Oct 242014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/09/06MANILA4000.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA4000 2006-09-21 10:47 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO5719
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #4000 2641047
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 211047Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3075
INFO RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC//OSD/ISA/AP// IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L MANILA 004000

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP AND EAP/MTS
USPACOM ALSO FOR FPA HUSO
SECDEF/OSD/ISA/AP (LAWLESS/TOOLAN/BAILEY)
JOINT STAFF/J5 (WILKES/ROBINSON/CLEMMONS)

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/21/2016
TAGS: PREL PINS MARR MOPS TH RP
SUBJECT: MARTIAL LAW IN THAILAND REVERBERATES IN THE PHILIPPINES

REF: MANILA 3959

Classified By: (U) Ambassador Kristie A. Kenney
for reasons 1.4(b) and (d).

¶1. (SBU) The declaration of martial law in Thailand has
captured public attention in the Philippines, dominating the
radio and television and making headlines in all the major
dailies. It was the topic of the evening at a reception
hosted by the Ambassador last night, with journalists and
government officials all curious as to how the U.S. would
react. Some commentators are drawing parallels between
events in Thailand and the 34th anniversary of the
declaration of martial law by former President Marcos.

¶2. (SBU) Both Malacanang and Armed Forces of the Philippines
(AFP) Chief of Staff General Esperon have gone out of their
way to rule out the possibility of any “Thai-style” coup
against President Arroyo. Executive Secretary Ermita told
reporters that President Arroyo is in firm control and that
the Philippine military supports the constitution and the
chain of command. In a statement to the press, General
Esperon said, “The AFP remains loyal to the duly constituted
authorities. We are taking orders from our commander in
chief.” He claimed the chain of command was intact, and in
subsequent comments at a congressional budget hearing
dismissed prospects of a military revolt, saying,
“Personally, I know all the service commanders and I can tell
you that a matter of a coup d’etat cannot be entertained in
the AFP.” He stated that the Philippine military was on the
road to reform and that it would follow its mandate.
Separately, Philippine Army Commander Lieutenant General
Tolentino said the Philippine Army would “never allow a
similar incident to happen (in the Philippines).”

¶3. (SBU) Despite these pronouncements, memories of the
aborted February 2006 mutiny by elite Scout Ranger and Marine
troops remain fresh. The alleged coup plotters, including
prominent officers, remain in confinement awaiting courts
martial. While the Philippine military has successfully put
down a variety of coup attempts over the years, many local
observers believe that the Philippines’ vibrant, but still
young and struggling, democracy remains vulnerable.

¶4. (C) In her public and private statements, the Ambassador,
as well as other members of the Country Team, have stressed,
and will continue to stress, U.S. support for democracy, the
rule of law, constitutional processes, and the chain of
command. Other signs of U.S. support for Philippine
democracy and U.S. engagement with a military under civilian
control could be helpful during this sensitive period. A
U.S. Navy ship visit to Manila, perhaps in the context of the
upcoming Talon-Vision Exercise, in a classic naval presence
mission would help accomplish this mission.

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

   

 

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