Search

 

Cablegate: Anti-Arroyo Rally Sponsored by Left Draws 10,000

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS MANILA 004971

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, INR/EAP, DS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PINS PINR ASEC RP
SUBJECT: ANTI-ARROYO RALLY SPONSORED BY LEFT DRAWS 10,000
IN MANILA

REF: A. MANILA 4934

B. MANILA 4875
C. MANILA 3397
D. MANILA 3231

1. (U) This message is Sensitive But Unclassified. Please
handle accordingly.

2. (SBU) Summary: About 10,000 leftist anti-President
Arroyo protesters convened at a site near Malacanang Palace
on October 21. In scuffles with police, several people were
injured. This latest rally is part of a long string of
anti-Arroyo protests going back several months. The Armed
Forces chief has decided against traveling to PACOM this
weekend in light of the "situation," but there are no
indications that it will worsen significantly. End Summary.

3. (U) Approximately 10,000 mainly leftist protesters
gathered near the Mendiola bridge in the vicinity of
Malacanang Palace in Manila on October 21 to demand the
resignation of President Arroyo. The rally was led by
left-wing party list representatives Satur Ocampo, Teddy
Casino, and Lisa Masa. By mid-morning, demonstrators from
southern and central Luzon and from Metro Manila faced off
against police in a tense, hostile atmosphere. The group had
obtained a permit to hold a rally at Plaza Miranda (a
well-known protest site) but instead marched on the Mendiola
Bridge, the scene of a clash between protesters and police on
October 14. The Philippine National Police (PNP), in keeping
with the President's "Calibrated Premeditated Response" (CPR)
policy (Ref A), denied the protesters access to areas near
Malacanang where they had no permit to gather. A small group
unsuccessfully tried to break through the police cordon,
leaving at least four protesters and one policeman injured.
In a separate incident, protesters assembling for the rally
in Quezon City reportedly roughed up a man they claimed was a
military intelligence infiltrator before police on the scene
rescued him.

4. (U) Poloff on the margins of the scene reported that, as
of 4:00 PM local time, the crowd had diminished to fewer than
4,000 persons and that the mood had become somewhat calmer.
Most of the demonstrators had withdrawn to the approved rally
area at Plaza Miranda, where leftist politicians gave
speeches and activists performed street theater. The police,
who had called for reinforcements earlier in the day,
including three fire trucks, claimed to have sufficient
forces in place to keep the situation under control and to
protect Malacanang.

5. (SBU) The Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines, General Generosa Senga, on October 21 informed
Embassy and PACOM that he would not after all attend the
Chiefs of Defense conference at PACOM next week, citing "the
situation." His staff clarified that President Arroyo had
approved his travel this weekend and had not/not requested
that he change these plans.

6. (SBU) Comment: This latest rally is part of a long
string of anti-Arroyo protests going back several months.
While not the largest, it was again highlighted the continued
bad blood between Malacanang and its opponents. Despite
General Senga's caution, there are no indications that the
situation will become more tense or worsen significantly.
End Comment.
JONES

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Covid: 250 Groups Urge WTO Chief To Ditch Pharma-Friendly Approach And Embrace Vaccine Patent Waiver

by Jake Johnson, staff writer An international coalition of 250 civil society groups on Tuesday urged the head of the World Trade Organization to embrace a temporary suspension of coronavirus vaccine-related patents, warning against pursuit of a voluntary ... More>>

Samoa’s Stunning Election Result: On The Verge Of A New Ruling Party For The First Time In 40 Years

Tamasailau Suaalii Sauni , University of Auckland and Patricia A. O'Brien , Georgetown University Samoan politics is on a knife edge. After the country voted in general elections on April 9, counting so far has resulted in a dead heat between the two ... More>>

Timor-Leste: UN Agencies Support Response In Wake Of Deadly Floods

United Nations agencies in Timor-Leste are supporting response efforts, as floods and landslides left widespread damage across the country, including in the capital, Dili. According to media reports, at least 21 people died in the country and many ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: Growing Calls For Revamping Development Financing To Ensure Sustainable Global Recovery From COVID-19 Pandemic

Forum to highlight new initiatives to tackle inequalities exacerbated by pandemic With many economies reeling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as inequalities continue to widen, world leaders will discuss options to unlock concrete investments ... More>>

How Can We Vaccinate The World? Five Challenges Facing The UN-Backed COVAX Programme

The aim of the UN-backed COVAX scheme is to get two billion vaccine doses into the arms of around a quarter of the population of poorer countries by the end of 2021. What are the main challenges that need to be overcome, if this historic global effort ... More>>

Department Of Global Communications: UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ Message For World Health Day 2021

5 APRIL 2021 As COVID-19 Reveals Immoral Inequities in Health System, Secretary-General Observance Message Calls for Applying Policies, Assigning Resources to Ensure Everyone Thrives Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for World ... More>>