Sep 132014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/03/06MANILA934.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA934 2006-03-01 06:45 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO2591
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #0934/01 0600645
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 010645Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9611
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 000934

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, INR/EAP, DRL/CRA, DS, CA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/01/2016
TAGS: PINR ASEC CASC PREL RP
SUBJECT: SUBJECT: A/S HILL MEETS WITH GRP OFFICIALS ON CURRENT SITUATION

REF: MANILA 918 AND PREVIOUS

Classified By: Charge d’Affaires, a.i., Paul W. Jones for reasons
1.4 (b) and (d)

¶1. (C) Summary: In a February 28 meeting with A/S Hill,
Charge Jones, and DAS John, Philippine Defense Secretary
Cruz, National Security Advisor Gonzales, and National
Intelligence Coordinating Agency Director Garcia said there
were three distinct elements to the government’s response to
threats to stability. Military coup plotters would
eventually be court-martialed and jailed, contrary to recent
history of rehabilitating them to avoid dissension within the
military. Longer term plots by leftist politicians, believed
to be Communist Party members colluding with the New People’s
Army, would be addressed by filing rebellion charges with
judicial authorities; some 120 such cases (in preparation
over the past four months) were filed on February 27,
including against six members of Congress. The Declaration
of Emergency was distinct from these responses and only
empowered the government to prevent plotters from abusing the
media or public utilities in their attempts to overthrow the
government. Cruz and Gonzales predicted that the Declaration
of Emergency would be lifted in one to four weeks. A/S Hill
pressed them to lift the Declaration of Emergency quickly,
noting that the raid on a small newspaper could raise
questions about the government’s commitment to freedom of the
media. End Summary.

—————————-
Coup Threats and the Marines
—————————-

¶2. (C) Defense Secretary Cruz said that coup threats appear
to have diminished markedly after the Marines accepted the
removal of their leadership in a standoff on February 26.
The government intends to deal with seditious soldiers using
the Military Code of Justice, eventually court-martialing and
jailing alleged instigators General Lim and Colonel Querubin.
For too long in the Philippines, they said, coup plotters
were rehabilitated to avoid divisions in the armed forces.
They accused Army Ranger General Lim of being in direct
contact with former President Estrada on plans to overthrow
the government, whereas Colonel Querubin was simply out “for
his own Messianic ends.” They noted that Colonel Querubin
and General Lim were both leaders of the bloody coup of 1989
against the government of President Aquino.

—————————————-
Arrests Made Against the Communist Party
—————————————-

¶3. (C) Cruz and Gonzales said that the government had
decided some four months ago to develop judicial cases
against persons suspected of rebellion. Cases were almost
ready for submission to judicial authorities when the
attempted coup of February 24 was uncovered. The first
charges were brought February 27 against at least 50
individuals, including six Members of Congress. The six
legislators are under the temporary custody of the House of
Representatives, while others named in the cases have gone
underground, they said. All members of the secret Central
Committee of the Communist Party would be charged and
arrested, they said.

¶4. (C) From now on, they continued, every new attack by the
New People’s Army (NPA) — the military wing of the Communist
Party — would be added to the list of charges against the
members of the Central Committee. They underscored that the
U.S. and the EU had designated both the CPP and the NPA as
Foreign Terrorist Organizations. They also intend to re-open
old cases, including a case against Congressman Satur Ocampo
from 1989. They will pursue cases against members of the
political party Bayan Muna, which they consider a front
organization for the CPP/NPA. They said the government will
not pursue cases against other left-wing organizations that
neither espouse violence nor associate with the CPP, such as
Akbayan.

¶5. (C) Asked for evidence of links connecting leftist
politicians with the NPA and coup plotting, NICA Director
Garcia offered to share all information. “We’ll give you a
whole stack” of information, some of which was new, he said.
Gonzales said the GRP has direct evidence of collusion
between the renegade Magdalo Group of soldiers and the NPA,
but admitted that other evidence of cooperation between

MANILA 00000934 002 OF 002

military elements and the NPA was indirect. They
acknowledged that it was counter-intuitive for anyone in the
military to work with NPA members, but maintained it happened
in certain cases.

————————-
State of National Emergency
————————-

¶6. (C) Cruz and Gonzales said that the sole practical
effects of the President’s Declaration of a State of
Emergency was to enable the government to call out the armed
forces to enforce law and order and to act to prevent the
media and public utilities from being misused in plots to
overthrow the government. They minimized the effects of the
police raid on the small newspaper “Daily Tribune,” which
they said was a propaganda mouthpiece for former President
Estrada. A/S Hill cautioned that the Philippines risked
gaining a reputation for curtailing media freedoms as long as
the Declaration remained in effect. Cruz and Gonzales
acknowledged that there had been an energetic debate within
the cabinet on whether the government had only given
international stature to an insignificant newspaper.
Appearing to listen carefully to A/S Hill and Charge’s
questions on the costs and benefits of the Declaration, they
said that the cabinet was reviewing the matter daily.

¶7. (C) Asked how long the Declaration would be in effect,
Cruz and Gonzales said that the economic team advocated
lifting it in one week, while the security team preferred to
wait up to three or four weeks. In the meantime, they said
that the government is holding talks with journalists’ unions
to encourage them to develop clear standards on what
separates sedition from free speech, as well as mechanisms
within the journalism profession to enforce them.

Jones

   

 

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