Oct 232014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/03/06MANILA1021.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA1021 2006-03-06 09:16 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO8722
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #1021/01 0650916
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 060916Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9757
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 001021

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, DRL/CRA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/06/2016
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINS PINR RP
SUBJECT: FIVE LEFTIST LAWMAKERS REMAIN “UNDER PROTECTIVE CUSTODY” AT HOUSE

REF: A. MANILA 889
¶B. MANILA 853

Classified By: Acting Pol/C Joseph L. Novak for reasons
1.4 (b) and (d).

¶1. (C) Summary: Five leftist lawmakers remain “under
protective custody” at the House of Representatives complex
in metro Manila. The Department of Justice (DoJ) Secretary
and the five claim that they will be arrested if they leave
the premises. It is not clear what exactly the five might be
arrested for, given that the DoJ still claims to be reviewing
charges prepared by the police. Another leftist lawmaker,
Congressman Beltran, is detained at police headquarters at
Camp Crame. Based on Mission’s understanding, Beltran
remains one of only three civilians under detention in the
wake of the termination of the State of Emergency on March 3.
End Summary.

——————————
Five Lawmakers Encamp at House
——————————

¶2. (C) Five leftist “party list” lawmakers remain “under
protective custody,” courtesy of Speaker Jose De Venecia, at
the House of Representatives complex in metro Manila. (Note:
Under the 1987 Constitution, some seats in the House of
Representatives are reserved for those who represent
“multi-sectoral” organizations, rather than legislative
districts. These “party list” positions tend to be dominated
by left-wing political parties. End Note.) The Department
of Justice (DoJ) Secretary and the five claim that they will
be arrested if they leave the premises. The five are:

— Congressman Satur Ocampo from the Bayan Muna party;
— Congressman Theodore Casino from the Bayan Muna party;
— Congressman Joel Virador from the Bayan Muna party;
— Congressman Rafael Mariano from the Anak Pawis party; and,
— Congresswoman Liza Maza from the Gabriela party.

Based on what we understand, the five — who have been
staying in the offices of House Speaker De Venecia since
February 26 — continue to perform their daily duties,
including attending House sessions. Colleagues of the five
told Poloff on March 6 that the representatives are
“comfortable” and that other House members are seeing to
their needs. During his visit to the House complex, Poloff
observed numerous banners and posters demonizing President
Arroyo and demanding an end to the “political persecution” of
the five.

¶3. (C) It is not clear what exactly the five might be
arrested for, given that the DoJ claims to be reviewing
charges filed by the police on February 27. The charges seem
based on alleged involvement by the five lawmakers in a plot
to destabilize the government in late February (see reftels).
Assistant Chief State Prosecutor Richard Fadullion, who
co-chairs the task force handling the cases filed against the
five lawmakers, told Pol FSN on March 6 that the preliminary
investigation is scheduled to begin next week (contrary to
previous statements by Justice Secretary Gonzalez to the
effect that the investigation was already underway). If the
DoJ determines that there is probable cause, it will file a
court case and a judge will determine whether to issue an
arrest warrant. Atty. Artemio “Tim” Adasa, Jr., Deputy
Secretary for Legislative Operations at the House, told

SIPDIS
Poloff on March 6 that he believes the DoJ will have no
choice but to file charges against the lawmakers because
failure to do so would result in a huge “loss of face” with
the public.

———————
Beltran at Camp Crame
———————

¶4. (C) Another leftist lawmaker, Congressman Crispin Beltran
of the Anak Pawis party, remains under arrest and is detained
at police headquarters at Camp Crame. Beltran, who was
arrested on an outstanding warrant on February 25 at his farm
in Bulacan, just outside of Manila, has claimed health
problems and is ensconced at the Camp’s infirmary. On March
5, approximately 30 Beltran supporters managed to enter Camp
Crame, where they demanded his immediate release. After a
brief standoff with police outside the hospital, the group
dispersed peacefully. Unlike the other lawmakers, Beltran is
facing pre-existing charges — inciting sedition — dating

MANILA 00001021 002 OF 002

back to 1985. When — or even whether — Beltran will appear
in court is not clear.

——-
Comment
——-

¶5. (C) The leftist lawmakers seem to be enjoying all the
fuss their situation is causing. They and their supporters
clearly see it as an opportunity to score points against the
government by portraying themselves as political victims. As
reported in reftels, over 51 people have been charged with
rebellion and related crimes and additional arrest warrants
have been issued for several people who remain in hiding, but
so far only three civilians (including Beltran) have been
arrested in connection with the alleged destabilization
efforts against the government. (Note: Four members of the
military — including Brigadier General Danilo “Danny” Lim of
the Scout Rangers — remain under military detention for
their apparent role in recent anti-government efforts. End
Note.)

Visit Embassy Manila’s Classified SIPRNET website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eap/manila/index. cfm

You can also access this site through the State Department’s
Classified SIPRNET website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/

Bellard

   

 

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