100K warm bodies in Manila or EDSA will spur military to withdraw support for Gloria – Sison

National Democratic Front of the Philippines Chief Political Consultant Jose Maria Sison said in a statement released from exile in the Netherlands, that he has “reliable information” that police and military officials and the majority of enlisted personnel are ready to manifest their withdrawal of support to the Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Administration as soon as “100,000 people converge in any of the protest rallies either in Manila or Edsa in the coming days, weeks and months.”

He said such mass participation is expected to ignite the peaceful uprising of the people in their millions nationwide.

“The patriotic military and police officers uphold the principle of civilian supremacy and are not interested in taking power for any military clique. They want a triumvirate of officials of the Supreme Court, Senate and the executive to be the caretaker leadership for running the government until a new president is elected in a snap election within four months from the removal of Arroyo from power” he said.

Sison’s statement came two days ahead of the protest rallies in and out of the country to commemorate the 22nd Anniversary of the first People Power uprising in EDSA on February 25.

Teka-teka ceremony

While rallies and gatherings calling for Arroyo’s resignation abound the metro and key cities nationwide, some 20 military and police top brass staged a ‘unity walk’ to dramatize their allegiance to the chain of command and the constitution. From the Camp Aguinaldo, the officers led by AFP Chief Hermogenes Esperon and PNP Director General Avelino Razon walked to the People Power Monument in EDSA to join the crowd of thousands of uniformed personnel, a handful of palace officials and local government leaders in the government sponsored commemoration rites.

Aside from a series of bloopers in the government EDSA rites, like the flag that got stuck on half-mast, the ‘teka-teka’ microphone and the rain of heavy confetti; observers also noted the noticeable absence of the Filipino masa in the historic landmark. Nationwide broadsheet The Daily Tribune even claimed in its editorial that all service commanders and all unified command generals of the AFP were “ordered” to be present in Camp Aguinaldo for the Unity Walk.

On the other hand, the February 25 protest drew more than 5,000 people in Mendiola. It was only part of the build-up activities slated for the February 29, 2008 Church-led ‘interfaith rally’ in Makati , says BAYAN Secretary General Renato Reyes.

Removal of Arroyo possible

Sison, who is also the founding Chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines , expressed elation in the surging mass movement who are demanding the truth in the highly controversial ZTE-NBN deal and for Arroyo to step down from the presidency.

He said he is ‘happy’ to observe that the ‘broad united front of patriotic forces’ are determined to mobilize the Filipino masses not only in the National Capital Region but also in the provinces to further isolate the Arroyo regime and cause the resignation, ouster or impeachment of Gloria M. Arroyo, whom he calls a ‘fake president.’

He noted that the removal of Arroyo from power is possible, and this could be achieved “mainly through the people’s exercise of their democratic right to speak and assemble, as in 1986 and 2001.”

“The issuance of statements, indoor meetings and localized rallies against the regime can generate the gigantic mass actions. The peaceful uprising of the people in great numbers can encourage the bureaucracy and military to withdraw support and can thus cause the Arroyo regime to implode” said Sison as he reiterated the task of the broad united front “to bring to the surface and to the streets the people’s outrage and thus overcome the regime’s campaign of mass deception and intimidation.”

“The people are deeply outraged by the Arroyo regime’s servility to foreign interests, its corruption and plundering mania and its wanton violations of human rights” he said. ###


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