Gloria’s Police finally release 82 year old Bishop

November 30, 2007

The prominent and outspoken 82 year old Bishop Labayen was just released by Gloria Arroyo’s Military and Police agents a full day and night after being detained by Philippine President Gloria Arroyo’s troops after he was arrested for joining a walkout of a group of soldiers who tried to start a coup-de-etat some years ago. The soldiers were at their court hearing when apparently, a signal was given and the soldiers walked out, apparently accompanied by their military police escorts. For five hours, the rebel soldiers took over the classy Manila Peninsula Hotel, only a few blocks from the other hotel they seized a few years ago. That take-over ended in the same manner as this one, peacefully, after the leaders of the coup gave up to their military higher-ups. Yesterday’s coup, however, was quite different. A priest said mass and a former vice president, Tito Guingona, together with two bishops, all three of whom were either past eighty of nearing it. They, along with quite a number of local media practitioners, were handcuffed, or had their hands clasped together with plastic ties. Not even former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who was no media favorite either, had ever treated the media like common criminals, being subjected to searches, getting finger-printed by the rough policemen, who seized their cameras as well as inspected the photos of not a few photographers. This sort of media treatment, which is not being done to even media members covering the Iraq War, has showed how ruthless the present government can be in order to illustrate their lust for power, and to show the Filipinos how far they will go in order to display their power and desire to keep their hold on it. Considering all the scandals and incidents of outright corruption, and violations of human rights blatantly displayed to the people, this last incident is nothing compared to the hundreds of killings of media people and even government officials.

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