In a bid to stifle the legitimate grievances of the citizens of the Philippines and pre-empt the moves of opposition elements within the Armed Forces, the bogus government of GMA has seen it fit to declare a State of National Emergency.

Today, we, members of Akbayan, along with thousands of other Filipino citizens under the Laban ng Masa banner, marched to the streets of EDSA to peacefully celebrate the spirit of people power. Today, Gloria not only denied us our right to commemorate this historic event, she practically revoked our right to self-expression and assembly, a right which we had rightfully won twenty years ago.

Two of our leaders – Akbayan President Ronald Llamas and UP Professor Randy David – and lawyer Argee Guevarra were arrested today by plainclothes men and carted away in an unmarked vehicle while in the process of negotiating with the riot police. We have just learned that they are now being brought to Camp Karingal.

This event is alarming not only because it is our leaders who are involved. It is alarming because we now know exactly what GMA is capable of doing. She is, in fact, capable of invoking dictatorial powers to stay in control. Martial law by any name – Proclamation 1017, State of Emergency, warrantless arrest, wholesale ban on public protest, take-over of public utilities, closure of media facilities — IS martial law. It is very apparent that the state of emergency is nothing but a veiled promise to initiate a sweeping crackdown on forces opposing GMA.

Those who claim to support her rule – the traditional politicians, high-ranking military officials, big business, etc – are obviously those people and groups who have the most to gain from her remaining in Malacañang. Political power, business favors, and other ‘perks’ of being an Arroyo supporter have proved to be the proverbial “thirty pieces of silver” for these people. They have willingly sacrificed the rights of the Filipino People in exchange for their continued stay in power. They have willingly cast their vote for the betrayal of EDSA!

Democracy in this country has long been in the throes of death. Today, GMA has killed and buried it.

We call on every freedom-loving citizen to resist this illegitimate and dictatorial regime. GMA may have resurrected Marcos but we will resurrect EDSA.

Rep. Etta Rosales
Rep. Risa Hontiveros
Rep. Mayong Aguja
Akbayan

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