Saturday, March 18, 2006

Capital of Repression

The Statement -

"The Black & White Movement denounces the paranoid and heavy-handed treatment of citizens in the City of Manila, including the arrest of Enteng Romano and Dinky Soliman for daring to cross Roxas Boulevard at a Ped Xing. Apparently, Baywalk is only for the privileged few. Manila is the capital of repression".

That text, sent out to media within minutes of the arrest of Enteng and Dinky perfectly described the scene as it was. Last night's experience brought a whole new meaning to the lyric "namamasyal sa Luneta". So much for the hospitality of the City of Manila.

The Story -

We got to the front of Aristocrat at about 5:45pm. Some of us went into the restaurant for something to eat. Eventually, people began to arrive. We were joined by folks we'd never met before, too, and that boosted our spirits. By the time the sun began to set, there were about 22 of us. Everyone was in black, but some wanted to wear the "Patalsikin Na! Now Na!" tees, so we gave them out. Some even had the "Makapili" disguise, a cap, dark glasses and makeshift hood to parody Jimmy Fuentes, the Palace's "surprise witness". Our youngest participant, a beautiful 3 year old (sorry, I just met them last night and the ensuing chaos caused me to forget his name, but will always remember him as our angel) wore his tee shirt without much complaint. Due to the benign attention given to us at the last two Black Friday events, we thought having a child in our group was not going to be a problem.

We hadn't even left the restaurant sidewalk when we were accosted by Col. Marcelino Pedrozo of the WPD and 50 cops. We were truly surprised at the attention. Enteng and Dinky tried to negotiate. The Colonel kept saying that they had intel that we were going to "do something" but never said what "it" was (It's obvious their intel guys don't surf the blogs). He pointed out our tee shirts. I asked what law prohibited us from wearing tee shirts like ours. Since when was this illegal? He had no answer except, "Basta, alam namin na may gagawin kayo". Dinky countered that we were well within our rights to stroll along the Baywalk, wasn't it open to the public? Since when was this illegal? The Colonel was on the phone a lot, obviously being given orders to take a hard stand. Enteng kept saying that we were not going to do a rally, merely walk on the Baywalk. We had no placards, banners, not even a megaphone. No one was chanting or yelling, merely pleading our case. Was this illegal? The colonel also made the media a part of the issue, saying that if there was press, we were probably "up to something". Since when was it illegal to have news media around?

When Dinky realized that negotiations were going nowhere, she announced that she would walk Baywalk alone and began walking, Enteng followed close behind, the rest of us kept pace. The cops surrounded the two when they reached the crosswalk. We made sure to keep right by them, and waited for the light to change. Just as it did, Enteng heard Col. Pedrozo get an order from whomever it was on his cellphone, and that's when he called out , "ok, i-aresto na ninyo ito" gesturing toward Enteng. Two cops got hold of his arms, and Enteng reached out for Dinky as she was also grabbed. Several bystanders were overheard saying, "wala na talagang demokrasya sa Pilipinas", shaking their heads. Many of us heard that as we followed our friends to the glass enclosed Precinct No.9. Although we were enraged at the arrests, none of us blew our cool. Some of us did the thumbs down sign as cars along the side street passed, but we did not block traffic.

Once we found out that they were going to be brought to WPD, we piled into cars and cabs to follow. It wasn't long before our lawyer friends arrived - Edwin Lacierda, Hec Soliman (Dinky's husband), ex Sec. Butch Abad, Marvic Leonen, Marlon Manuel. What an impressive team! Meanwhile, our phones kept ringing with calls of support from family and friends.

The police planned on charging Enteng and Dinky with something, but they seemed to take their time in making a decision. Supt. Paglinawan didn't appear to be too keen about having to charge them with "something" at the time. And so, we waited.

Our biggest surprise was the arrival of former Pres. Cory Aquino. She was accompanied by her son, Cong. Noynoy Aquino. Cory refused to be dissuaded from coming over. She brought comfort, confidence, and chocolate. Her arrival also changed the atmosphere in the station, as if the police were dumbstruck, only then realizing that they may have made a boo boo. They had turned a molehill into a mountain.

Cory's presence also sped up the pace at which the cops were going. They finally came up with a charge, violation of BP880, illegal assembly. From there, we all trooped to City Hall to face night court. Many of us waited outside the door of Fiscal Ramos as she discussed the case with the police and the lawyers. We got to read the affidavit submitted by Col. Pedrozo - it said Dinky and Enteng were accused of leading a "lighting (sic) rally". When asked by the fiscal what the cops meant by that, they had trouble explaining it. They were admonished to look up the meaning of the phrase. Dinky and Enteng were told to apply for a permit "next time". They were released upon their own recognizance pending further investigation. Please refer to Edwin Lacierda for his report on what transpired inside the fiscal's office.

As we left the building, we were greeted by around 30 of our friends that were holding a candlelight vigil. They applauded both Dinky and Enteng and we all broke into singing "Bayan Ko". Oh dear! A rally right outside Manila City Hall! I wondered if Mayor Atienza was having a nightmare. Maybe we'd be arrested right there! But no such bad luck - the police were hightailing out of City Hall!


Tet said...

With the publicity generated by the arrests, I suggest that we encourage everyone to wear their black t-shirts every Friday -gimmick day. They do not have to congregate at any specific place, just greet each other with a "thumbs down" sign.

This can easily be done in Davao, Cebu, Bacolod, Iloilo, Zamboanga, Palawan, Sorsogon, Ilocos, Pampanga, Dagupan, etc. etc. wherever gimmicks are held.

With more arrests, who knows, we might all be wearing black t-shirts everyday --- and sooner.

GMA's aversion to any kind of protest against her is promoting the the latest fashion statement - wearing black t-shirts. And to make it more distinctive, why not include "Dinky's streak"?

Artemio de la Cruz said...

The Manila Gestapo police had restricted individual rights and freedom as a form of political repression. Is this a state-sponsored terrorism? The arrest of former Secretary Dinky Soliman and Vicente Romano is a violation of human rights. The right of peaceful assembly is guaranteed in our Constitution. The Philippines is a signatory of Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Arroyo government should respect civil liberties and the rule of law. The bogus President Gloria Arroyo is exercising Martial law powers to suppress the people's civil liberties, intimidate, harass and warrantless arrest against political dissenters. The Department of Justice, police and military systemic political repression may lead to totalitarian or police state. Hail Hitler! Hail Fascist Gloria! OUST GLORIA ARROYO!

Helga said...

Tet, thank you for the excellent suggestion! Enteng and I really think your idea (in another comment) to put slogan "below the belt", so to speak is wonderful. Watch out for it's birth!

Hear hear, Mr. de la Cruz!

JuanDLC said...

You people are asking for trouble...
I'm not a GMA fan,but I'm just tired of all this. You are all wasting all your resources in doing all this.
Sure GMA will not resign, she will hold on till she can. But what we can do, if we people has a right, then the presidency has a right also guaranteed in the constitution. That's why we never progressed as a country, imagine everytime we don't like the president we call for its ouster. There's no harm calling for ouster but the presidency as an institution has its own right against all this. That's why we have a system. People elected the president, Dinky and the rest of the hyatt 10 campaigned for Gloria. How bogus the election of Gloria is, we are also to blame as a people. We should have been more vigilant.

Now what are we trying to do? Trying to do an EDSA again? People all over the world is laughing at us. How many more EDSA we will have? If people does'nt like its leader and we start calling EDSA again. When it will end?

I just believe ousting Gloria like this will not be good for our country as a whole. Maybe good for those people with personal interest. We have a system and we are on it. Everybody should go into it. Now going into rally is not within the system, in fact it is. People has a right to express under the constitution. But my golly, we have asked Gloria to resign since last year, do you think she will do it? What you people is actually waiting is for a spark that will ignite the fire in people's heart to join you in seeking the ouster of Gloria. You are waiting nasty to happen so that people will sympatize and join your cause. I hope and pray if this happens, no one will be hurt there will be no violence.

Everybody wants closure to the election fraud to end to all this. Now the Supreme Court is handling the case of the VP, why no one petition the supreme court to also count the votes for the president? anyways it the same election returns for president and vice-president.

Another way of closure is the impeachment.. This may take sometime but the best way to do it is lobby to you congressmans to sign the impeachment. Muster you strenght in this activity. Make a petition and ask people in your district to sign. I'm sure that with all the surveys poeple will definitely sign.

I'm just a simple OFW. I'm just sick and tired of all this political rallies and noise. I feel embarassed when a news story on us is always about this rallies. And imagine from the same people that licks Gloria's butt last year. Do something more worthwhile, redirect your cash for printing those tees to bahay kalinga and to other charitable institutions.

Again i'm not a Gloria fan. We poeple should be prepared to accept the system and work within that system. I just believe that for us a people to grow, we should learn how to follow the system otherwise we are the laughing stock of democracy.

GOD bless Philippines.

The Bystander said...

He who strikes terror into others is himself in continual fear.

Those who suppress freedom always do so in the name of law and order.
--John V. Lindsay

The Bystander said...


This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.
--Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865)
US president

He who allows oppression, shares the crime.
--Erasmus Darwin, grandfather of Charles Darwin

Helga said...

Excellent and apropos quotes, Bystander! By the way, I enjoyed your last two posts, very informative.

John - yeah, these outages are beginning to fray my nerves. The latest Blogger update says they've got most of the problem solved, but some blogs will still experience problems. Thank you for the post on arrests and your insights.

Juandlc - many of us in BnW are great supporters of Gawad Kalinga et al, so please don't think this is all we do. In fact, we can all do many other things to help change our country for the better. One point lang - as an OFW, are you concerned that the stronger peso is making the dollar much weaker here? Some say it's artificial daw, but don't know enough to understand what that means. What do you think?

Tet said...

JuanDLC said...
“You people are asking for trouble...”

This can only come from people with "utak pulbura", who believe that the only way to end conflict is to start trouble.

I am sorry Mr JuanDLC, but please do not make self-fulfilling prophecies. That's the kind of thinking that GMA is promoting with her policemen and defenders. The better to scare the people by saying that only trouble can come out of their defiance.

Life is too short and if the only meaning to it is to be able to feed one’s family, then we surely are in the wrong place and I think you realized that when you decided to be an OFW. I do not mean to disparage you or anybody who decides that it is time to leave. Life over death, comfort over pain, health and wealth are definitely natural human aspirations. If we have decided to stay here, either because we have no choice but to be here or that we made it our choice, then allow us to pursue what we think should be our moves towards fulfilling our aspirations.

If doing an EDSA as you said, will result to having people in government who do not cheat or lie, then, it is worth doing it again and again. And if it is the only thing we know right now, then allow us to re-do bloodless EDSAs till we hit it right. But please do not cow us into thinking that we are asking for trouble. Perhaps you or people that think like you would want to give the trouble to us. But why would you do that if your only concern is to earn money for your family in some far-flung place?

I do not really think you are an OFW. Your knowledge and concern about the political scene here seems to mirror the administration’s line, notably the spin given by the likes of Defensor, Bunye, Gonzales and Pichay. Why would one who is minding only his “hanapbuhay” be embarrassed in a foreign country when what is loudest in the news is the creeping martial rule in the Philippines? If you are doing an honest job there, continue doing so, because we are proud of all the OFWs that do so and continue supporting the Philippine economy. You should not be embarrassed with us who are trying to have decency restored to governance.

In closing, let me share with you these words from a great civil rights leader: “I submit to you that if a man hasn’t discovered something he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Speech in Detroit, June 23, 1963. There are more of his thoughts about people like you that wish to promote inequity and trouble at

And please address your ending statement to the marines with you in your system, wherever that might be. “Again i'm not a Gloria fan. We poeple should be prepared to accept the system and work within that system. I just believe that for us a people to grow, we should learn how to follow the system otherwise we are the laughing stock of democracy.”

Sampip said...

JuanDLC, please don't get me wrong. I know as an OFW, you're hard-earned dollars is one of the few reasons the Philippine economy is still surviving amidst the political turmoil caused by a fake president.
I don't know if you keep up with your current affairs because it doesn't seem like you do, anywho, congress rejected impeachment TWICE. So, your ideas maybe great about getting a lot of signatures for petitioning, but, it won't work this time since majority of the congress and the Arroyo government always finds a way to snake around it to stay in power.
And that my friend, is your president; a liar, a cheater, a stealer, and now, a human rights abuser. G'day mate. :)

JuanDLC said...

Sir Tet,

Thank you for your comment..
I'm not sure where you got the term "Utak Pulbura" and its definition. Anyway, I'm sure I'm not one of them and please don't insinuate just because I don't agree with what ur doing..

I'm not making self-fullfilling prophesies. Do you think if Gloria is ousted may mangyayari bang maganda? Papalitan lang natin sya ng isa pang Gloria or Erap...Hanggang sa walang katapusa pagpapalit. Do u think kapag napalitan c Gloria ay tatahimik na? Nagkakamali kayo. Tignan nyo nangyari nung EDSA 2. Tumahimik ba? D tumahimik dahil d nmn talaga tayo nagkaisa. Hati-hati parin tayo dahil yung mga maka-ERAP d rin naman tumahimik.

Kasi tao lang sa ibabaw ang pinapalitan natin. We should blame us for all what's happening to our country..We should all change. From the vendor to the president should change. Ikaw ba nagbabayad k ng tamang buwis? D ka ba naglalagay sa mga fixers? D mo ba ginagamit ang status mo para makakuha ng special favors para sa mga anak mo? D ka ba nagtatapon ng basura kung saan saan? D ka ba bumibili ng mga smuggled goods? Pumipila ka ba sa immigration tulad ng iba kung dadating at aalis ka ng bansa?My point is, all of us has a role to play, all of us is to blame for all what's happening to us.

Just a thought, why nobody blames Lacson when he turned down the other presidentiables to file an electoral protest against Gloria. I remember what he said to FPJ camps, "Wala kayong karapatang magreklamo kung d kayo nagbantay ng boto nyo". Imagine, if only Lacson joined FPJ electoral protest we could have an option for a closure on the electoral fraud. Anyway naalala ko lang..

As an OFW, it doesn't mean that we are permanently leaving our beloved country. And please just being there and us here doesnt give you the monopoly of moves towards everybodys aspiration. Every Filipino no matter where he/she is has stake in our beloved Philippines. NOT ONLY U.

Yes you are right on our reason for leaving. But please don't insunuate that left because we already gave up on our country. we left not because we dont love our country, we left because we want to secure our families first. Siguro ikaw may malaki kang business or anything. I suppose you are paying the correct taxes and you give you employees the right benifits. Ang hirap sa inyo naiwan lang kayo dyan akala nyo wala ng paki-alam ang mga OFW. Akala nyo kayo lang ang nakaka-alam ng tama.

Please don't doubt me being an OFW. I can give u my OCW no. and have it checked. You also think that I'm an attack dog of Gloria like Gonzales, Defensor, etc..
That's the problem. Magkaiba lang tayo ng sinasabi kung ano na ang sinabi mo about me being OFW and a pro-Gloria...I'm just saying what i feel as a citizen pero bakit pati pagiging OFW ko ay kinukwestion mo? Be objective on what i said.

I'm just saying na these rallies will not solve the problem. In fact magiging sanhi lang ng gulo ito. Imagine kung ang isang rally ay bimomba (wag nmn sana). Paano kung may magsamantala sa situsyon at magkagulo. Magsisisihan at tuturuan ang lahat. D lalang nagkagulo.. Yan lang po ang opinion ng "people like me"

And to people like you who's thinking that people like us are tolerating the cheating, lying at kung anu-ano pa. I don't like Gloria, nobody like her but we don't think that another people power (violent or not) will not do good for us a nation and people. D tayo matatahimik. The cycle will continue...

May Pag-asa pa..


john marzan said...

JuanDLC post reminds me of this Mobyism tactic. LOL. Beware.

Helga said...

Hi John! You gotta give it to those Arlegui folks, they're really earning their keep. Picture this - Ric Saludo and Gabby Claudio suantering through a roomfull of computers being manned by failed-to-make-the-cut call center operators. LOL

JuanDLC said...

Bakit ganyan kayo sa mga taong nagcomment ng d ayon sa opinion nyo? Why you call them this, that.

You have to realise that everyone has its own opinion. For that you have to respect everybody's opinion. Kaya d ako nagtataka kung bakit hanggang ngayon ay 18,053 pa lang ang advocates nyo..You have to do more. Instead of getting people to ur side ur offending them away...

Again, I repeat... D PO AKO MAKA-GLORIA... at d rin ako maka-ERAP at lalong lalo na d MAKA-BLACK & WHITE...MAKA-PINOY PO AKO...PARA SA KAPAKANAN NG MGA PINOY...

Kung di nyo pa rin maintindihan yan.. Color bind na talaga kayo kasi B&W lang nakikita nyo...


JuanDLC said...

Come on helga..i will give you may Private e-mail address just to prove to you that i'm not what you just a simple ofw...

Give me ur e-mail add and i will e-mail you from my office e-mail...

U have to accept the fact that not all people shares the same view as u have...

JuanDLC said...

helga,here' my e-mail
this a public e-mail..once i receive urs i will send a e-mail from ofc..wag lang sana ako puputaktihin ng mga kasama nyo sa e-mail add na binigay ko..

Artemio de la Cruz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Artemio de la Cruz said...

To All Patriotic Filipino Citizens: Don’t let Gloria Arroyo and her disgraced regime take away of freedom. We must unite and defend the republic from repressive government. The Gestapo police crackdown of political dissenters from all sectors of the society is a sign of a dying regime. The corrupt Arroyo regime is in fishing expedition. They got nothing to pin down former Secretary Dinky Soliman, Vicente Romano, Batasan Five, Army Brig. General Danilo Lim and critical media. Massive peaceful resistance will lead to the downfall of corrupt and abusive Arroyo regime. RESIST POLITICAL REPRESSSION!

ElFili said...

nakakalungkot naman, juandlc. mabuti pa ang mga bansa sa europa at amerika ay nakikiisa sa mga pilipino sa pagkondena sa mga abuso sa karapatang pantao sa pilipinas samantalang ang isang kababayan namin na itinuturing na isang bagong bayani ay mas mamarapatin pa ang makitang inaabuso ang karapatang pantao ng kanyang mga kababayan kesa pumalag at ipaglaban ang ating karapatan.

ganyan din ang paliwanag ng mga battered wife...manahimik na lang kesa magulo ang buhay ng pamilya. ang hirap namang basta basta magpalit ng asawa tapos aabusuhin ka rin lang ng susunod kaya mabuti na lang daw na tiisin na lang ang pang-aabusong ginagawa...kahit mali! kahit labag sa karapatang pantao! basta mas mahalaga manahimik ka na lang kesa magkagulo pa.

tsk, tsk, tsk.

kaya god bless the philippines na lang ang hirit. ipinapagsadiyos na lang ang solusyon kasi walang sapat na lakas ng loob para isatuwid ang mali.

ganyan din ang turo ng mga kastila kaya ilang daang taon na hindi maituwid ang mali...ipagpasadiyos na lang ng mga pilipino ang kanilang kalagayan para walang gulo.

kahit ang diyos nagalit! umalma! ginulo ang mga tindero't tindera na ginawang palengke ang kanyang simbahan.wala siyang alinlangang manggising ng tao kung may mali na kailangang ituwid.

hindi kailangan maging malinis o magmalinis para ipaglaban kung ano ang tama. ang walis kahit marumi nakakalinis din. masama kung ginawa kang walis tapos hindi mo gagawin ang tungkulin mo bilang walis.

mahirap magbingibingihan, mahirap magsulat at mahirap ipaglaban ang karapatang pantao pero kinakailangan.

JuanDLC said...

I do respect ur opinion. everyone of us is entitle to own opinion. I will call u names as what usually people in this group do..

For the record..I don't condone what was done or being done by GMA. D tama na mandaya, magsinungaling, magnakaw, labagin ang karapatang pantao. Wala akong cnabi tama c GMA sa mga bagay na yon. At d ko sinabi na natutuwa ako na inabuso ni GMA ang mga karapatang pantao. At sa tingin ko naman may mga proseso para labanan ito. Tulad ng pagsampa ng nararapat na kaso sa mga sa tingin ninyo na lumabag sa karapatang pantao.

Ang sa akin lang ay ang tamang proseso. Paulit-ulit ito at wala ng katapusan, kaya d umasenso ang bansa natin. Sawang-sawa na ako sa mga nangyayari, sa Trip to Jerusalem sa Malacanang..Sila-sila rin naman. Mga sarili nilang interes..

D ko rin sinabi n manahimik n lang..For the record, I'm for GMA removal within the process (wala ng people power pls.)..I was suggesting to this group that we should exert available efforts in removing lobbying to their respective congressman to support impeachment(remember during ERAP's impeachment, iilang lang ang oposisyon noon) and filing a petition to PET to also count ER for President(para once and for all alam natin kung sino nanalo).

At isa, i do have this in mind in an event of post-GMA. who will replace? What will happen? It is the lack of alternative that's driving me away from all this protest action. Sa tingin ko mas nakakatakot ang pangyayari after GMA. Without the clear alternative sa tingin ko mas mahirap.

I would like to share with you this column.
Why there’s no outrage, people power vs GMA

I feel the analysis of the writter is correct. I don't know the writter if its pro-GMA or not as i dont read this newspaper but just read through..

Elfili, salamat sa komento mo...d man tayo magkatulad ng opinion, iisa lang ang ating layunin..


Juan said...

Juan dela Cruz is the common Filipino, the collective Filipino. Let us all rediscover ourselves, who we are, should be, as Filipinos. Let us rediscover the goodness in us – kabutihan ng kalooban ng bawat isa. Do we still remember the folk song refrain: “sa kabukiran may gintong kalooban”? Let us complete a portrait of Juan dela Cruz by contributing, each, his/her unique piece or pixel without which the picture cannot be completed. We may not like, or even recoil at an ugly or even obnoxious image of a sick stranger – how we have become to each other, as Filipinos. But we cannot be healed unless we overcome the intolerance or revulsion at an ugliness or ineptitude that we easily see in others but not in ourselves. Let us embark on a journey of rediscovering: On Journeying as a People, as Global Filipinos @

Juan said...

jdlc said, "We poeple should be prepared to accept the system and work within that system. I just believe that for us a people to grow, we should learn how to follow the system otherwise we are the laughing stock of democracy"

There is no fundamental conflict w/ B&W activity; perhaps ur not a risk taker, GMA is, segurista lang siya na di siya ang tatamaan, ang taombayan, its what's been going on, it is right for some people to take some risks, they are part of those who pay the price, and more
I support an honest realistic approach:
"Creative Proactive Response – Citizens’ Initiatives
As such, the resolution of the critical impasse calls for a remedial coup as an element of wide-ranging and peaceful citizens’ initiatives that adhere to just and democratic processes to defend and strengthen our democratic institutions." @

I LOVE YOU said...