MANILA, Philippines?A veteran of street protests against the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos has a piece of advice to those favoring ?people power? protests if next week?s automated polls were marred by widespread fraud.
?They must lead and be in the frontlines of the protest marches,? Sen. Joker Arroyo, a longtime human rights lawyer, said in a statement.
?For those who advocate people power in case they are dissatisfied with the results of the election, it is not enough that they agitate. Talk is cheap,? he said.
Arroyo added: ?They must be the first to be felled by police and military truncheons, water cannons, tear gas like the old man Tańada, Chino Roces, Rene Saguisag, Butz Aquino and other leaders in the anti-Marcos protest marches.?
He was referring to the late Sen. Lorenzo Tańada and newspaper publisher Chino Roces, and to former Sen. Rene Saguisag and former Makati Rep. Agapito ?Butz? Aquino, who were Arroyo?s colleagues in demonstrations against Marcos.
?They did not retreat; they held the lines even in the face of the Malabanan sewage hoses aimed at the throng of the protesting masses they led,? Arroyo said.
?Advocates cannot just talk and agitate and stay safely in the rear, out of harm?s way. A leader cannot ask people to do what he himself cannot do.? Michael Lim Ubac