Reporters Without Borders on Saturday voiced great concern at the closure of an opposition newspaper only hours after declaration of a national state of emergency, apparently in the face of a failed military coup.
"We deplore the state of emergency imposed yesterday by President Gloria Arroyo, who is using it as an excuse to crack down on the opposition," the worldwide press freedom organisation said. "We fear a wave of arrests and more closures of newspapers critical of the government."
Police searched the premises of the opposition Daily Tribune and shut down the paper.
Left-wing coalition leader Crispin Beltran was also arrested, along with several generals. The opposition, human rights activists and church leaders have strongly condemned the emergency and some politicians have called for Arroyo's resignation.
But media outlets were warned by the government yesterday not to broadcast these calls. The crisis came 20 years to the day after the fall of President Ferdinand Marcos, on 25 February 1986. An anniversary march Friday was banned by the government. (www.rsf.org)
Asia - Pacific Desk
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