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Unrest in the Philippines

May 1, 2001
Web posted at: 7:24 PM EDT (2324 GMT)

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Curriculum connections -- government

After students read the story "'Rebellion' quashed in the Philippines," ask the following questions:

1. Who is Joseph Estrada? Why was he arrested? Why do you think riots and demonstrations took place in reaction to his arrest? Why do you think Estrada is opposed to the rioting? Who is Gloria Arroyo? Why did Arroyo order a state of rebellion?

2. Who was Ferdinand Marcos? During his tenure, what rights did he take away from the Filipino people? How has the government of the Philippines changed since Marcos was removed from office? Why was Estrada removed from office? What economic problems has the country faced in recent years? To what extent do you think these events have contributed to the current political climate in the Philippines?

3. Why did Justice Secretary Hernando Perez arrest 11 key opposition figures? Why was he able to order these arrests without a warrant? Why do Estrada supporters and constitutional experts say that Arroyo has abused her power? Remind students that in the Philippines, the declaration of a state of rebellion allows authorities to arrest suspects without a warrant, and is the first of three steps a president can take to maintain law and order. Subsequent steps are the suspension of habeas corpus rights and martial law. Have students consult online resources to learn more about these three powers. Then, have each student write a television editorial about whether or not Arroyo abused her power, from the perspective of an Arroyo supporter, an opponent of Arroyo or a Filipino business owner. If possible, have students videotape their editorials and play them for the class.

The Philippine Constitution of 1987
CIA -- The World Factbook 2000 -- Philippines

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