The Manila Standard Today
Sept. 7, 2007


The National Police yesterday belittled threats of former President Joseph Estrada’s camp to destabilize the government, saying the New People’s Army remains the biggest threat in the country.

Reason: The NPA is armed while Erap supporters are dwindling in number.

This was disclosed by Deputy Dir. Avelino Razon yesterday over lunch with reporters at a San Juan Chinese restaurant.

“Because of confluence of events, which includes the arrest of Joma Sison, the armed component of the Communist Party of the Philippines is expected to launch a series of terror attacks at our isolated police stations and vital installations. For this, heightened alert is still placed all over the country. Meaning, 50 percent of our police force is on duty anytime of the day and night,” Razon said.

Asked why NPA remains the biggest threat, he said the rebel group is armed and that it has been waging war since 1976.

Razon urged Erap supporters to confine their activities at designation areas and avoid any confrontation with anti-riot squads.

A 6,000-strong police and military composite force would be posted near the Sandiganbayan on Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City including Malacañan Palace.

El Shaddai leader Bro. Mike Velarde was quick to slam the overkill in the police and military security over the impending verdict on Estrada’s plunder case.

“We should first wait for the decision of the Sandiganbayan because what have been coming out recently are mere speculation,” he said, echoing the stand of most Catholic prelates.

He said talks about destabilization if a conviction is handed down had no basis.

“Why should we expect trouble?”

Velarde said the anti-graft court was still credible if its ruling would remain unswayed by politics.

“It’s not really a decision based on pressure from any side and that should be the case.”

At the lower house, Deputy Speaker for Mindanao Simeon Datumanong called on Estrada loyalists to remain sober awaiting the decision on his P4.1-billion plunder case.

“If they find the court’s verdict adverse to them, then they should resort to the appeals process instead of destabilization and fomenting unrest,” he said.

The anti-graft courts Special Division is expected to make a ruling next week unless it asks the Supreme Court for an extension.

Datumanong, former chairman of the House committee on justice, said the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has rejected calls for an executive clemency, indicating the Sandiganbayan should have a free rein over Estrada’s fate, and if so decides, make him accountable for the crime as charged. Jaime Pilapil, Arlie Calalo, Macon Ramos Araneta

Comments:

Lets wait for the VERDICT and lets give full trust to our Judges, rather than making so much speculations. Di nakakaganda yan.