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Saturday, May 06, 2006


We Assert our Rights and Freedom!

The following is the joint statement to the press issued by the Batasan 5 today, May 6, 2006. We are inviting everyone to join us in finally leaving the Batasan grounds on Monday morning, May 8.

We, the Batasan 5, have come to a decision. On Monday, May 8, we will leave, all five of us, the premises of the Batasan. We shall assert our freedom and our rights, both as legislators backed by the mandate of the people and as citizens, specifically against the political persecution of the Arroyo government.

In the same breath, we assert our innocence of the spurious charge of rebellion against us and some of our colleagues in the democratic mass movement. The serious charge is rendered so incredible and ridiculous by the sort of documentary evidence produced pell mell by the Philippine National Police and endorsed by the Department of Justice. In fact, Judge Jenny Lind R. Aldecoa-Delorino, in her resolution rejecting and striking out of the court records the amended information, comments that the “numerous enclosures to the original information”­392 in all­“ could hardly cover the width and breath of the detailed allegation raised.”

In brief, insufficient evidence!

Thus, as of this moment there is no case of rebellion against us filed in any court. Even if the DoJ will file a motion for reconsideration or a new information, as it publicly declared it would do, such charge cannot depart from the discredited heap of papers it had submitted to the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 137.

For more than two months, we have endured the situation wherein the House leadership and the Executive (through the DoJ-PNP ostensibly but, we suspect, through a sinister cabal higher up) cannot resolve the issue of which position must prevail. On the one hand, through HR 133, the House backed by the Senate through a similar resolution expressing the sense of Congress, the law-making body, aver we are not under arrest or detention but under protective custody, specifically, against illegal or warrantless arrest. On the other hand, the DoJ and the PNP, both implementing agencies of laws passed by Congress, claim we either have been arrested and are in detention or will be arrested once we step out of the premises of the Batasan. We have raised the issue for resolution at the Court of Appeals.

With the indulgence and hopefully the full support of our colleagues both in the House and the Senate, we shall uphold their collective position that we, the Batasan 5, are free to leave the Batasan premises and that Rep. Crispin Beltran must be freed.

The stand-off between the Executive and the Legislative over our case only exposes the highly undemocratic and anti-democratic tendency, if not the essential character of the Arroyo government. Under this government, we have to assert and bitterly fight for our rights and freedoms in order to exercise and enjoy them, no matter that­or precisely because­the assertion of our rights and freedoms are met by the government with deliberate repression and unrestrained violence.

We owe it to our people to assert these rights and freedoms that are inalienably theirs too. If the government applies brutal force, as it is wont to do, against our action on Monday, we will confront it with militant and dignified defiance.

By our action on Monday we will also give the DoJ and the PNP and, yes, Malacanang the chance to see the folly of their ways.

Saturday, April 29, 2006


Conspiracy theory

I’ve always been a fan of conspiracy theories. That’s why I love the X-Files – Scully and Mulder stumbling upon the ultimate conspiracy of all -- that aliens are already among us and invading the Earth by alterning our genetic material using bees. I’m also itching to borrow Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code from one of Joel Virador’s staff members who’s not through reading it yet.

Anyway, I’ve always loved conspiracy theories but never thought I’d be part of one until now.

Reading the DOJ’s resolution finding probable cause on our case and the amended information it filed secretely before the Makati Regional Trial Court last April 23, I thought, “Oh boy, our police and prosecutors could give Dan Brown and Robert Ludlum a run for their money.”

Imagine, I am charged as a principal respondent in crimes allegedly committed by the CPP-NPA when I was still three years old. THREE YEARS OLD! No kidding. I am now officially accused by the government of having conspired with Joma, Dante Buscayno, et. al. in a 1969 NPA ambush in Zambales, the 1971 Plaza Miranda bombing, Ka Roger’s military adventures in Masbate, the killing of Col. Rodolfo Aguinaldo and Fr. Balweg and a hodge-podge of other crimes unearthed from the moldy archives of the ISAFP. Topping it all off is the "Left-Right" coup plot against Pres. Arroyo in 2006. As the cliché goes, kulang na lang ibintang nila sa ‘kin at sa Batasan 6 ang pagpatay kay Jose Rizal at pagpako kay Kristo.

The government’s conspiracy theory goes like this: since our respective parties are “fronts” of the CPP-NPA-NDF, then we, as top leaders of our respective parties, should also be top leaders of the CPP (members of the elite Central Committee at that!). As CPP top honchos, then, we are now considered principal respondents in ALL crimes allegedly committed by the rebel movement IN THE LAST 37 YEARS of its existence. Boy, oh boy.

What’s really curious is that nowhere in the complaint are we ever mentioned to have taken part in, much more led, a popular armed uprising to overthrow a government, which is what a rebellion is. The “overt acts” directly attributed to us are “extra legal activities” like taking part in rallies and demonstrations (?!), attending meetings and other things we normally do as elected representatives in Congress.

As to the charge that we re-channeled government funds to the rebel movement, nowhere in the complaint does it say how much we re-channeled, when, where and how. Instead, there is a mere testimony by their scarf-clad star witness that he overheard the six of us in a meeting discussing how to go about the anomaly. What, no COA or DBM report? No bank statements? At hearsay pa! Tsk, tsk.

This leads me to conclude a more logical conspiracy: the conspiracy between Malacañang, the DOJ, AFP and PNP to destroy our parties by putting us behind bars on a non-bailable charge and then delaying the case till God knows when. In the meantime, mananahimik ang Konggreso at tuloy ang kanilang ligaya.