BINAY WARNS US GOVT AGAINST BACKING MARTIAL LAW

PRESS RELEASE
JULY 9 2009
REF: JOEY SALGADO

Makati Mayor and United Opposition (UNO) president Jejomar C. Binay today warned the United States government against backing any move by the Arroyo administration to declare martial law following a series of bombing in Mindanao and reports of terror threats in Metro Manila.

Binay issued the statement prior to the arrival Sunday of US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) chief Leon Panetta. He is set to meet with Mrs. Arroyo.

“The bombings have resurrected fears of martial law, and the Arroyo administration can conveniently play the terror card in getting US support for declaring a state of emergency or even martial law,” he said.

“The US government will find itself again on the wrong side of history should it openly or implicitly support martial law,” he said.

The CIA chief is set to arrive Sunday as police warned that the bombings in Mindanao may spread to Metro Manila.

“The administration’s martial law option should be taken within the context of Mrs. Arroyo’s overwhelming desire to remain in power beyond 2010. We have always maintained that this administration will use any means and explore all options in order to keep its grip on power, even if it includes plunging the country into chaos,” he said.

“The US government must view the recent events in the Philippines within this context,” he added.

In response to the terror threats in the metropolis, Binay had directed the city government to be vigilant, saying the country’s financial district remains a key target for all kinds of terror groups.

He directed the city’s Command Center to intensify its video monitoring and surveillance of major roads in the financial center, and directed the city police, the Public Safety Department and barangay peacekeepers to increase their visibility.

Earlier, the Makati Mayor warned that the next few months will be critical to the opposition as it prepares for the possible declaration of a state of emergency and even martial law if the bombings continue.

“We are expecting Malacanang to draw up a scenario where eventually the opposition will be implicated in bombings and so-called destabilization plots,” he said.

“Executive Secretary Ermita has always said that Mrs. Arroyo will declare martial law if there is chaos and these bombings are intended to create a perception of chaos,” he said.

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