Chinese-Filipino leader says no 'civil disobedience' call

ANGELES CITY -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Robin Sy, president of the Chinese-Filipino Chambers of Commerce and Industry, denied that the Chinese-Filipino community had called for civil disobedience over alleged government inaction on the recent rash of kidnappings.

They both attended the wake for Joselito Esguerra, a police officer who was killed in a gunfight between police and the Obeles Yap kidnap gang in Dinalupihan town in the province of Bataan on Nov. 20.

"It is not true that we are calling for a civil disobedience because that is not good for us," Sy said. "What we are simply asking for is that our government would help us."

Sy said his group was giving rewards to informants of kidnap-for-ransom syndicates and to soldiers killed or wounded in operations against kidnap groups.

The President noted she had ordered putting up police checkpoints and stressed that this was "not the start of martial law but a renewed effort in law enforcement."

She justified the participation of the military in a fresh crackdown against heinous crimes, saying that as president she was empowered by the Constitution to mobilize the military against "lawless violence."

Tonette Orejas


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