Monday, October 10, 2005

There Is No Pre-Empting the Truth

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Bukluran para sa Katotohanan stands firm in its condemnation of the policy of a “calibrated pre-emptive response” adopted by the Arroyo administration. We stand united for the truth and reaffirm our determination to see President Arroyo vacate her office. We stand united against any attempt of this administration to use unconstitutional instruments, whether merely through threats or by actual force, to suppress the clamour for truth and to deprive a people of the legitimate right to peaceably assemble to petition for the redress of grievances.

The “calibrated pre-emptive response” policy is a direct and vicious response to protests led by Bukluran para sa Katotohanan and other groups calling for accountability on the part of Mrs. Arroyo.

But what does her policy really seek to pre-empt? The exercise of the people’s right to freely and peaceably assemble? The right of free expression? Of free speech? That would be an objectionable pre-emption, going against the very nature of democracy. Does it seek to pre-empt a further upsurge of protest actions against her government from a populace already reeling from the weekly increases in the priceof fuel, and bracing itself for the implementation of the Expanded Value-Added Tax and another round of power rate hikes? What calibration does Mrs. Arroyo and her minions envision? From bombast over the airwaves, to baton-wielding policemen to tear gas, water cannon, and eventually, artillery and guns?

What the policy of “calibrated pre-emptive response” actually means has been demonstrated for all to see. The policy’s true nature has been unmasked. Protest actions have been met with brutal force. In rallies last week led by the Kilusan para sa Pambasang Demokrasya, Akbayan, BAYAN, MCCCL, Bayan Muna, GABRIELA, Laban ng Masa, Anakpawis, Women March!, and UNO, protesters were dispersed forcibly and organization leaders were arrested.

Mrs. Arroyo has sanctioned the use of brutal force to silence the public will and to conceal the truth. But there is no pre-empting the truth – the truth behind Mrs. Arroyo’s cheating in the May 2005 elections; the truth of her administration’s corruption; the truth that President Arroyo has lost all credibility and moral authority to govern.

Bukluran para sa Katotohanan continues to stand in solidarity with all those that dare stand for the truth; to all those that dare stand for our country’s freedom; and, to all those that dare to stand for democracy.

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