News Release
September 28, 2005

For reference: Berna Ellorin, NY Committee for Human Rights in the
Philippines (NYCHRP), email: nychrp @

Arroyo Rebuilding Martial Law Piece By Piece; But the Blocks Will Come Crumbling Down, Say NY Filipinos

NEW YORK-- Filipino migrants in New York and New Jersey are in uproar over the crackdown on legitimate, peaceful dissent under the Arroyo administration with the forceful implementation of the No Permit, No Rally and Calibrated Preemptive Response policies.

While the No Permit, No Rally explicitly illegalizes public rallies conducted without government-issued permits, the more restrictive Calibrated Preemptive Response views any and all forms of rallies,
especially those critical of the government, as unlawful, intolerable, and subject to preemption by state forces.

Human rights organizations such as the NY Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP), state these state practices essentially legalize and push for the erosion of the people's democratic exercise
of dissent and protest.

According to Dr. Robyn Rodriguez, a professor at Rutgers University and member of NYCHRP, these are the tenants of Marcosian Martial Law falling back into place.

"Now you cannot openly criticize the government. You cannot assembly the people peacefully for protest. You will be arrested if you do," Rodriguez explained.

The two policies in effect dismantle the maximum tolerance policy formerly enacted by Philippine National Police (PNP) in the face of public demonstratrions and rallies in the Philippines, which have
significantly risen in tandem with various Anti-Arroyo fronts campaigning for her removal. All public protests, however, have been consistently non-violent in approach.

"It looks like martial law and smells like martial law in the Philippines right now. Arroyo is only engaging in worldplay and reintroducing piece by piece the what is essentially the iron fist," Rodriguez continued.

NYCHRP also cited the alarmed disposition of many migrants who especially fled the Philippines to escape the horrific condition under the Marcos regime. Many left to flee political repression under the notorious dictatorship.

The organization also pointed fingers at Arroyo's push for the policy implementation despite a strong disapproval rating from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) an agency of the government, who along with opposition leaders in Congress stamped the two policies as in direct violation of the Constitution, particularly Article III, Section 4 of the Bill of Rights.

"This is the government-appointed authority on human rights that is speaking. If Gloria continues belittle and act against the mandate of the CHR, it proves she has no intention to protect, respect, and uphold
human rights in the Philippines," Rodriguez lambasted.

NYCHRP appealed to the international community to pay attention to events unfolding in the Philippines, as the repression of human rights is a concern that should know no boundaries.

While House Resolution of 957 has been filed by law-makers and opposition leaders in the House of Representatives, particularly from Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, and Gabriela Women's Party, to investigate the calibrated preemptive response policy further, the thrust of Arroyo's ouster has been sharpened further by Anti-Arroyo groups.

"The Filipino people will not let this dark period in our history resurface and repeat itself. Gloria will find that her martial law building blocks will come crumbling down. The people want her out more
than ever before," Rodriguez ended.###