Written on 9:42 PM by yahoo
We, the Officers and Members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, loyal to God and country and to our duty under the Constitution, do hereby make the following declaration:
A crisis of extreme proportions now confronts our people. The economy, the rule of law and the moral order lie in ruins. Political, judicial and economic power, as well as the power of the mass media, has been perverted to inflict and justify high crimes against the Filipino people. More and more among our people no longer eat, while the idle rich and the corrupt live like kings. Minority rule has replaced majority rule. The three branches of government are now in total disarray, the entire system has broken down, thanks to a President whose legitimacy is denied by the vast majority of our people.
Corruption has not only become a way of life among those in power. It has also become the most effective means of destroying our country and people. Mrs. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has played a key role in promoting corruption to its present levels. In her mad desire for power, she has corrupted and destroyed all institutions. She has promoted a policy of loot and plunder while hypocritically announcing a war against corruption.
She has corrupted the justices of the Supreme Court, the entire Commission on Elections, the mass media, some members of the military, the police and the clergy, and countless teachers who took part in counting the votes in the last elections. She is not only the most corrupt official in the country today. She is also its No. 1 corruptor.
We cannot stand idly by while the rule of law, the moral order, the integrity of our institutions, the very future of our country and the people, and our own professional careers are destroyed by this bogus President. We cannot afford to do nothing while she and her cohorts turn our government into a criminal syndicate. We cannot allow ourselves to be used as a tool of injustice and oppression. We must act, and we must act now.
Pursuant, therefore, to our constitutional duty as “protector of the people and the state,” we have today withdrawn our support from Mrs. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, in order to end her unconstitutional and illegal occupation of the Presidency.
This we have done to restore the rule of law and public morality, the legitimacy and accountability of government, the integrity of our public institutions, the sanctity of the democratic process, and the trust and confidence of our people and the rest of the world.
We call on all our comrades-in-arms to discharge their genuine responsibilities to our people with full dedication and fervor. We call on our people to support the men and women at the forefront of this undertaking. We call on Mrs. Arroyo to accept gracefully the formation of a new government.
As soldiers, we do not seek political power for ourselves. But we shall not allow anyone to use political power to commit crimes against our people or to pursue their own personal agenda, at the expense of the national interest. We shall maintain law and order, prevent any group from taking advantage of the situation, and protect the innocent from all possible harm. We shall leave the actual business of governing the nation in the hands of professionally competent, morally upright, patriotic, trustworthy and self-sacrificing Filipinos whom we now invite to form a new government.
This may be our last chance to correct our past mistakes. We cannot afford to fail. We must not fail.
We appeal to everyone to give this effort a chance to succeed. We appeal to all our people to unite and extend all the support and counsel which the new government will need from them. We pray to Almighty God to bless our efforts and keep us pure and strong in this hour of need.
Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!
Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim
First Scout Ranger Regiment
The Oakwood Agreement
The following are the terms of the Oakwood Agreement, which was approved by the so-called Magdalo soldiers and the government represented by Gen. Roy Cimatu (Ret.):
· Only the five (5) leaders named will suffer the consequences of the actions of the whole group at Oakwood. The five (5) are: Cpt Gary Alejano PN(M), Cpt Gerardo Gambala PA, Cpt Milo Maestrecampo PA, LTSG James Layug PN and LTSG Antonio Trillanes IV. All the rest shall only be admonished under the provisions of AW 105.
· There will be an independent investigation on the status of RSBS.
· There will be an independent investigation on the selling of arms and ammunition to the enemies of the state.
· There will be an independent investigation on the bombings in Davao and other areas in Mindanao.
· There will be an independent investigation on the extent of corruption in the AFP.
The agreement was witnessed by Mr Max Soliven, VADM Ruben Domingo, COMMO Tirso Danga, BGEN Danilo Lim, CAPT Feliciano Anggue PN, COL Oban PAF, Usec Abraham Purugganan, and Gen Dionisio Santiago (Ret). The above terms were approved by GMA through a phone call made by Gen Cimatu. As further proof of Malacanang’s approval of the Oakwood Agreement, the terms were broadcasted live on national TV by then AFP Chief of Staff Gen Narciso Abaya before the Magdalo soldiers agreed to stand down.
Starting 29 July 2003 all officers and EP who participated in the Oakwood Incident were detained in direct contravention of the agreement.
A few weeks after the incident, the Maniwang and Feliciano Commissions were created by the government to conduct the investigations as stated in the agreement. Both commissions exonerated both the GMA administration and the AFP of any wrongdoing.
In Aug 2003, two (2) Marine officers testified in the Senate regarding the selling of arms and ammunition to lawless elements in Jolo. In fact, a marine company was even directed by Southcom to transport and deliver the said items to a drop-off point at a roadside. This was admitted by then Southcom Chief LTGEN Padiernos. The tragic irony is that these same guns and ammunition may have been the same ones used against the Marines in the recent clashes in Jolo, which killed at least 12 and wounded more than 20 of them.
In Oct 2006, Defense Sec. Avelino Cruz declared that because of its bankruptcy, the RSBS would shut down its operation.
Alleged coup plotter finds ally in former vice president
By Joel Guinto, INQUIRER.net, 11/08/2007
MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATE) Colonel Ariel Querubin, one of the alleged leaders of the botched February 2006 coup, found an ally in former vice president Teofisto Guingona, who attended the officer’s habeas corpus hearing at the Court of Appeals on Thursday.
Guingona, who wore a button pin bearing Querubin’s face, sat beside the colonel during the proceedings.
“I give full support to Colonel Querubin because I know how it means to be imprisoned,” Guingona told reporters after the hearing.
“I think justice will be served… I think we will get out of this soon,” Querubin said.
Mrs. Querubin questioned her husband's detention citing the pre-trial advice (PTA), which was not signed by Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Hermogenes Esperon Jr.
In the PTA, Esperon approved the filing of mutiny charges against Querubin and 27 other Marine and Army Scout Ranger officers, overturning recommendations by military prosecutors to charge them only with lesser charges.
"The confinement is not only unlawful, it also has no basis in fact and in law," Querubin's lawyer, Sigfrid Fortun, told the three justices of the appellate courts 5th division.
Fortun said the PTA was the equivalent of an indictment in criminal courts, without which, suspects could not be detained.
"This is about a valid indictment. If there is no valid indictment, Colonel Querubin should be allowed to go scot-free," he said.
He said this should apply to Querubin's case, even if he is under military law. "[Soldiers] are not a class of people with separate rights. They have rights under the Constitution."
"One and a half years of this soldier's productive life has been lost," Fortun said, adding. "He is not a flight risk, with seven children and a homemaker wife. He should be allowed to go [out of detention]."
Fortun said Querubin should freed, since if the original recommendation of military prosecutors was to charge him only for violation of Articles of War 96 (conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman) and 97 (conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline).
Querubin and his co-accused have been detained at a maximum security facility in Camp Capinpin in Tanay town, Rizal province, since mid-2006.
Arguing the case of the government, Assistant Solicitor General Amparo Cabotaje-Tang, said Esperon did not need to sign the PTA, since there was an "amended charge sheet" that included mutiny.
"Even without signing [the PTA]. It was effectively and legally approved," Tang said.
The presiding justice, Martin Villarama, grilled Tang on her argument.
"He can just put a line there. Approved or disapproved. Why do you think is the reason?" Villarama said.
To, which, Tang replied: "I was not informed of the reason [why Esperon did not sign]."
Villarama then said: "Effectively approved? Why did he not say so? It will only take him two seconds [to sign]."
Tang also accused Querubin's camp of "forum shopping," saying he also has a pending petition for certiorari, questioning the legality of the court martial trying him.
Fortun countered, saying his client's detention and the jurisdiction of the court martial were two different issues.
Villarama gave both sides 15 days from Wednesday to submit memoranda, for Querubin's camp to prove that they were not forum shopping, and for the Solicitor General to cite precedents when a PTA was not needed to send a case to court martial
WHEREAS, because of the numerous unresolved scandals involving the present administration, including but not limited to the “Hello Garci” Election controversy, the ZTE , North Rail Project, Diosdado Macapagal Highway scandals, the Joc-joc Bolante Fertilizer scam, Jose Pidal caper, hundreds of unresolved extra-judicial killings and the latest Malacañang Bribery Incident, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has completely lost her moral authority to govern this country;
WHEREAS, the GMA has lost public sympathy and support in the light of her tainted electoral mandate and her responsibility for the numerous controversies hounding her administration, as consistently shown by survey after survey conducted by reputable polling entities;
WHEREAS, Vice President Noli De Castro is a member of the Arroyo cabinet and is a beneficiary of the cheating perpetrated during the May 2004 Elections and is also considered to be a silent partner in crime of GMA not only because of his close personal association and unflinching support for GMA but also because of his failure to stand-up against and denounce the abuses and excesses of the Arroyo regime;
WHEREAS, the recent Glorietta bombing incident appears to be a signal for the more violent phase in the regime of GMA;
WHEREAS, the sham impeachment case filed by personalities connected with Malacanang effectively sabotages and ridicules the impeachment process;
WHEREAS, the only peaceful, legal and constitutional option available to the Nation under the circumstances and to prevent the situation from developing into a full-scale conflict or civil strife is for GMA and Noli De Castro to resign from their respective positions as President and Vice-President, of the Republic of the Philippines;
WHEREAS, the 1987 Constitution, under Section 10, Article VII, expressly provides that:
“Sec. 10. The Congress shall, at ten o’clock in the morning of the third day after the vacancy in the offices of the President and Vice-President occurs, convene in accordance with its rules without need of a call and within seven days enact a law calling for a special election to elect a President and a Vice-President to be held not earlier than forty-five days nor later than sixty days from the time of such call. Xxx.”
NOW, WHEREFORE, We the undersigned citizens, taxpayers and voters of the Republic of the Philippines, in our capacity as the true sovereign of the Nation, DO HEREBY:
1. Call upon Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Noli De Castro to spare the country from further turmoil and violence by immediately resigning from their respective positions as President and Vice-President of the Philippines;
2. Demand the holding of a Special Presidential and Vice-Presidential Election within Sixty (60) Days from the date of the resignation of GMA and Noli de Castro, pursuant to Section 10, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution;
May God bless our Great Nation!
DONE in Metro Manila, Philippines on this 21st day of October 2007.
No Plea BargainThis statement is intended to explain why I refuse to enter into any form of plea bargaining in any of my cases arising from the Oakwood incident.
To begin, I must make it clear that I respect my co-accused, and hold no adverse opinion on their decisions to consider or enter into plea bargains. Their beliefs are their own, as is their right to chart the courses of their own lives.
When I went to Oakwood, four years ago, it was clear to me that in order for me to bring the truth to my countrymen, I could stand to lose my life, my career or everything I hold dear. Standing trial and facing possible conviction for various offenses are natural consequences of my decision to tell the truth. Thus, I hold no rancor for those who must compel me to submit to the legal processes, even as I expect no justice to come out of such processes.
Years later, it is to my sorrow that no significant changes have taken place despite our warnings, our concerns and our acts in Oakwood. The system is as corrupt as ever, the military is now more politicized than ever before and the highest executive in the land holds office in spite of the absence of a clear mandate. Even sadder, our soldiers are still needlessly dying out there.
I have since learned that I must cast my lot with the majority of the Filipino people who, despite the recent electoral exercises, remain outside of the decision making processes exercised by our public officials, and therefore remain powerless. - PILIPINO.ORG was born from this difficult lesson.
With these in mind, I refuse to bargain with the dubious authorities who exercise power without conscience and who are responsible for the ills that I felt compelled to report to my countrymen. At any rate, an agreement of this nature would be a tacit ratification or recognition of Presidential powers that lie uneasily in the wrong hands.
If this refusal to bargain means a prison term or the loss of my life, I am prepared, now, as much as I was four years ago, to pay the price for telling the truth.