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Coup attempt in the Philippines?

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.inq7.net/nation/index.php?index=1&story_id=59895 Abat: Transition gov t in place First posted 02:11am (Mla time) Dec 14, 2005 By Luige A. del
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 13, 2005
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      http://news.inq7.net/nation/index.php?index=1&story_id=59895

      Abat: Transition gov't in place

      First posted 02:11am (Mla time) Dec 14, 2005
      By Luige A. del Puerto, Fe B. Zamora
      Inquirer

      Editor's Note: Published on page A1 of the Dec. 14,
      2005 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

      FORMER Defense Secretary Fortunato Abat proclaimed at
      midnight on the eve of Fernando Poe Jr.'s first death
      anniversary a revolutionary transition government and
      declared himself president in a new challenge to the
      Arroyo government.

      At press time, the group was waiting for several
      military officers to come forward and declare support.

      The retired general also called on the Armed Forces
      and the Philippine National Police to withdraw support
      from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and "protect
      the sovereign right of the people."

      Abat, 80, who had been previously slapped with
      sedition complaints filed before the Department of
      Justice, issued the declaration at Club Filipino in
      San Juan while sitting with former Ambassador Roy
      Señeres and former Budget Secretary Salvador Enriquez.

      He spoke before an audience of about 300 people.

      Abat also signed two edicts, one declaring the
      existence of his self-styled government and the
      formation of a transition council "to administer the
      affairs of government."

      "By the authority of the assembled regional leaders in
      the Second Malolos Congress, I hereby proclaim the
      establishment of a Kapanalig, Kapamahalaan ng
      Pagkakaisa Para sa Pambansang Kaligtasan (Government
      of Unity for National Survival," Abat said.

      "This proclamation is in exercise of the sovereign
      right of the people to act and do the necessary to
      save the country from a governance which is morally
      bankrupt, distrusted by over two-thirds of the
      citizenry and which is in paralysis, unable to provide
      effective and competent leadership that will produce
      results for the people."

      In the second edict, Abat promulgated what he called a
      "provisional constitution."

      Abat, in an interview, claimed he had military support
      but did not say who were actually behind him and his
      group.

      Asked if there were political personalities in his
      supposed new government, Abad said there was none.

      Abat said he planned to stay at Club Filipino for 48
      hours.

      1 general, 4 colonels

      Earlier yesterday, security officials identified a
      general and four colonels, including two retired
      police officials, as leaders of an alleged plot to
      unseat Ms Arroyo.

      A senior military intelligence official said other
      officers who were implicated also had links to the
      opposition that failed to remove Ms Arroyo with an
      impeachment motion in September.

      "We have some names of the alleged coup leaders but we
      can't take action against them because their
      involvement was based on intelligence reports," the
      intelligence official told Reuters.

      "There were no overt moves taken, so they were just
      made to explain by their superiors," he said.

      Rumors of a coup d'état during the weekend had worried
      the military and police top brass enough to send them
      into crisis mode.

      Army chief Lieutenant General Hermogenes Esperon said
      he checked with his ground commanders on Sunday to
      assure himself that they were not taking part in the
      rumored coup.

      He said he also checked with his classmates and
      friends in the other major services in the Armed
      Forces, who in turn talked to their own men to get
      their assurance.

      Director General Arturo Lomibao, the Philippine
      National Police (PNP) chief, also said he talked not
      only to his field commanders but also to those
      suspected of being involved in the coup d'état.

      He also convened the PNP crisis committee to deal with
      any worst-case scenario.

      Army intact

      "As Army commander, I tell you all these (coup) rumors
      are rumors. I have checked with my commanders since
      Sunday. The Army is intact," Esperon said in a phone
      interview.

      He said his friends in the Marines, Air Force and the
      PNP-Special Action Force whose units were rumored to
      be part of the coup likewise "did not get concrete
      reports (about the rumored coup)."

      "I did not only talk to those who may be involved. I
      talked to all commanders in the field. They are all
      behind the flag and the duly constituted government,"
      Lomibao said at a news conference in Camp Crame
      national police headquarters.

      He did not identify the suspected coup plotters he
      talked to, saying, "I don't like to cause divisiveness
      within the ranks."

      Intelligence report

      A military intelligence report given to the President
      linked two active superintendents in the national
      police force to the alleged plot after four junior
      officers were questioned hours before rogue troops
      supposedly planned to strike early on Monday.

      Details of the report were given to Reuters by a
      government official, who asked not to be identified.

      Two retired police officers -- one chief
      superintendent and the other a superintendent and
      former ally of Ms Arroyo -- were also named.

      The fourth colonel identified in the report had been
      removed from his command last year over charges of
      electioneering ahead of the May 2004 presidential
      poll.

      The colonel was later cleared of charges of
      campaigning for the main opposition candidate, movie
      star Fernando Poe Jr., who died before the Supreme
      Court could rule on his election protest that Ms
      Arroyo had cheated.

      The legal challenge ended with Poe's death, the court
      ruled, but his supporters insist Ms Arroyo stole the
      presidency.

      Deputy Director General Avelino Razon Jr., the PNP
      deputy chief for operations, said the crisis committee
      was convened on Sunday, when the military and police
      went on full alert after Ms Arroyo left for Malaysia
      for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
      summit.

      Military insiders said several senior officers had
      been called by Army higher-ups for questioning. Though
      none were detained, these officers could likely be
      relieved of their assignments over suspicion they were
      involved in the coup plot.

      Esperon, however, insisted no Army officer was
      arrested or brought in for questioning. Reports from
      Gerry Lirio, Dona Pazzibugan and Inquirer wires
    • THOMAS JOHNSON
      I don t know if anyone caught the Joseph diGenova s interview of Pulitzer-prize winning jounalist Haynes Johnson on his new book, The Age of Anxiety: From
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 17, 2005
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        I don't know if anyone caught the Joseph diGenova's
        interview of Pulitzer-prize winning jounalist Haynes
        Johnson on his new book, "The Age of Anxiety: From
        McCarthyism to Terror" which aired on Cspan 2 last
        weekend, but I find it very poignant this morning.
        Johnson discusses the press then, as he began his
        journalism career in 1956, and now, and the
        similarities are chilling. The mainstream press found
        McCarthy very charming, and were willing to print what
        was fed to them without checking the facts, as they
        have with our current inhabitant, in his opinion. Now
        this from this morning's Washington Post on the New
        York Times decision to sit on the story that the
        current administration (with Bush's tacit approval)
        has been illegally spying on US citizens:

        At the Times, a Scoop Deferred
        By Paul Farhi
        Washington Post Staff Writer
        Saturday, December 17, 2005; Page A07

        The New York Times' revelation yesterday that
        President Bush authorized the National Security Agency
        to conduct domestic eavesdropping raised eyebrows in
        political and media circles, for both its stunning
        disclosures and the circumstances of its publication.

        In an unusual note, the Times said in its story that
        it held off publishing the 3,600-word article for a
        year after the newspaper's representatives met with
        White House officials. It said the White House had
        asked the paper not to publish the story at all,
        "arguing that it could jeopardize continuing
        investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they
        might be under scrutiny."


        The Times said it agreed to remove information that
        administration officials said could be "useful" to
        terrorists and delayed publication for a year "to
        conduct additional reporting."

        The paper offered no explanation to its readers about
        what had changed in the past year to warrant
        publication. It also did not disclose that the
        information is included in a forthcoming book, "State
        of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush
        Administration," written by James Risen, the lead
        reporter on yesterday's story. The book will be
        published in mid-January, according to its publisher,
        Simon & Schuster.

        The decision to withhold the article caused some
        friction within the Times' Washington bureau,
        according to people close to the paper. Some reporters
        and editors in New York and in the bureau, including
        Risen and co-writer Eric Lichtblau, had pushed for
        earlier publication, according to these people. One
        described the story's path to publication as
        difficult, with much discussion about whether it could
        have been published earlier.

        In a statement yesterday, Times Executive Editor Bill
        Keller did not mention the book. He wrote that when
        the Times became aware that the NSA was conducting
        domestic wiretaps without warrants, "the
        Administration argued strongly that writing about this
        eavesdropping program would give terrorists clues
        about the vulnerability of their communications and
        would deprive the government of an effective tool for
        the protection of the country's security."

        "Officials also assured senior editors of the Times
        that a variety of legal checks had been imposed that
        satisfied everyone involved that the program raised no
        legal questions," Keller continued. "As we have done
        before in rare instances when faced with a convincing
        national security argument, we agreed not to publish
        at that time."

        In the ensuing months, Keller wrote, two things
        changed the paper's thinking. The paper developed a
        fuller picture of misgivings about the program by some
        in the government. And the paper satisfied itself
        through more reporting that it could write the story
        without exposing "any intelligence-gathering methods
        or capabilities that are not already on the public
        record."

        Tom Rosenstiel, executive director of the Project for
        Excellence in Journalism, said it was conceivable the
        Times waited to publish its NSA story as the Senate
        took up renewal of the Patriot Act. "It's not unheard
        of to wait for a news peg," he said. "It's not unusual
        to discover the existence of something and not know
        the context of it until later."

        Yesterday's article was a dramatic scoop for a
        newspaper whose national security coverage has been
        marked by some turmoil in recent years. The Times
        admitted last year that much of its reporting on
        Iraq's weapons programs before the war was flawed. The
        principal author of those stories, Judith Miller,
        later spent 85 days in jail to protect the identity of
        an administration source in the CIA leak case.

        More recently, the Times has been scooped by the Los
        Angeles Times on a story that the U.S. military has
        been secretly paying to run favorable stories in the
        Iraqi media, and by The Washington Post on the
        revelation last month of a secret network of CIA
        prisons for terrorism suspects in foreign countries.
        The Times announced last week that it was replacing
        its deputy bureau chief in Washington, which outsiders
        read as a sign of the paper's dissatisfaction with its
        Washington coverage.

        The Post was in contact with senior administration
        officials before publication last month of its story
        on the CIA prisons. But officials did not seek to stop
        publication of the article, only to remove information
        that could jeopardize national security, said Leonard
        Downie Jr., The Post's executive editor.

        The story said the officials argued that the
        disclosure might disrupt counterterrorism efforts in
        those countries and could make them targets of
        terrorist retaliation. The Post honored one request by
        not publishing the Eastern European countries that
        permitted the prisons.





        It seems possible that the NYT may have lent a
        generous hand in Bush's 04 reelection between sitting
        on this story and the Judith Miller debacle. For my
        part, they will never see so much as a dime from me
        for the rest of my life. I can't control how the
        editors make decisions, but I can vote with my wallet.

        Tom




        --- Greg Cannon <gregcannon1@...> wrote:

        >
        http://news.inq7.net/nation/index.php?index=1&story_id=59895
        >
        > Abat: Transition gov't in place
        >
        > First posted 02:11am (Mla time) Dec 14, 2005
        > By Luige A. del Puerto, Fe B. Zamora
        > Inquirer
        >
        > Editor's Note: Published on page A1 of the Dec. 14,
        > 2005 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer
        >
        > FORMER Defense Secretary Fortunato Abat proclaimed
        > at
        > midnight on the eve of Fernando Poe Jr.'s first
        > death
        > anniversary a revolutionary transition government
        > and
        > declared himself president in a new challenge to the
        > Arroyo government.
        >
        > At press time, the group was waiting for several
        > military officers to come forward and declare
        > support.
        >
        > The retired general also called on the Armed Forces
        > and the Philippine National Police to withdraw
        > support
        > from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and "protect
        > the sovereign right of the people."
        >
        > Abat, 80, who had been previously slapped with
        > sedition complaints filed before the Department of
        > Justice, issued the declaration at Club Filipino in
        > San Juan while sitting with former Ambassador Roy
        > Señeres and former Budget Secretary Salvador
        > Enriquez.
        >
        > He spoke before an audience of about 300 people.
        >
        > Abat also signed two edicts, one declaring the
        > existence of his self-styled government and the
        > formation of a transition council "to administer the
        > affairs of government."
        >
        > "By the authority of the assembled regional leaders
        > in
        > the Second Malolos Congress, I hereby proclaim the
        > establishment of a Kapanalig, Kapamahalaan ng
        > Pagkakaisa Para sa Pambansang Kaligtasan (Government
        > of Unity for National Survival," Abat said.
        >
        > "This proclamation is in exercise of the sovereign
        > right of the people to act and do the necessary to
        > save the country from a governance which is morally
        > bankrupt, distrusted by over two-thirds of the
        > citizenry and which is in paralysis, unable to
        > provide
        > effective and competent leadership that will produce
        > results for the people."
        >
        > In the second edict, Abat promulgated what he called
        > a
        > "provisional constitution."
        >
        > Abat, in an interview, claimed he had military
        > support
        > but did not say who were actually behind him and his
        > group.
        >
        > Asked if there were political personalities in his
        > supposed new government, Abad said there was none.
        >
        > Abat said he planned to stay at Club Filipino for 48
        > hours.
        >
        > 1 general, 4 colonels
        >
        > Earlier yesterday, security officials identified a
        > general and four colonels, including two retired
        > police officials, as leaders of an alleged plot to
        > unseat Ms Arroyo.
        >
        > A senior military intelligence official said other
        > officers who were implicated also had links to the
        > opposition that failed to remove Ms Arroyo with an
        > impeachment motion in September.
        >
        > "We have some names of the alleged coup leaders but
        > we
        > can't take action against them because their
        > involvement was based on intelligence reports," the
        > intelligence official told Reuters.
        >
        > "There were no overt moves taken, so they were just
        > made to explain by their superiors," he said.
        >
        > Rumors of a coup d'état during the weekend had
        > worried
        > the military and police top brass enough to send
        > them
        > into crisis mode.
        >
        > Army chief Lieutenant General Hermogenes Esperon
        > said
        > he checked with his ground commanders on Sunday to
        > assure himself that they were not taking part in the
        > rumored coup.
        >
        > He said he also checked with his classmates and
        > friends in the other major services in the Armed
        > Forces, who in turn talked to their own men to get
        > their assurance.
        >
        > Director General Arturo Lomibao, the Philippine
        > National Police (PNP) chief, also said he talked not
        > only to his field commanders but also to those
        > suspected of being involved in the coup d'état.
        >
        > He also convened the PNP crisis committee to deal
        > with
        > any worst-case scenario.
        >
        > Army intact
        >
        > "As Army commander, I tell you all these (coup)
        > rumors
        > are rumors. I have checked with my commanders since
        > Sunday. The Army is intact," Esperon said in a phone
        > interview.
        >
        > He said his friends in the Marines, Air Force and
        > the
        > PNP-Special Action Force whose units were rumored to
        > be part of the coup likewise "did not get concrete
        > reports (about the rumored coup)."
        >
        > "I did not only talk to those who may be involved. I
        > talked to all commanders in the field. They are all
        > behind the flag and the duly constituted
        > government,"
        > Lomibao said at a news conference in Camp Crame
        > national police headquarters.
        >
        > He did not identify the suspected coup plotters he
        > talked to, saying, "I don't like to cause
        > divisiveness
        > within the ranks."
        >
        > Intelligence report
        >
        > A military intelligence report given to the
        > President
        > linked two active superintendents in the national
        > police force to the alleged plot after four junior
        > officers were questioned hours before rogue troops
        > supposedly planned to strike early on Monday.
        >
        > Details of the report were given to Reuters by a
        > government official, who asked not to be identified.
        >
        > Two retired police officers -- one chief
        > superintendent and the other a superintendent and
        > former ally of Ms Arroyo -- were also named.
        >
        > The fourth colonel identified in the report had been
        > removed from his command last year over charges of
        > electioneering ahead of the May 2004 presidential
        > poll.
        >
        > The colonel was later cleared of charges of
        > campaigning for the main opposition candidate, movie
        > star Fernando Poe Jr., who died before the Supreme
        > Court could rule on his election protest that Ms
        > Arroyo had cheated.
        >
        > The legal challenge ended with Poe's death, the
        > court
        > ruled, but his supporters insist Ms Arroyo stole the
        > presidency.
        >
        > Deputy Director General Avelino Razon Jr., the PNP
        > deputy chief for operations, said the crisis
        > committee
        > was convened on Sunday, when the military and police
        > went on full alert after Ms Arroyo left for Malaysia
        > for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
        > (ASEAN)
        > summit.
        >
        > Military insiders said several senior officers had
        > been called by Army higher-ups for questioning.
        > Though
        > none were detained, these officers could likely be
        > relieved of their assignments over suspicion they
        > were
        > involved in the coup plot.
        >
        > Esperon, however, insisted no Army officer was
        > arrested or brought in for questioning. Reports from
        > Gerry Lirio, Dona Pazzibugan and Inquirer wires
        >
        >
        === message truncated ===
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