Philippine crisis: the third day
The political crisis in the Philippines has taken an interesting turn. Former President Fidel Ramos, himself an ex-armed forces chief of staff, has said anyone taken into custody under what he described as the "pre-cooked" declaration of emergency worthy of the former dictator President Marcos would be regarded by posterity with honor.
"I am just saying [that] it's Marcosian because of the warrantless arrest and the proclamation itself," Ramos said. ... "The process of not giving it to the Cabinet for review means that that whole thing was pre-cooked," Ramos said. ...
With regard to the warrantless arrests, Ramos said it would be an honor to be arrested "under these circumstances." Ramos was informed of the arrest of retired police general Ramon Montaño by the general's wife. "I told her to tell Mon [that] it's a badge of honor to be arrested under these circumstances," he said, adding that he gave his assurance to Montaño's wife that he would help in the release of the police officer whom he described as one of his most able generals.
Ramos added that he was invited to Malacañang Friday but declined. "I said I am sorry. Wag na lang [No more]."
A BBC survey of Manila newspaper headlines indicates opinion is still on the cusp. There is a reluctance to topple President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo through extralegal street demonstrations but there is also widespread suspicion of her motives. Fidel Ramos' moderate verbal opposition to the declaration of emergency still leaves the door open for a rapproachment betwen the two powers. It's a shot across Arroyo's bow with the unstated suggestion that the next volley may be fire for effect.
Still no KO by either side and the audience awaits the start of the next round.