Marine standoff ABS-CBN Interactive. February 27, 2006 </ref>
After the crisis, most people in front of Fort Bonifacio left <ref> Senga orders Queubin to stand down INQ7.net. February 26, 2006 </ref>. Malacañang declared the suspension of all classes on all school levels on the following day<ref> Palace: No classes in all levels INQ7.net February 26, 2006 </ref>, as a response to the crisis at the Fort. Col. Querubin had also been relieved from his position commander of the 1st Marine Brigade and Lt. Col. Luisito Marcelino will temporarily take command of the brigade <ref> Querubin stripped of command ABS-CBN Interactive. March 1, 2006 </ref> <ref> Emotional Marine commander bids farewell to troops INQ7.net. March 1, 2006 </ref>.
After the Makati rally, the Department of Justice sued former Senator Gregorio Honasan, who had previously led coups against the Aquino government in the 1980s, and other six leaders of RAM (Rebolusyonaryong Alyansang Makabansa or Revolutionary Nationalist Alliance) for the 2003 Oakwood mutiny. On February 25, ANAK-PAWIS Party-list Representative Crispin Beltran was shown a warrant and taken in for questioning under the state of emergency laws for an alleged role in a 1985 coup against Ferdinand Marcos, a highly unusual and controversial move since the alleged case occurred over twenty years ago. Beltran has stated in response, "They say this is just an invitation but I think this is an arrest. Warrantless arrest, I think there will be more to come." <ref> "Filipinos mark "people power" under emergency rule" Reuters. 25 February 2006.</ref> Rep. Beltran underwent inquest by the police on Monday, February 27, 2006 and was charged for "inciting rebellion" and "conspiracy to commit rebellion."
Next, the police tried unsuccessfully to arrest Bayan Muna Party-list Representative Satur Ocampo. Former chief of Philippine Constabulary retired General Ramon Montaño, who was former President Fidel V. Ramos’s national security adviser, was also arrested by the police<ref> Montaño arrest confirmed; Piad also nabbed ABS-CBN Interactive. February 25, 2006 </ref> <ref> Retired general Montaño ‘invited’ for questioning by police INQ7.net February 25, 2006 </ref>. He will be charged for inciting sedition. Former Police General Rex Piad was also arrested but later on it was revealed that there is no evidence to support his arrest.
On February 27, 2006, the PNP–CIDG filed cases against 51 alleged communists, which included five party-list representatives (Satur Ocampo y Cunanan, Crispin Beltran, Teodoro Casiño, Joel Virador, and Liza Maza), to the Department of Justice in violation of Article 134 in relation to Article 135 of the Revised Penal Code (rebellion/insurrection). A panel of prosecutors were assigned to the so-called "Batasan 5", but failed to find them guilty. <ref> Four party-list representatives among 51 persons linked to conspiracy to oust PGMA Office of the Press Secretary. February 27, 2006 </ref>. Minority floor leader Rep. Francis Escudero of Sorsogon appealed to House Speaker Jose de Venecia to halt arrests among congressmen during the state of emergency. De Venecia assured protection among the members of the House <ref> JDV: 'Protection' of House members assured ABS-CBN Interactive. February 27, 2006 </ref>, and offered his office and his conference room for their stay. For 70 days the five legislators took refuge in the House of Representatives<ref>INQ7.NET</ref>. Later in May 11, 2006, the Department of Justice filed new charges against the Batasan 5, for plotting to instigate a rebellion on May 1st.
Freedom of the press
|This article does not cite any references or sources.|
Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. (help, get involved!)
Unverifiable material may be challenged and removed.
This article has been tagged since February 2007.
During a state of emergency, the government could control public utilities, which includes media, according to the constitution. Gonzalez assures that the government will not use these powers unnecessarily. However, there are reports that the Arroyo government suppresses the freedom of the press.
On February 25, 2006, the PNP–CIDG raided The Daily Tribune of alleged assistance to the leftist groups and rebel military groups. <ref> Malacañan singles out Tribune in coup try ABS-CBN Interactive. February 25, 2006 </ref> <ref> Cops enter Tribune office, get copies of mock-up issue INQ7.net. February 25, 2006 </ref> <ref> Tribune offices raided; publisher fights back The Daily Tribune. February 26, 2006 </ref>
There were also reports that the military surrounded ABS-CBN compound in Mother Ignacia, Diliman, Quezon City. Although they left the premises hours later.
Samahang Plaridel <ref> Freedom of the press is the shining mark of civil society ABS-CBN Interactive. February 27, 2006 </ref>, National Union of Journalists of the Philippines <ref> A call for solidarity ABS-CBN Interactive. February 27, 2006 </ref>, and Committee to Protect Journalists were all disappointed of Proclamation No. 1017, which, according to them, suppresses press freedom.
Lifting of the proclamation
On March 1, 2006 (Ash Wednesday), Arroyo has stated that she will lift the "state of emergency" soon, perhaps by the end of the first week of March. The President gives a 24 to 72 hour time frame to the Secretary of Justice, Secretary of National Defense, and to the Chief of Philippine National Police to give reports to her before lifting the state of emergency. <ref> PGMA's Message on the possible early lifting of Proclamation 1017 Office of the Press Secretary. March 1, 2006 </ref> <ref> Proclamation 1017 will be lifted as soon as possible, says PGMA Office of the Press Secretary. March 1, 2006 </ref> <ref> "Arroyo: Possible lifting of 1017 in 24-72 hours". ABS-CBN Interactive. March 1, 2006 </ref>
On March 3, 2006, by the virtue of Proclamation No. 1021, the Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo officially concluded state of emergency in the Philippines. The state of emergency (Proclamation No. 1017) lasted one week since February 24, 2006. According to her, the state of emergency protected major democratic institutions... and even the media <ref> Proclamation No. 1021 Office of the Press Secretary. March 3, 2006 </ref> <ref>PGMA's Statement on the lifting of Proclamation 1017 Office of the Press Secretary. March 3, 2006 </ref> <ref>PGMA's Statement on the lifting of Proclamation 1017 (English version) Office of the Press Secretary. March 3, 2006 </ref> . This led to lowering of security alerts of the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Some observers have drawn parallels between the actions of President Arroyo and those of Ferdinand Marcos. Benito Lim, Professor of Political Science at the University of the Philippines, stated, "This is suppression of all freedom. It is in violation of the constitution and the bill of rights. This is the beginning of using stronger measures to quell dissent against the government. Their justification is reminiscent of Marcos when he proclaimed martial law."<ref> "Manila's Arroyo declares emergency rule" Reuters. 24 February 2006. </ref>
On February 24, 2006, the Philippine National Police violently dispersed protesters from EDSA. The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines denounced the violence, and advised the President to be calm in handling the protests <ref> Call to Patriotism Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines February 24, 2006 </ref> <ref> GMA's state of emergency draws concern from the Church Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines February 24, 2006 </ref> <ref> CBCP head appeals for calm amid violent protest dispersals The Daily Tribune. February 25, 2006 </ref>. Archbishop Oscar Cruz of Dagupan City, Pangasinan and other bishops were not happy of the proclamation from the President stating that the Philippines is under a state of emergency, <ref> Bishops to break silence on '1017' ABS-CBN Interactive. February 28, 2006 </ref> however the CBCP wants the people to be vigilant of the situation <ref> Bishops urge vigilance over '1017' ABS-CBN Interactive. February 28, 2006 </ref>.
Former President Ramos said that he was disappointed of the declaration of state of emergency to just prevent an uprising of a small faction of the military, saying it was overkill. The former President describes his cold relationship to President Arroyo as "Waning, waning."
Former President Joseph Estrada appealed to Arroyo to remove the declaration of State of Emergency as it will not benefit most of the people in the country. He also condemns "baseless arrests" and the alleged dictatorship rule. <ref> Erap urges Gloria: Recall ‘1017’ The Daily Tribune. February 27, 2006 </ref>
Fernando Poe, Jr.'s widow Susan Roces said that last week, President Arroyo said that she is the best President of the country, "Is this the best?" Roces is referring to the speech of Arroyo regarding a meeting with the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) saying: "And let me also make clear: I believe I am the best person to lead this nation through this transition. I was elected to make difficult decisions, and I have made them. Not without mistakes on my part, and certainly not without significant criticism. But I have the experience of hindsight, and I aim to fulfill my term with a steady hand on the helm." <ref> PGMA's Speech during the meeting with the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) Office of the Press Secretary February 21, 2006 </ref>
The Lasallian Brothers issued a letter about the current political crisis in the country. One of their main points is: "We wish to reaffirm that the most peaceful and expedient way to resolve the current crisis is for President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to make the supreme sacrifice and to resign voluntarily, an option fully in consonance with the Constitution, in order to pave the way for a smooth and peaceful transition of power." which calls for the resignation of President Arroyo <ref> FSC Letter to the Philippine Lasallian Family De La Salle University. February 28, 2006 </ref>.
In the statement of Presidential Spokesperson Sec. Ignacio Bunye, he said that "The actions of the government have been well calibrated and there is no overkill... Had the President not acted as she did, we would now be under a rightist-communist junta." <ref> Statement of Secretary Ignacio R. Bunye: No Overkill Office of the President February 26, 2006 </ref>
Vice President Noli de Castro affirms President Arroyo's declaration. He said, "I respect the right of the President to declare a state of emergency in order to preserve the peace, maintain law and order, and ensure the protection of human rights and civil liberties of the people for as long as there is imminent threat to public safety."
However, on March 1, 2006, de Castro wants to remove the state of emergency since "there is no more emergency", according to him <ref> De Castro wants emergency rule lifted sooner ABS-CBN Interactive. March 1, 2006 </ref> <ref> De Castro calls for lifting of state of emergency INQ7.net. March 1, 2006 </ref>.
In a press statement, the United States, through the U.S. Department of State welcomed President Arroyo's lifting of the State of National Emergency expressing optimism towards deeper cooperation on important issues including counter-terrorism, regional cooperation and security, defense reform, strengthening democracy and economic development.<ref> Philippines: Lifting of State of National EmergencyU.S. Department of State March 3, 2006.</ref>
The President cited Article 7 Section 18 of the Constitution which states that: "The President…whenever necessary... may call out the armed forces to prevent or suppress... rebellion..." and Article 12 Section 17 of the Constitution which states that: "In times of national emergency, when the public interest so requires, the State may, during the emergency and under reasonable terms prescribed by it, temporarily take over or direct the operations of privately owned public utilities or business affected with public interest." Sec. Gonzalez of the Department of Justice said that the government had not yet reached that point. <ref> Declaration of State of National Emergency authorized by Charter Office of the Press Secretary. February 24, 2006 </ref>
Lawyers question Proclamation No. 1017 stating that the whole nation is under State of Emergency and other actions of the government in the Supreme Court of the Philippines by issuing multiple petitions. <ref> Emergency rule questioned before SC ABS-CBN Interactive. February 27, 2006 </ref> <ref> Coup tension eases but Arroyo faces legal challenge Reuters. February 26, 2006 </ref>
25. Four party-list representatives among 51 persons linked to conspiracy to oust PGMA Office of the Press Secretary.February 27, 2006
33. PGMA's Message on the possible early lifting of Proclamation 1017 Office of the Press Secretary. March 1, 2006
34. Proclamation 1017 will be lifted as soon as possible, says PGMA Office of the Press Secretary. March 1, 2006
37. PGMA's Statement on the lifting of Proclamation 1017 Office of the Press Secretary March 3,2006
38. PGMA's Statement on the lifting of Proclamation 1017 (English version) Office of the Press Secretary. March 3, 2006
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/storypage.aspx?StoryId=31400 Bishops to break silence on '1017' ABS-CBN Interactive. February 28, 2006]
46. PGMA's Speech during the meeting with the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) Office of the Press Secretary February 21, 2006
52. Declaration of State of National Emergency authorized by Charter Office of the Press Secretary. February 24, 2006
- Office of the Press Secretary Online: PGMA declares a State of National Emergency
- The Daily Tribune: Without Fear or Favor
- The Official Website of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines – CBCP online
- BBC: Emergency declared in Philippines
- INQ7: Arroyo declares state of emergency
- Guardian: State of emergency in Philippines
- IFEX: Media targeted under state of emergency - IFEX