AT 11:30 this morning, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo lifted the state of national emergency, declaring that peace and order has been restored.
Arroyo said she is confident that the alleged conspiracy between the political opposition, members of the extreme Left and military adventurists to topple the government has been successfully dealt with. On February 24, the country was placed under a state of emergency as the president announced that her government successfully quashed a coup attempt. (Click here to listen to Arroyo’s statement.)
Arroyo said she first had to make sure that there were no longer threats to the national security before making a decision about lifting the state of emergency. She said the brief standoff at the Marine headquarters last Sunday convinced her of the wisdom of having declared a state of emergency.
"Bilang commander-in-chief ng Sandatahang Lakas at ayon sa kapangyarihang kaloob sa akin ng Konstitusyon, kumilos ako upang ipagtanggol ang katiwasayan ng mamamayan at sambayanan," Arroyo said.
As she announced that a state of national emergency no longer exists, the President added a warning that she will not tolerate such "adventurism": "At kahit ilang ulit, kikilos ako ng may paninindigan at determinasyon tuwing mamimilit ang ating mga kaaway na alanganin sa bansa at pahamak sa ekonomiya."
"Napakahalaga ngayon na tumigil na ang ating mga kalaban sa pulitika at mga oportunista sa puwerhisyo sa ekonomiya at kahihiyan sa Pilipinas dulot ng mga walang kwentang palabas," she said.
University of the Philippines professor Rand David however said he does not believe that the President was sincere in her decision to lift the state of emergency. He said Arroyo’s "history of double talk and deception" does not warrant any assurance that warrantless arrests and threats to media and freedom of expression will stop. David was picked up by police during a rally on the day Proclamation 1017 was issued.
Arroyo thanked the police and the military for remaining loyal to the duly-constituted government and promised that reforms in their departments will continue.
"Pinagpala tayong nakatira sa masiglang demokrasya na malakas, matatag, at sumusulong," Arroyo said.
Following is the full text of Arroyo’s Proclamation 1021 lifting the state of national emergency:
PROCLAMATION NO. 1021
DECLARING THAT THE STATE OF NATIONAL EMERGENCY HAS CEASED TO EXIST
WHEREAS, pursuant to Section 18, Article Vll and Section 17, Article Xll of the Constitution, Proclamation No. 1017 dated February 24, 2006 was issued declaring a state of national emergency;
WHEREAS, by virtue of General Order No. 5 and No. 6 dated February 24, 2006, which were issued on the basis of Proclamation No. 1017, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) were directed to maintain law and order throughout the Philippines, prevent and suppress all forms of lawless violence as well as any act of rebellion and to undertake such actions as may be necessary;
WHEREAS, the AFP and PNP have effectively prevented, suppressed and quelled the acts lawless violence and rebellion;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GLORIA MACAPAGAL –ARROYO, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, hereby declare that the state of national emergency has ceased to exist.
City of Manila, MAR 03 2006
(Sgd) GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO
By the President:
(Sgd) EDUARDO R. ERMITA