Saturday, February 25, 2006

Two sides of the story....

Yesterday GMA declared a State of Emergency in the Philippines...

Yesterday morning when I woke up I decided that my day would consist of cleaning the house, a visit to the Chinese Cemetery, seeing the movie ‘Syriana’, a quick trip to the EDSA shrine and finally drinks at The Handlebar.

So I cleaned the house and set off for the Chinese cemetery (more on that in the next post) due to my taxi driver’s little detour around town I had plenty of time to be subjected to listening to the radio, very loudly in Tagalog. Listening to the radio, I grasped a few things that were repeatedly said in English – State of Emergency, Edsa Shrine, Rally, Coup d’Etat (ok, I know that final one is French!)….all sounded very interesting but I was set on going to the cemetery.

Leaving the cemetery to go to Rockwell to see Syriana I was again subjected to the radio. At this point I realized that radio commentators in the Philippines are incredibly excitable, their words came out in a high-pitched jumble, not unlike a cartoon on fast forward…it seemed at times that they were speaking so fast that they couldn’t get their words out in the right order.

I watched Syriana and then decided that as part of my Philippine education I should go to the EDSA shrine and see what was happening…I didn’t get there until about 4pm-ish by which time the morning’s events were over and the crowd had well and truly dispersed. Unfortunately, even though I had two cameras with me…one camera the battery had run out…and the other camera – I hadn’t put the battery in….no matter, my friends tell me, there will be many more rallies to be photographed.

So in all reality life for the likes of me continued fairly uneventfully….with the events of the day being treated almost as ‘something to cross off my to-do-list’.

For many, many others these events are incredibly serious and will have far reaching consequences and as such are in no way to be treated lightly…

The state of emergency means roughly this...
"In the declaration released to media at 11:20 a.m., Arroyo invoked Section 18, Article 7 of the Constitution that allowed the President to call on the armed forces to prevent or suppress rebellion.
The proclamation will also pave the way for warrantless arrests, government takeover of utilities, including media, and a ban on rallies, Presidential Chief of Staff Michael Defensor said."

Via the PDI

The Daily Tribune newspaper’s offices have been closed, apparently the paper is Pro-Estrada and the govt was concerned about what the paper would print today…

MLQ3 continues to write but one of the comments he left after one of his posts…sent shivers down my spine…”in truth one reason i didn’t post yesterday, besides following events, was i had to consult some people on the question of legal options, safe houses, etc. these were discussions i last remember with my family way back during martial law.” This is not a comment that one normally associates with life in the Philippines….but at the moment, the reality is very different…a few posts for you to read about the events of yesterday…MLQ3 and Torn & Frayed’s….first , second, and third posts

For up to the minute news the Daily Inquirer’s site has updated coverage

As I have repeatedly said I understand so little about Philippine politics and therefore cannot really fathom the events of yesterday…mainly because I don’t know who all the main players are…one thing I do realize though is that whilst this may be light entertainment for some, for others this is deadly serious. I also can’t help feeling that GMA declaring a state of national emergency will make more people come out on the streets to demonstrate against her…however, there is still no one person to rally behind as a suitable alternative…

A few thoughts and opinions from colleagues today…

‘GMA’s had enough, hence, the state of emergency’
‘Nothing will happen because the ‘real people’ are not on the streets’
‘Myself and my family were involved in Edsa I and Edsa II….and if we’re not out there now, with our neighbours and friends, then these demonstrations will not change anything’
‘She wanted the state of emergency so that she could stop all the rallies planned for today’
‘We are not ready for democracy, we need a dictator’

Understatement of the day goes to some wise person who was quoted on TV as saying ‘The state of emergency is not good for business’……you don’t say….


Blogger Sidney said...

...and this is not good for the Philippines.

I am a "silent" reader of your blog since quite some time now. At first I was a bit disoriented by your style but now I really enjoy reading your entries and your sense of humor.
I will link you now to my photo blog.

7:08 pm  
Blogger Madame Chiang said...

By 'not good for business' I was also thinking not good for the country...putting a country under a 'state of emergency' makes those overseas think that all hell is breaking loose...added to the scenes shown on CNN and BBC yesterday..

'disoriented' by my style...that's a worry...I didn't think I had a style...but then I guess that could be the problem...I just waffle about anything that grabs my fancy!

Thanks for the link...

8:57 pm  
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4:50 pm  

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