Friday, December 10, 2004

NR1122: PNP's Task Force Luisita bogus

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin B. Beltran
News Release November 24, 2004
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, chief of staff
Celphone number 09213907362

PNP Luisita Task Force totally lacking in credibility;
Senate and Congressional investigations on Luisita Massacre should also put Sto.
Tomas in the spotlight - Rep. Beltran

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today scoffed at the credibility of
the Philippine National Police (PNP) Task Force Luisita supposedly
investigating the massacre the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines
(PNP) perpetrated last November 16 against striking workers and farmworkers of
the Central Azucarera de Tarlac (CAT) in Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac.

The Task Force alleged that members of ex-President Joseph Estrada's Peoples
Movement Against Poverty (PMAP) and its breakaway group the Filipino
Democratic Movement (FMD) as well as t members of the New People's Army (NPA)
were involved in the clash.

"These are all stupid allegations, idiotic assertions, and fabricated lies,"
said Beltran. "The PNP and the AFP are desperate to justify the massacre which
can never be justified. This Task Force Luisita was formed with the express
intent to pull-off a comprehensive campaign to cover up the PNP and the AFP's
responsibility for the massacre that claimed 14 lives, wounding hundreds of
others. There taskforce does not have a single shred of credibility, and its
findings are all bunk."

The veteran labor leader said that the PNP was dragging the PMAP and the FMD
into the issue to discredit the investigations of the Senate Committee on Labor
which is headed by Estrada's son, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada.

"The PNP's ploy is so transparent - one the one hand, blame the PMAP/FMD and
thus discredit the Senate investigations; and then accuse the NPA and that way
shift the spotlight on the militant people's organizations the military
establishment continues to tag as communist fronts."

"But the truth will come out. Regardless of the attempts of the PNP and the AFP
to pass the blame, November 16 will go down in Philippine recent history as a
testament to the brutality and fascism of government armed forces, and their
defense of the people's exploiters," he said.

Beltran said that tomorrow's Committees on Human Rights, Labor and Agrarian
reform joint investigation on the Luisita Massacre will hopefully be a venue
wherein the survivors of the massacre will be able to air their side, and
expose the perpetrators.

A member of the Committee on Human Rights and vice-chair of the labor
committee, he appealed to both committees to make sure that labor secretary
Patricia Sto. Tomas is also summoned to the investigations. "We want her to
look the workers and farmworkers in the eye and tell them to their face that
she laid down her return-to-work and assumption of jurisdiction orders for
their own good," he said.

Beltran is filing a complaint against Sto. Tomas at the Commission on
Appointments, protesting Sto. Tomas' re-appointment as labor secretary. He said
that Sto. Tomas has abused her authority for the longest time, using her office
and powers to aid employers like the Cojuangcos in their continued exploitation
of their workers. #


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