Tupas: I will disobey Proclamation 1017
By Francis Allan L. Angelo
GOVERNOR Niel Tupas is keen on defying Presidential Proclamation 1017 by allowing protest rallies at the Capitol grounds.
Tupas said President Gloria Arroyo can always put the country under a state of national emergency for economic reasons “but she cannot curtail the Bill of Rights.”
“Presidential Proclamation 1017, which put the country under a state of emergency, cannot justify a warrantless arrest of those suspected of waging a coup against her administration. It also cannot justify curtailment of our civil liberties because we are still covered by the Bill of Rights despite the proclamation,” Tupas said.
Also a lawyer, Tupas said a state of national emergency only pertains to economic concerns.
Citing the pronouncements of Proclamation 1017 critics, Tupas said Ms. Arroyo must first ask Congressional approval before declaring national emergency “just like what happened during the time of former president Fidel Ramos when we were saddled with power problems.”
“She even need not issue Proclamation 1017 because she has enough powers,” the governor said.
When asked about anti-Arroyo rallies at the capitol, Tupas said he will allow cause-oriented groups “to release their tensions against the government.”
“If I allowed these groups to lambast me in my own backyard before, why not now? Their rights are still intact. Even Mayors Rudy Duterte of Davao City and Tomas Osmeña of Cebu City allowed rallies in their jurisdictions,” Tupas said.
Right after issuing Proclamation 1017, the President suspended all rally permits and ordered the PNP to disperse all protest actions around the country.
Even the media was not spared with the PNP raid on the editorial office of the Daily Tribune in Manila. PNP chief Arturo Lomibao said he will recommend to the President the taking over of the operations of the Daily Tribune.
Earlier Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Iloilo chapter president Hans Sayno said Proclamation 1017 is martial law.
“The government is just too shy to call it martial law. When the government starts to censor the media and to arrest people without warrant, that is martial law already,” Sayno said.
Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo said he fears that a prolonged state of national emergency will result to grave abuses of human rights.
Lagdameo also called Proclamation 1017 an overreaction on the part of the President. (Published in The Guardian-Iloilo City February 28, 2006)
Protesting Marines officer an Ilonggo
By Francis Allan L. Angelo
ONE of the Marine officers who figured in the standoff at Fort Bonifacio Sunday evening is a native of San Joaquin, Iloilo.
In fact, Lt. Colonel Archie Segumalian, who led a platoon of heavily-armed Marine soldiers into their headquarters at Fort Bonifacio, is a cousin of San Joaquin Mayor Ninfa Garin.
Segumalian, 52, is the third of ten children born to Casiano Segumalian and the former Altagracia Sta. Cruz who is an aunt of Mayor Garin.
Segumalian finished his elementary education at the Cataan Elementary School in San Joaquin and high school at the former Lapuz Norte High School (now Jalandoni National High School).
He earned his degree in Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Iloilo but was unable to take the board exams due to hearing problems.
He later joined the Reserve Officers Training Corps with the rank Provisionary 2nd Lieutenant.
Segumalian entered the Marines after passing its qualifying exams and immediately saw action in Tawi-Tawi, Sulu. His exploits in Mindanao led to his promotion to lieutenant colonel and designation as commander of the Marine brigade in Lanao Del Norte.
Segumalian was one of the officers who joined Marine Colonel Ariel Querubin in protesting the relief of Marine commandant Major General Renato Miranda.
Querubin even asked protection from civilians for their cause which led to a three-hour standoff at Fort Bonifacio.
The standoff ended when newly-installed Marines commandant Brigadier-General Nelson Allaga asserted his command over Querubin and his subordinates. (With reports from Aksyon Radyo-Iloilo)
(Published in The Guardian-Iloilo City February 28, 2006)