Thursday, January 26, 2006

* From the Office of Anakpawis Representative Crispin B. Beltran
Reference : Rep. Crispin Beltran (+63)927.871.1080
Lisa C. Ito, Public Information Officer (+63)927.796.7006
Tel. # (+632) 931-6615 Email:
*News Release: **January 27, 2006. *
*Creating a generation of "American parrots", Rep. Beltran says *
*Solon says calls to reinstate English as main medium of instruction will sacrifice quality of Philippine education over short-term goals *

Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran today reacted to the Trade Union Congress of
the Philippines' (TUCP) backing of the Department of Labor and Employment's
(DOLE) proposal to reinstate English as the medium of instruction in all
school levels, saying that "while it's alright for us Filipinos to learn and
be proficient in English, in addition to our native languages, to suggest
that English be institutionalized as the primary medium of instruction at *
all* school levels is a dangerous educational gamble."

"The TUCP, DOLE and other business groups are lobbying for the primacy of
English instruction because this will supposedly help RP clinch deals with
foreign financial services and call center companies that are currently
choosing between the Philippines or India as a possible base site for their
back-office operations. But this will have severe drawbacks on the quality
of education we aspire for our children," he said.

Beltran said that "although this is an easy way for the government to make a
quick buck, the "English First or Only" policy will do nothing to improve
our children's minds. We are sacrificing the long-term development of our
children for economic exigency. The level of English proficiency here not
the major reason for the country's unemployment and economic hardship, but
the depression of the economy due to foreign plunder and pro-foreign and
anti-people policies," the activist solon added.

Beltran warned that "privileging English as a main means of educational
instruction will reinforce the historical colonial practice of treating our
native tongues as a second language". "It is a retrogressive measure that
harks back to the American colonial education system," he said.

"This policy proposal will have a negative and long-term effect on the
critical thinking of millions of Filipino children. Many literacy studies
and investigations conclude that the best way to teach a second language is
by enabling the students to master their mother tongue or native language to
the point of critical thinking; these skills can then be transferred to the
second language," he said.

"For the majority of Filipino children who have grown up immersed in the
native language at home and in their communities, the sudden switch to a
foreign language such as English in a formal school environment at a time
when they are still learning basic concepts and critical thinking skills
will only muddle and impede the entire learning process. Add to these the
fact that our educational system has considerably deteriorated to the
chronic budget cuts for public and community schools. Just because citizens
from comparatively rich countries such as South Korea want to learn English
here doesn't necessarily mean that learning English will translate into
economic salvation for us. Remember that many highly-developed and
economically-advanced countries around the world, such as Japan and China,
still emphasize educational instruction in their mother or native tongues
before proceeding with initiatives to learn foreign languages such as
English. Economic growth for these countries did not begin with learning
English, but with building a strong domestic economy and national industries
first and foremost," he noted.

"Instead, we should direct our efforts towards promoting a national and mass
culture that will hone the critical thinking skills of our citizens. We
should train our labor force to be productive and active shapers of society,
not merely as appendages to foreign demands," he said.

"Otherwise, we will just be creating another generation of American
parrots," Beltran ended. ###

NR0126: Halt US war games, scrap VFA now!

*News Release *
*January 26, 2006. ***

*Reported scrapping of VFA Commission insufficient, *
*halt US war games while reviewing RP-UP military agreements, solon says ***
*"Philippine public officials should not bow down to US bullying over talk of VFA abrogration"*

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that "Malacañang's
reported abolition of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) Commission is
insufficient as far as resolving the controversial issue of US military
presence is concerned", adding that "the Philippine government should not be
swayed into puppetry again by initial reports that the US Embassy is unhappy
over this decision and may recall US military aid and financial support if
talks of RP's abrogation of the VFA continue".

"The Palace scrapped the oversight and coordinating agency related to the
VFA, but has so far done nothing to reverse the overall policy that directs
the VFA Commission: unequal and subservient bilateral relations with the
United States. Unless any definitive action is done against the latter
policy, the government can not expect the public unrest and furor over US
military presence to subside," he said.

Beltran said that "it was high time for a comprehensive assessment and
decisive action of how disadvantageous our existing military ties to the US
are", and "in view of this need to assess, stand up to pressure from the US
to continue with the bilateral agreements in spite of how lopsided and
unfavorable these may be for the Philippines".

"The Philippine government should proceed with a thorough and systematic
review of our existing military ties with the United States, and call for a
halt to the US-RP war games for the duration of this review," Beltran said.

"It is important that the RP-US military exercises be temporarily stalled in
deference to our need to thoroughly examine the VFA and the calls for its
abrogation. We can not allow any more human rights violations of Filipinos
by US troops in Subic, Olongapo, Mindanao, and elsewhere to continue in the
process of reviewing our policies towards US military presence," the
activist solon said.

* *

"The Subic rape case has opened a can of worms in RP-US military policies.
Historically, the saga of criminality by US military troops has prompted
other countries to similarly call for the immediate revocation of their
bilateral military agreements with the US and even the complete withdrawal
of US troops and bases from their homeland. Why can't we do it in our own
country?" Beltran asked. ###

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

NR2506: GMA's Cha-Cha PR drive promotes a sell-out Charter that will throw nat'l sovereignty, patrimony to the winds

* From the Office of Anakpawis Representative Crispin B. Beltran
Reference : Rep. Crispin Beltran (+63)927.871.1080
Lisa C. Ito, Public Information Officer (+63)927.796.7006
Tel. # (+632) 931-6615 Email:
URL: http://*
*News Release *
*January 25, 2006. *

*Arroyo-sponsored Cha-Cha PR drive promotes a sell-out and puppet
Constitution that will throw our national sovereignty and patrimony to the
winds, activist solon says *

* *

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran said that the Arroyo-sponsored
Charter Change Advocacy Commission conceived during yesterday's Council of
State meet will only be promoting, in the next eight months, the "total
sell-out and puppetry of the basic law of the land towards foreign monopoly

"Through her Executive Order 495, Mrs. Arroyo has explicitly confirmed our
worst fears: the liberalization or the imminent and shameless sell-out of
the Philippine economy, sovereignty, and national patrimony is the bottom
line of Charter Change," he said.

"Look at the Charter that Arroyo and her allies want. The changes proposed
by both the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments and the
Consultative Commission shamelessly support the unhampered and full foreign
ownership of our finite natural resources, lands, public utilities, mass
media and advertising institutions, the entrenchment of US bases and troops,
and the granting of full economic and even political rights to foreigners,"
Beltran emphasized.

"It's a sell-out and puppet Constitution that Mrs. Arroyo is trying to
promote and pass," he said.

Beltran warned of the "drastic consequences if these clauses supporting full
liberalization, privatization, and deregulation are approved".
"Liberalization as an economic framework bodes drastic and tragic
consequences for the Filipino toiling masses. Since the Philippines embraced
globalization in 1995, the number of small and medium-scale enterprises that
closed shop or reduced their workforce has steadily increased. A total of
11,926 Filipino workers have been displaced and 527 local establishments
have closed or reduced their workforces annually as a result of
liberalization in 1995. Eight years later, in 2003, this number rose to
31,329 workers displaced and 2,604 establishments closed/reduced annually as
a continuing consequence of unrestricted foreign entry into the domestic
economy." Beltran noted.

"Foreign penetration on our small and medium scale enterprises will
eventually kill the domestic economy. The proposed 100% foreign ownership of
industries and lands will only result in temporary jobs and meager wages at
best. But these will pale in comparison to the tragic stifling of genuine
national industrialization, environmental conservation, labor rights, and
land reform that foreign penetration is sure to cause," he said .

"The surface shifts in political forms outlined in the proposed
Constitutional amendments will not resolve the long-seated and fundamental
problems of the Philippines: US and foreign monopoly control of our
political and economic processes, local elite dominance of our policy-making
bodies, and landlord control over the countryside," Beltran commented.

"Do not expect drastic reforms to result from this shuffling of political
sands that the Cha-Cha promises. The change in the current US-style
Presidential system to 'Pinoy-style' parliamentary form of government will
not change the bitter and historical anomaly that our country is still being
strangled by the deadly grip of the United States and its brown puppets. The
shift will still not change the basic fact that the composition and basic
framework of our policy-making bodies shall remain the same even in a
unicameral parliament," he said.

"Instead of scampering to institute a unicameral parliament and delete the
existing Constitutional protectionist provisions on national sovereignty and
patrimony. We should change the economic framework of liberalization
instead of the political forms that merely perpetuate and impose the
implementing guidelines for the overall economic thrust," Rep. Beltran

"We might as well have sold the Philippines to all interested foreign
companies if Arroyo's proposed Cha-Cha is approved," Rep. Beltran ended. ###

NR012405: The people will not benefit in any way from Council of State meet (English/Tagalog)

From the Office of Anakpawis Representative Crispin B. Beltran **
Reference*: Rep. Crispin Beltran (+63)927.871.1080
Lisa C. Ito, Public Information Officer (+63)927.796.7006
*Tel*. *# (+632) *931-6615 *Email*:

*News Release*

*January 24, 2006 *

*The Filipino people will not benefit in any way from Council of State Meet,
****activist lawmaker says *

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran criticized today's Council of State
Meet sponsored by Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as an "empty carnival full
of fanfare and devious plans for the nation", adding that the Palace has so
far not succeeded in providing a credible and legitimate mandate for this

"The Filipino people will not benefit in way form the plans Arroyo and her
coterie of supporters intend to present at the Council of State meet. They
will mainly be consolidating support for GMA's proposed Charter Change,
which is the true intention behind the Palace's calls for unity and
political and economic reforms," Beltran added.

Beltran was among the public officials who did not to attend the Council of
State meet today.

"It's not surprising why many senators, congressmen and women, and other
public officials have snubbed this Council of State meet. This convergence
of forces has been previously exposed as another devious scheme to promote
public acceptance of Arroyo's Cha-Cha," he said.

The activist lawmaker expressed dismay and alarm at the proposed Charter
Change to be discussed at the meeting. "We oppose the Palace's proposed
Cha-Cha because this will only prolong the term of a fake, inutile,
pro-imperialist, fascist and anti-poor President and shuffle the
Constitution according to the whims and wants of foreign institutions and
corporations," he said.

"If we take a look at the proposed amendments of both the House Committee on
Constitutional Amendments and the Consultative Commission, we can generally
see that Gloria's Cha-Cha aims to primarily accomplish the term extension of
Pres. Arroyo until 2010 at the very least, facilitate the return of the US
bases and American troops on Philippine soil, strip off civil liberties and
human rights especially for civilians who are calling for Arroyo's ouster.
These so-called 'political and economic reforms' that Gloria's Cha-Cha want
to achieve will bring nothing but more turmoil and poverty to our country,"
he said.

"A social, economic, and political crisis looms if this kind of Charter
Change pushes through," he added.

Beltran clarified that "it is true that there are many things that can and
should be changed about the current Constitution, but not in the same way,
process, and spirit as Gloria wants her Cha-Cha to proceed. Existing
provisions on national patrimony, economic sovereignty, and civil liberties
should be strengthened, for example. But the nature of the proposed
amendments clearly shows that this particular call for Charter Change aims
to accomplish only a sell-out Constitution and de facto Martial Law," he
said. ###

*Balita Enero 24, 2006 *

*Mamamayang Pilipino pa rin ang dehado sa Council of State Meet– Rep.
Beltran *

Isang karnabal o palabas lamang itong Council of State Meet na ipinapatawag
ng Palasyo ngayong araw, pahayag ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran.

"Mamamayan pa rin ang dehado. Walang maaasahang makabuluhang patakaran ang
mabubuo mula sa pagpupulong na iyon. Gagamitin lang ang Council of State
Meet upang konsolidahin ang suporta para sa gustong Charter Change ni Gng.
Arroyo," ani Beltran.

Kabilang si Beltran sa mga pampublikong opisyales na hindi dadalo sa
nasabing pulong mamaya.

"Hindi nakapagtataka kung bakit maraming senador, kongresista, at maging mga
ibang publikong opisyales ang umiisnab sa pulong ni Arroyo. Noon pa man ay
nailantad itong Council of State meet bilang isang mapalinlang na iskema
upang gawing katanggap-tanggap sa publiko ang Cha-Cha," aniya.

Nagpahayag ang aktibistang mambabatas ng kaniyang dismaya sa mga mungkahing
pagbabago sa kasalukuyang Saligang Batas, na tatalakayin sa Council of State
meeting. "Tutol ako sa mungkahing Cha-Cha ng Palasyo dahil walang ibang
layunin ito kundi patagalin pa sa poder ang peke, inutil, papet, pasista, at
pahirap na Presidenteng Arroyo sa pamamagitan ng pagbabago ng ating Saligang
Batas alinsunod sa mga dikta ng Estados Unidos at mga dayuhang institusyon
at korporasyon," aniya.

"Kapag sinuri natin ang mga mungkahing amendments ng House Committee on
Constitutional Amendments at ng Consultative Commission, makikita na walang
ibang layunin ang Cha-Cha ni Gloria kundi panatilihin pa ang sarili sa
puwesto, ialok ang natitirang lupa, industriya, at likas-yaman ng bansa sa
mga dahuyang korporasyon, ibalik ang mga tropang Amerikano at US bases, at
alisan ng karapatang-pantao ang mga puwersang nanananwagan sa pagpapatalsik
ni Arroyo. Itong mga 'political and economic reforms" na nais makamit ng
Cha-Cha ay walang ibang idudulot sa ating bayan kundi kaguluhan at dagdag na
kahirapan," aniya. "Magbabadya ang isang social at pulitikal na krisis kung
ipagpapatuloy pa ang Cha-Cha", banta ni Rep. Beltran.

Nilinaw ni Beltran na "totoo na maraming dapat at pwedeng baguhin sa
kasalukyang Saligang Batas, pero hindi sa paraan, porma, at diwa ng Cha-Cha
ni Gloria. Dapat patatagin at dagdagan, halimbawa, ang mga probisyon na
nagpapalakas sa ating pambansang soberanya, patrimonya, at civil liberties.
Ngunit malinaw sa mga isinumiteng proposed amendments na hindi ito ang
tunguhin ng Cha-Cha ni Gloria," aniya. "Isang sell-out Constitution at *de
facto* Martial Law ang nais makamit ng mga nagmamaniobra para baguhin ang
Saligang Batas sa agarang panahon," dagdag niya. ###

NR0124: Masamang balita sa Palasyo nagmula

*Masamang Balita sa Palasyo nagmumula*

*Bunye, nagtutulak ng media censorship! - Rep. Beltran*

Binatikos ni Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran si Presidential
Spokesperson Ignacio Bunye sa pahayag nito kahapon na tumitira sa "negative
news". Aniya, indikasyon itong pahayag ni Bunye na handa itong itaguyod ang
media censorship at pagsisinungaling upang maitago sa publiko ang mga
kalokohan ng Malacanang.

Sa kanyang talumpati sa ikatlong 3rd PR Summit sa Makati kahapon, binatikos
ni Bunye ang "bickering, mudslinging and politicking" sa media, na nagiging
sanhi umano ng 'bad image' natin sa mga dayuhan at nagiging sagabal sa
pag-unlad ng bansa. "Day in and day out, we are bombarded with so much
negative news about our country and fellow Filipinos. It is as if there is a
dearth of good news to share. Serious allegations are leveled even without
basis. Worse, even if these allegations are obviously the concoctions of
persons motivated only by self-interest, our chismis-driven culture
unfortunately laps it up as gospel truth " pahayag ni Bunye.

"Ibig sabihin lamang nito na itutulak ng Palasyo ang media censorship" sabi
ni Beltran. "Bilang dating media practitioner, nakakahiya itong panguudyok
ni Bunye sa media at sa industriya na maglabas lamang ng mga press release
at palipad-hangin ng Palasyo, kaysa sa mga isyu na sumasalamin sa totoong
kalagayan ng sambayanang Pilipino. Lalo na sa panahong ito, kung saan dumami
pa ang mga pinapaslang na kapatid natin sa media dahil sa kanilang
paninindigan para sa katotohanan," aniya.

"Tila nakalimutan na ng Malacanang Press Secretary na ang Palasyo mismo ang
gumagawa ng masamang balita. Hindi ba si Bunye mismo ang nagmadaling
magpatawag ng press conference kung saan pumutok ang kontrobersiya ng
"Hello, Garci?" tapes?" aniya.

"Mr. Presidential Spokesperson, magkaibang larangan ang public relations
(PR) at pamamahayag. Trabaho ng ating mga reporter na suriin at bulatlatin
ang mga isyung nakakaapekto sa mamamayan, katulad ng Subic rape case, US-RP
war games, mga iskandalo ng korapsyon na kinasasangkutan ni Gng. Arroyo, ang
pamamaslang ng mga aktibista, ang laganap at lumalalang kahirapan at
kagutuman. Hindi nila trabaho ang gawin itong katanggap-tanggap ayon sa
gustong mangyari ng Palasyo," aniya.

"Hindi sinungaling at intrigero ang ating mga mamamahayag, Mr. Palace
Spokesperson. Hindi rin dapat ituring na problema ang tuloy-tuloy na
masamang balita tungkol sa administrasyong Arroyo. Nagkakaroon lamang ng
malaking problema dahil hindi kaya ng Palasyo na sagutin ng mahusay at tapat
ang mga isyu at kontrobersiya na kinasasangkutan ni Gng. Arroyo at ng
gobyerno: pandarambong, pandaraya sa halalan, paglabag sa karapatang pantao,
at pagkatututa sa Estados Unidos," ani Beltran. ###

NR012406: “Negative news” comes from the Palace, not from the people

From the Office of Anakpawis Representative Crispin B. Beltran ** * **
Reference*: Rep. Crispin Beltran (+63)927.871.1080
Lisa C. Ito, Public Information Officer (+63)927.796.7006
*Tel*. *# (+632) *931-6615 *Email*:

*"Negative news" comes from the Palace, not from the people*

*Bunye practically advocating media censorship – Rep. Beltran*

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran scored Presidential Spokesperson
Ignacio Bunye for practically nudging media practitioners how to do their
jobs, saying that "this was setting the tone for Martial Law-style
censorship and implicitly, a sycophant press".

In a speech at the 3rd PR Summit in Makati City yesterday, Bunye reportedly
slammed the "bickering, mudslinging and politicking" highlighted in news
reports, saying this hindered economic growth and painted a negative picture
of the country abroad. "Day in and day out, we are bombarded with so much
negative news about our country and fellow Filipinos. It is as if there is a
dearth of good news to share. Serious allegations are leveled even without
basis.Worse, even if these allegations are obviously the concoctions of
persons motivated only by self-interest, our chismis-driven culture
unfortunately laps it up as gospel truth " Bunye said.

Rep. Beltran scored Bunye's statement as a "serious, overgeneralized, and
unfounded jab against Philippine media".

"It is deplorable that Mr. Bunye, as a former media practitioner, would go
to such lengths, to suggest that media practitioners should report more good
news at a time when even more principled Filipino journalists are being
murdered with such impunity," he said.

"It seems that the Press Secretary want media to report only the truth, the
good, and the beautiful, no matter how divorced these may be from the
prevailing realities in Philippine society," Beltran said.

"In effect, Bunye is practically tipping his hat in favor of media
censorship," Beltran said.

"Mr. Press Secretary seems to have forgotten that much of his so-called bad
news actually comes straight from the horse's mouth. Was it not the Palace
and Bunye himself who held the press conference that sparked the entire
'Hello, Garci?' controversy? Was it not Madam Arroyo herself who violated
her now-infamous and much-publicized December 30 promise to not run in the
2004 elections?" he added.

"Mr. Presidential Spokesperson, public relations (PR) and journalism are
vastly different fields. Journalists are there to report and probe issues
affecting the peoples' welfare, not to gloss over them and paint a pretty
picture even if this would equate to lying. It's really impossible to
*not*report about the Subic rape case, about the US-RP war games,
against the
various corruption scams implicating the President, about the political
killings of activists, about the record-breaking hunger rates, because
these are the realities of our times," Beltran said.

"Our journalists are definitely not liars or rumor-mongers, Mr. Palace
Spokesperson. The bombardment of negative news, particularly against the
Arroyo administration, is really not the issue here. The real problem is the
Palace's pathetic inability to resolve the various issues—counts of
corruption, massive electoral fraud, tolerance of human rights violations,
puppetry to the US, backtracking on official statements and promises—that
are of the President's own doing," he said. ###

NR0121: Solon slams GMA's promised P13-billion package for gov't workers

From the Office of Anakpawis Representative Crispin B. Beltran
South Wing Room 601, House of Representatives,
Constitution Hills 1126, Quezon City, Philippines
Reference: Rep. Crispin Beltran (+63)927.871.1080
Lisa C. Ito, Public Information Officer (+63)927.796.7006

News Release: January 21, 2006. Monday

Solon slams GMA's promised P13-billion package for gov't workers:
"Too little and too late"
"Arroyo borders on bribery by asking for public acceptance of Cha-Cha and
her legitimacy in return"

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today expressed reservations on the
Arroyo-sponsored measure calling for the release of a P13B compensation
package for one million government employees by February 11, saying that
"the false amelioration package was bordering on bribing the public".

"The P13B package is too little and too late. By whichever means of
computation, this amount falls way below any respectable threshold. If you
divide P13B among one million government employees, as the sound bytes of
PGMA's spokespersons say, you would get the amount of P13 thousand for each
employee. Divide that by 12 months, and you will have a measly and
inadequate increase of a thousand pesos or so per month: this is way below
the P3,000 across-the-board monthly pay hike our government employees and
unions have been struggling for six years since 1999," he said.

"Also, government workers number more than 1 million today, so expect that
computation to grow even smaller in actual distribution. And since this is
merely a temporary compensation package and not a legislated wage hike,
don't expect the same amount to flow in next year by 2007," he added.

"The compensation package is not a gift, contrary to what Madam Arroyo likes
to flaunt. Budget Secretary Romulo Neri himself said that the funds for the
compensation package will come from the E-VAT collections, when the 10-12
percent increase takes full effect by next month. Everyone knows how
obscenely high prices, rates, and services have reached because of the
anti-poor and Arroyo-supported E-VAT, which millions of Filipinos have
opposed from the very start. The package will therefore not translate to a
substantial increase in personal income, but will instead go to paying for
the EVAT-related increases in prices of basic goods and services which will
start this February. In effect, this Administration is merely replicating
the classic case of stealing money from the poor in order to charitably
'donate' the amount back to them afterwards," he said.

"It's pathetically obvious that someone from the Palace is trying to dangle
a carrot before discontented and increasingly restive government employees
and military personnel, with the hopes of averting another possible EDSA by
February. Madam Arroyo thinks our indignant hearts will soften towards
her and Charter Change as Valentine's Day nears because of this," he said.

"Our government workers deserve more, far much more than this insulting and
deceptive compensation package. They are worth more than the P13B the
President dangles in exchange for our acceptance of her illegal, immoral and
inutile grip over the Palace and her odious plans for Charter Change. She is
bordering on bribery by asking for public acceptance of Cha-Cha and her
legitimacy in return for this package," he added.

Beltran said that these arguments were the context of his reservation and
skepticism towards the Arroyo-sponsored package. "Instead of publicizing
her hypocritical pleas for the Lower House to approve 'her urgent
administrative measure', I suggest that Madam Arroyo manifest her commitment
to have the pending House Bills 00345 (AN ACT PROVIDING FOR A P125.00 DAILY
FOR OTHER PURPOSES) approved during the first quarter of 2006. HB 345 is
presetly in the interpellation stage before its second reading, while HB
1064 has been pending with the Committee on Appropriations since 2004."

"The P125 across-the-board wage increase for private sector workers and the
P3,000 monthly salary increase for government workers are the real and
substantial pay hikes that our private and public workers and employees have
been clamoring for for the past six years. The passage of these two urgent
bills will do far more to alleviate the sufferings of our poor workers than
this piecemeal and deceptive P13B compensation package" Rep. Beltran ended.

Friday, January 20, 2006

NR0119: on Oakwood soldier's escape

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602.
Lisa C. Ito, Public Information Officer
Cellphone number 09277967006, 931-6615

News Release January 19, 2006. Thursday

Oakwood soldiers’ reported escape only underscores the crumbling foundations of Arroyo administration –Rep. Beltran

Reacting to news of the reported escape of the four Army junior officers who took part in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny from Fort Bonifacio, Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran said that “military unrest over the illegitimacy and corruption of the Arroyo administration is increasing alongside the peoples’ intensified unrest over the severe economic hardships expected in 2006, due to the full impact of the Expanded Value Added Tax, wage hike freezes, rate and price hikes, and unemployment.”

“If the Oakwood soldiers did escape, then it only emphasizes the military’s increasing inability to secure unrest against the Arroyo administration within its ranks. It doesn’t matter whether the escape was due to military incompetence or connivance, whether it was facilitated by sympathetic military men or the shameful failure of ‘military intelligence’ to preempt such an act. Both angles will still point to the same direction: that the brittle foundations of GMA’s few support mechanisms are crumbling,” he said.

“The Oakwood mutiny would have not occurred in the first place if not for the growing disenchantment of promising young and patriotic soldiers with the excesses and rottenness of the Arroyo administration,” he added.

The activist solon reiterated his respect for the Oakwood mutineers and their continuing criticism of the Arroyo administration. “At least, their patriotic attempts to contribute to GMA’s ouster are more becoming of soldiers tasked to safeguard the welfare of the Filipino people, rather than their superiors who do nothing but tow the line of a corrupt and anti-poor Commander-in-Chief. Others in the PNP and AFP should emulate their principles of patriotism,” he said.

“All of this unrest ultimately boils down to the point that Arroyo’s illegal and immoral stay in the Palace is the source of all this turmoil plaguing us today. The President and her un-presidential deeds is the primary source of destabilization and political unrest,” the activist solon reiterated.

Rep. Beltran also believes that an immediate probe into the actual circumstances of the reported escape should be conducted. “This is in light of the angle that the ‘escape’ and the rapid dissemination of this information, as reported by the AFP, happened under rather dubious circumstances. Army Chief Lt. Gen. Hermogenes Esperon should quit haranguing the Oakwood mutineers’ lawyer Roel Pulido with the ridiculous insinuation that Atty. Pulido may have had a hand in the escape and instead seriously conduct a probe immediately,” he said. ##

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

NR0118: Solon decries US Embassy's snub as brazen mockery of the Philippine legal system

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602.
Lisa C. Ito, Public Information Officer
Cellphone number 09277967006, 931-6615
News Release: January 18, 2006. Wednesday

Solon decries US Embassy’s snub as brazen mockery of the Philippine legal system, but says
“House’s Consti’s Cha-cha proposals on foreign troops is an abomination worse than the VFA”

Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran expressed his “indignation of the highest degree” at the US Embassy’s refusal to relinquish custody of four American G.I.s wanted in the Subic rape case, saying that this case has proved the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) to be “brazenly inimical to national interest and the protection of human rights and should be terminated once and for all”.

The activist solon also warned that the implications of the changes incorporated by the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments in the Charter are far worse than the VFA in terms of allowing foreign troops to run roughshod over the rights of Filipinos.

“Under the Charter Change that Mrs. Arroyo’s allies here in Congress want, more foreign troops and bases can be called in at the snap of a finger,” Beltran said, citing the House Committee’s deletion of the Transitory Provision’s Section 25, which prohibits the presence of foreign troops, military bases, or facilities in the country in the except through a treaty duly concurred by the Senate and the contracting party. “This is far worse than the VFA because it throws all regulations into the entry and conduct of foreign troops to the winds. The VFA is bad enough, but the Charter Change that promises the US an economic and military stranglehold over the Philippines is the ultimate and damning abomination,” Beltran said.

“I am sad to say that what has transpired so far has deteriorated into outright mockeries of the Philippine legal system. Four foreign soldiers are out scot-free even if Philippine courts found there is probable cause for rape. The US is laughing after their troops gang-raped a defenseless Filipina under cover of darkness. Worse, it is our own government that is pulling the wool over our eyes and conditioning us to accept a scenario where the eventual acquittal of the accused will be the tragic but most likely conclusion to a gross violation of human rights,” the indignant solon said.

“In many other countries, our overseas foreign workers (OFWs) are being exploited, mistreated, often times unjustly accused of heinous crimes, tortured, and even shipped home in coffins. Here, our own government becomes an accomplice and unwitting perpetrator to the obstruction of justice just because the President and her allies are shamelessly beholden to the US for political support,” he said.

“These is no justice in the Department of Justice. The Department of Foreign Affairs represents not the Philippines, but another country. Dangal ng biktima at ng buong bansa ang niyuyurak dito sa kasong ito. Tila hugas-kamay ang pamahalaan sa usaping ito, tila walang-malay sa masakit na kinasasadlakan ng isang Pilipino, tila mas hinahalagahan ang kapakanan ng akusado. Saan at aling bansa at gobyerno ang mas masahol pa ang kabulagan at pagmamatigas? Wala na ata, kundi ang sarilin ating gobyerno at Pangulo,” he said.

The indignant activist solon reiterated the urgent and decisive need to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) once and for all. “As seen in the US Embassy’s tack, the VFA is being cited to make an illegal exception to the laws of our land in favor of foreign soldiers, by allowing them to go scot-free. The VFA is being used to legalize and obliterate the existing penalties for rape, especially gang rape. Kapag isinasabatas ang paglalapastangan ng isang Pilipina, paano pa tayo gagalangin ng isang bansa?” he said.

“True to our expectations, the VFA is clearly proving to more and more inimical to national interest as it progresses. This gives us all the more reason to end the VFA and oppose the Charter Change scheme,” he ended.

NR0117: Sundin ang survey, GMA magresign ka na

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602.
Lisa C. Ito, Public Information Officer
Cellphone number 09277967006, 931-6615
Balita. Enero 17, 2006. Martes
Payo ni Ka Bel kay PGMA: Sundan ang mga sarbey at mag-resign na!

Payo ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran kay Gng. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo na “sundan ang mga sarbey na nagpapatunay sa kanyang paggiging inutil at pahirap at bumitiw na sa pwesto”.

Ayon sa pinakahuling sarbey na ginawa ng non-government think tank IBON Foundation mula Enero 1 hanggang 11, 2006, binigyan ng mga Pinoy si Gng. Arroyo ng overall “failing grade” na 69%. 82.8 porsiyento ng respondents ang nagsabi na ‘unsatisfactory’ ang performance ni GMA bilang Pangulo samantalang 7.9 porsiyento lamang ang nagsabi ni ito ay ‘satisfactory’. 65 porsiyento ang sumasang-ayon na dapat matanggal na sa puwesto si Gng. Arroyo.

“Hindi na dapat magkaroon ng ilusyon si Gng. Arroyo na siya pa rin ang ‘Jewel in the Palace’. Dapat mag-rsign na siya bago lalong idikdik ng mga susunod na sarbey na nakakahiya na ang kanyang administrasyon at hindi talaga siya karapat-dapat na manungkulan,” ani Beltran.

“Dalawa sa tatatlong Pilipino ang sumasang-ayon na dapat patalsikin na si Gng. Arroyo sa puwesto. Titindi pa ang galit ng mamamayang Pilipino kay GMA dahil sa kanyang inilulutong Charter Change at Anti-Terrorism Bill, ang kanyang kawalan ng suporta para sa matagal nang hinihinging P126 across-the-board dagdag-sahod, ang napakataas na hunger rate sa buong kapuluan, at ang pagsirit ng presyo ng mga bilihin at bayarin dahil sa pagtaas sa Expanded Value Added Tax (EVAT) mula 10 hanggang 12 porsiyento simula Pebrero 1,” ani Beltran. Patunay nito diumano ang results in IBON sarbey na nagsasabi na 60.3 porsiyento ng mga respondent ay naniniwala na kulang ang kanilang kasalukuyang hanapbuhay upang tugunan ang kanilang mga pangangailangan at na sanhi ang EVAT ng mga pagtaas sa presyo ng bilihin at serbisyo.

“Hindi ba sapat na dahilan na napakarami nang Pilipino ang nagugutom upang magbitiw na sa puwesto ang Pangulo? Ilan pang milyon na Pilipino ang makakaranas ng gutom kung magpapatuloy itong si Gng. Arroyo sa kanyang ilegal na pagpapatupad ng mga kontra-mamamayang patakaran hanggang 2010?,” ani Beltran. Ayon sa January 11 2006 survey na nilabas ng Social Weather Stations, record-breaking na ang pagtaas sa bilang ng mga tahanang Pilipino na nakakaranas ng kagutuman—pinakamataas na naitala ng SWS magmula 1998. Umabot na sa 16.7% noong huling kwarto ng taon ang bahagdan ng mamamayan na pamilyar nang karanasan ang magutom, o 2.8 na milyong Pilipino sa actual na bilang.

Binatikos ni Beltran si Arroyo dahil “ipinagmamalaki ni GMA na epektibo ang kanyang mga pahirap na fiscal at political reforms samantalang wala na itong mga dinulot kundi dagdag na kahirapan at kagutuman sa ating bansa”. Ipinahayag ni GMA sa kanyang talumpati sa Triennial Conference of the Asia-Pacific Operational Research Societies na “in government, in governance, the correct choice is not always the popular one. The chickens might not eat it so you force-feed them.”

“Totoo iyon. Nag-foforce feed lang si Gng. Arroyo ng mga patakaran katulad ng mataas na buwis, pagbawas ng serbisyong social, isang makadayuhang Saligang Batas, panunupil sa mamamayan, at wage freeze dahil ayaw na ng mamamayan na basta-bastang tanggapin ito,” aniya.

“Madam, the correct choice is always the scientific one. Sundan mo ang sinasabi ng mga sarbey at estatistika tungkol sa iyong korap at inutil na admnistrasyon at mag-resign na,” sabi ni Rep. Beltran. ###

NR0117: Heed survey, GMA resign now

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602.
Lisa C. Ito, Public Information Officer
Cellphone number 09277967006, 931-6615
News Release January 17, 2006. Tuesday
Heed the surveys and resign now, Ka Bel prods PGMA

Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran prodded Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to “once again to take a cue from the recent surveys affirming her unpopularity and the sorry state of the Filipino masses under her administration and resign right now”.

The latest survey conducted by the non-government think tank IBON Foundation from January 1 to 11, 2006 showed that Filipinos gave Arroyo a failing grade of 69%. 82.8 percent of the respondents to the IBON survey ranked her performance ‘unsatisfactory’ while only 7.9 percent assessed GMA as ‘satisfactory’. 65 percent of the respondents said that Arroyo should be removed right now.

“Arroyo should quit believing that she remains to be the jewel in the Palace. She should really resign before yet another survey confirms the shameful state of her mis-administration of the country before the world,” he added

“Two out of three Filipinos definitely want PGMA out of Malacañang. Mrs. Arroyo is bound to grow even more unpopular with the Filipino people in the next few weeks because of her vile plans for Charter Change and the Anti-Terrorism Bill, no significant support for the long-clamored for P125 across-the-board wage hike, the record-breaking hunger levels throughout the country, and the increase in the Expanded Value Added Tax from 10 percent to 12 percent effective on February 1,” Rep Beltran said, noting that 60.3 percent of the respondents believe their livelihood is not enough to meet their families’ needs and that the EVAT only increased the prices of basic commodities and services.

“Is the record-breaking hunger rate for 2005 not enough reason for PGMA to resign? Imagine what the hunger rate would be if GMA continues her illegitimate stay in office and promotion of anti-people policies until 2010,” Beltran commented. The January 11 2006 Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey yielded a record-breaking double-digit increase of Filipino households which have experienced hunger. This is the highest yet recorded since 1998. 16.7% of Filipinos, or around 2.8 million of our countrymen, have regularly experienced being hungry in the last quarter of 2006.

Beltran scored Arroyo for “bluffing about the effectiveness of her supposed fiscal and political reforms when in fact these have brought nothing but hardship and unrest among the masses”. PGMA was quoted as saying in her speech at the seventh Triennial Conference of the Asia-Pacific Operational Research Societies that “in government, in governance, the correct choice is not always the popular one. The chickens might not eat it so you force-feed them.”

“That is true. Mrs. Arroyo is force-feeding policies, such as higher taxes and fewer social services, a sell-out Charter Change, de facto suppression of civil liberties, and wage freezes because the people have long refused to gobble them up like chickens would do,” Beltran said.

“Madam, the correct choice is always the scientific one. Heed what the statistics and surveys say about your illegitimate, corrupt, and inutile term and resign now,” Rep. Beltran reiterated. ###

Monday, January 16, 2006

NR0116: US troops

News Release
January 16, 2006. Monday

Activist solon slams influx of more US military troops for war games; says US troops wanted in Subic rape case should be placed in RP custody and prosecuted instead of allowing more war games

“The Philippines should better get custody of the wanted US Marines in the Subic rape case first, instead of allowing more RP-US war games to proceed any further,” Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran proposed today.

Beltran slammed the influx of more US military troops in the country this weekend. Three US military aircraft carrying 500 US Army personnel landed at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport at the Clark Special Economic Zone last Saturday for the war exercise Balance Piston 2006 from January 20 to February 8. Five more C-130 US cargo planes carrying more US troops are scheduled to arrive today.

“It's a slap in the face to see how the war exercises have proceeded with such regular impunity in the face of the ongoing indignation at the Subic rape case. As if the violation of one Filipina's rights by US troops—who continue to evade custody of Philippine law enforcers-- does not constitute a serious infringement of our national sovereignty that should be dealt with seriously,” Beltran added.

The staunch activist solon warned of “more possible human rights violations against Filipinos as the large-scale Balikatan 2006 training starts next month”. More than 5,000 American troops will be present in Ternate, Cavite; Subic Bay Freeport, Zambales; Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija; and O’ Donnel reservation in Tarlac for the said exercise.

“Warrants of arrest for the US troops involved in the rape have already been served by the local courts. If it indeed claims to uphold the Filipino peoples' interests over that of the US, the Arroyo administration should seriously consider calling for a halt of the ongoing exercises until the wanted U.S. Marines are brought into Philippine custody for trial,” Beltran said.

“If we can not guarantee our right to prosecution and custody of a handful of errant foreign troops in this single case, then how much more can we guarantee protection for millions of other Filipinos in any other more cases to come? It will only show that the Philippine government is proud to be treated with impunity rather than interrupt the calendar of US-RP war 'exercises',” he said.

“Of course, our unilateral termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) is always an option that the Philippine government should seriously consider,” Beltran added, “since the presence of United States armed forces as a positive contribution to the stability of the Philippines has been consistently proved false by many human rights violations of Filipino citizens incidental to the US-RP war games.”

The activist solon advised public officials handling the Subic rape case and the VFA to uphold the interests of the Philippines first.

“It's high time to stop acting like servile spokespersons for the US Army and instead, fulfill our duties as genuine Filipino statesmen,” Beltran ended. ###

NR0116: Pass P125 wage hike bill now!

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602.
Lisa C. Ito, Public Information Officer
Cellphone number 09277967006, 931-6615
News Release January 16, 2006. Monday.

Rep. Beltran challenges House to finally pass P125 wage hike bill for 2006, says Congress should recognize workers’ six-year struggle for higher wages by legislating the long-awaited pay hike

Citing the six-year clamor for a significant wage increase and the record-breaking double-digit levels of hunger in the recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) surveys, Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran today challenged fellow solons from the Lower House to support and finally pass priority bill House Bill (HB) 00345 or AN ACT PROVIDING FOR A P125.00 DAILY ACROSS-THE-BOARD INCREASE IN THE SALARY RATES OF EMPLOYEES AND WORKERS IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES which is currently on its second reading.

Rep. Beltran reiterated this call as hundreds of workers from various labor groups congregated outside the Batasang Pambansa at around 1 PM for a picket-protest demanding the immediate passage of the wage hike bill and the rejection of proposals for Charter Change and the Anti-Terrorism Bill.

“The nationwide struggle for a P125 wage hike has taken a long and arduous route before reaching the Lower House. This bill was produced by painstaking struggle and sacrifice, six years ago in the parliament of the streets in August 1999, when labor groups affiliated with the Kilusang Mayo Uno first called for a P125 across-the-board nationwide wage increase due to the glaring disparity between the wages and costs of living back then,” Rep. Beltran emphasized.

“Clearly, the daily costs of living have risen twofold since 1999. An ordinary wage-earner needed at least P460 to meet his family’s basic needs six years ago: now, one needs to cough up at least P667.20 to meet those same basic needs. Yet, wage levels now have never substantially deviated nor appreciated from the wage levels of 1999. Nothing has basically changed with regards to workers' wages and welfare,” Beltran noted.

“The SWS survey results on the incidence of hunger in the country attest to the deplorable and unbearable state the toiling masses are in. According to the SWS, the Philippines has incurred its highest record of severe hunger so far in the past eight years, with 16.7% of the population going hungry. That enough is reason to finally grant immediate relief to our workers in the form of a P125 wage hike,” Beltran said.

“It would be a gross violation of human rights to deny any longer the long-awaited pay increase. The last mandated wage increase was a measly P25.50 in the year 2000, during the second year of deposed Pres. Estrada’s term. Yet the Arroyo administration has proved to be even more callous and heartless by denying 16 million workers nationwide the right to a wage increase for the past five years, despite the record-breaking prevalence of hunger, soaring oil and food prices, E-VAT, inflation, labor unrest over low wages, unjustifiable power and water rate hikes, and the brutal massacres and suppression of workers asserting their rights to a living wage,” the veteran labor leader said.

Rep. Beltran is set to deliver a privilege speech on the prospects of the Filipino toiling masses for 2006 this afternoon, where he will end with the call for the immediate passage of HB 00345. ##

Thursday, January 12, 2006

NR0113: GMA until 2010? No Way!

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602.
Lisa C. Ito, Public Information Officer
Cellphone number 09277967006, 931-6615
News Release: January 13, 2006. Friday

“GMA until 2010? No way!”
-Rep. Beltran vows to oppose any move within Congress to legitimize “kapit-tuko” proposal, says Arroyo’s stay will have no positive bearing on the masses and will only bring upon more hardship and oppression

“A corrupt, fascist, and fake President until 2010? No way!” Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran said,
Beltran reacting to reports of “win-win deal” reached at a preliminary meeting between Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Fidel V. Ramos Wednesday night, hinting at a concession to GMA’s stay as President until 2010 but with “clipped powers” under a proposed parliamentary system through Charter Change.

The veteran labor leader said that “FVR and GMA can go overtime into negotiating power-sharing combo schemes over expensive liquor in their Forbes mansions, but these will in no way be of benefit to the hungry and disenfranchised masses they claim to represent. These schemes will have no positive bearing at all on the lives of millions of Filipino workers, peasants, urban poor, and youth, who have all suffered the brunt of the effects of their power plays and policy flaws.”

Beltran vowed to “staunchly oppose any maneuvers within Congress to support and legitimize GMA’s illegal hold over the Palace until 2010”. “All the talk of nominal or lessened powers of the President under the proposed parliamentary systems is baloney since more or less the same configuration of traditional politicians will be the ones lording it over such “new” forms of government,” he said.

“GMA and FVR are supposedly squabbling over issues such as the 2007 elections and GMA’s stay as President, when in fact, they are both rabid and die-hard proponents of changing the Charter to please their big bosses in the U.S., the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank—their main pillars of support. We should not allow such people to tinker with the Constitution, as if it were their personal playgrounds for the exercise of power,” Beltran said.

“It’s obvious that Madam Arroyo no longer acts as if she were the President of the Philippines, beholden to no one but the interests of the Filipino people,” Beltran observed, “She doesn’t give a hoot whether overwhelming survey results show that more than half of the population want her out from the Palace immediately. She doesn’t show any tinge of shame or accountability even as the country has last year reached atrocious and record-breaking levels of hunger, power rate hikes, labor unrest, human rights violations, environmental disasters, and the like. She only heeds what Ramos, Mike (Arroyo), and her allies in the country’s influential institutions want.” “GMA until 2010 will only bring upon more hardship and turmoil among the masses,” Beltran concluded. ###

NR0112: talks of chacha to water down calls for GMA's ouster

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release
January 12, 2006. Thursday
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602.
Lisa C. Ito, Public Information Officer
Cellphone number 09277967006, 931-6615
Email: Visit

Ka Bel: Palace and its allies trumping up Charter Change to water down calls for PGMA’s ouster; GMA benefits the most from talks of Constitutional revisions more than ever

Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran today expressed alarm at “the haphazard and rabid pace by which Charter Change is being pushed” by Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her allies”, stressing that “the public should be wary of and summarily reject these calls for a parliamentary system through Charter Change and no elections because these are being used to diffuse the growing calls for PGMA to step down”.

Beltran reiterated that the changes in the form of government proposed through Charter Change will not solve, but instead, exacerbate the existing economic and political woes of the Filipino people. “It’s the same banana: the same formula for social crisis. It only intends to slightly reshuffle power-sharing among traditional and elite politicians, such as FVR, de Venecia, and GMA, who have basically kept a stranglehold over the country’s flawed governing bodies and have pushed for economic policies that have kept the majority of Filipinos dirt poor up to now. These economic policies—liberalization, privatization, deregulation—will be clearly reinforced through Cha-cha and will bring nothing but more hunger and havoc to the Filipino people in the future,” Beltran said.

Beltran added that all the talk of Charter Change skirts the issue of the President’s loss of mandate to govern. “The Palace benefits the most from all this talk of Charter Change because it deflects attention away from the ongoing clamor for the President’s ouster from office. They’re using it to give an illusion of reform by shuffling the existing political configurations para makalimutan ng tao na dapat patalsikin na si Gng. Arroyo at panatilihin siya sa puwesto,” he said. “The recent Social Weather Stations survey shows that the majority of Filipinos no longer respect PGMA as President and that they want her out ever since last year. The Cha-chas proposed by Arroyo, Ramos, de Venecia, and their allies only intend to consolidate their hold over power and muddle the mounting opposition to Arroyo’s illegal stay in the Palace,” he added.

Beltran expressed doubts at the House Speaker Jose de Venecia’s response to the present political friction between Fidel V. Ramos (FVR) and Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, saying that “JdV’s proposed “win-win” solution for the present political dispute will not solve any of the problems affecting the basic masses. It’s still a two-way loss for the majority of the Filipino people”. JdV proposed a two-way scenario where GMA remains as President, but power is lessened and shared with a Prime Minister under a parliamentary system of governance.

“It’s an atrocious scenario: you still have PGMA and other traditional elite politicians in power, and a sell-out Constitution that is far worse, anti-nationalist, and anti-people than the existing one,” Beltran said. ###

NR0111: ATB means more arrests and killings, surveilance

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602.
Lisa C. Ito, Public Information Officer
Cellphone number 09277967006, 931-6615
Email: Visit
News Release January 11, 2006. Wednesday

Activist solon’s grim prediction if Anti-Terror Bill is passed next week:
More mass arrests and killings of activists, citizen surveillance in 2006

Citing the alarms raised by a high-level delegation from the United Methodist Church investigating the state of human rights in the Philippines this week, Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran warned of more human rights violations to happen if the Anti-Terror Bill sees passage at a third reading as the House of Representatives resumes its sessions on January 16.

United Methodist Church leaders from Europe, Africa, and Russia, led by Bishop John Hopkins of Cleveland, Ohio, wrapped up a three-day fact-finding mission on the spate of around 150 extrajudicial killings and harassment in the Philippines last January 9. The foreign clergy, who represent 11 million church members worldwide, condemned the spate of attacks on journalists, church workers and human rights activists. They called on the government to conduct an "immediate and impartial investigation of all recent extrajudicial executions" and sought from President Macapagal-Arroyo a "commitment not to impose martial rule or other limitations on civil liberties or human rights."

“Pres. Arroyo has obviously contradicted this appeal by her almost-rabid hurry to have the House Bill # 4839 or the Anti-Terror Bill passed into law by the first quarter of this year. The provisions in the Anti-Terror Bill obviously smack of violations against human rights and civil liberties, such as surveillance and seizure of personal property,” the militant solon and Martial Law survivor said.

“Because the vague and loose definitions of the term ‘terrorism’ have stayed, almost anyone can be dangerously branded by the government as a ‘terrorist’, whether by malicious imputation, by association, or by coincidence. Activists, clergy, and media can be falsely accused of ‘inciting to terrorism’, for example,” Beltran continued.

“Worse, there is no guarantee that extra-judicial killings of activists, journalists, clergy, lawyers, and human rights defenders will cease under the Arroyo administration. The ATB might even pave the way for more rub-outs and brazen arrests and police actions that might result in the deaths of citizens,” he warned.

“The blatant disregard for human rights is further underscored in the fact that the proposed Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) to be created by the Office of the President, has not a even single human rights agency involved as participating agencies to the ATC,” Beltran also noted.

“Even the inclusion of human rights agencies in the ATC will not guarantee the protection of civil liberties, since the ATB’s provisions are based wholly on an anti-democratic premise,” Beltran added.###

NR0110: dagdag sahod hindi chacha

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
Enero 10, 2006. Tuesday
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602.
Lisa C. Ito, Public Information Officer
Cellphone number 09277967006, 931-6615
Email: Visit

Sigaw ng mamamayan: Dagdag na sahod, hindi Charter Change! - Rep. Beltran

Katulad ng marami pang pampublikong opisyales, duda si Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran na ang pulong ng state council na ipinapatawag ng Palasyo sa Enero 24 ay magiging isang “political carousel na magbibigay-suporta lamang sa Charter Change na gustong ipatupad ng Palasyo.”

“Pinaiikot tayo ng administrasyong Arroyo sa pahayag nito na makakatulong ang Jan.24 state council meet upang makamit ang political reconciliation at reporma sa ekonomiya,” ani Beltran.

“Sa kabila ng mga pahayag ng Palasyo ukol sa 'sinseridad' ng state council meet, malinaw sa sinumang nasa tamang isipan na gagamitin lamang ng Malacanang ang media mileage na maidudulot nito para sa kapakinabangan ni Pang. Arroyo, upang isulong ang kontra-mamamayang Cha-cha at ang kanyang iskema na 'no-elections'. Isa lamang itong gimik na walang kinalaman sa pag-angat ng kabuhayan ng nakakarami sa ating bansa,” aniya.

Nagpahayag rin ng duda si Beltran sa malawakang suporta para sa inendorso ng Palasyo na mga pro-Chacha signature campaign ng Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP). “Tinatawag nila itong ‘Peoples Initiative'. Ngunit ang ‘inisyatiba’ ay nagmumula sa itaas tungo sa ibaba: nagmumula sa mga opisyales katulad ng Pangulo, mga appointee at alyado niya, at hindi mula sa hanay ng masa,” ani ng beteranong lider-paggawa.

“Ang totoong hiling ng mayorya ng mamamayan ay dagdag na sahod, hindi Charter Change,” aniya. “Mula 1999 pa idinudulog sa gobyerno na magpatupad ng P125 across-the-board nationwide wage increase.

“The real public clamor nowadays is for higher wages, not Charter Change,” the veteran labor leader said, “Filipinos nationwide have been rallying for a P125 across-the-board wage hike since 1999. Ang mga nagsusulong ng Chacha ngayon ay mga publikong opisyales na nagendorso at nagpatupad ng mga kontra-mamamayang patakaran na lalong nagpapahirap sa sambayanan, katulad ng Expanded Value Added Tax, deregulasyon ng industriya ng langis, at iba pa.”

“Tanungin ninyo ang sinuman sa 16 milyon na Pilipinong manggagawa at ang kanilang mga pamilya kung gusto nila ng dagdag na sahod. Sigurado ako na sasang-ayon ang bawat isa sa kanilang lahat. Higit na mas marami iyon sa maximum na bilang ng lagda na nais makolekta ng mga pro-Chacha na opisyales,” aniya.

Isinusulong ni Beltran at iba pang mga representante sa Kongreso ang pagpapasa ng House Bill No. 345, na naglalayong magpatupad ng P125 nationwide across-the-board wage hike sa mga manggagawa sa pribadong sektor, at sinertipay bilang priority bill para sa unang kwardo ng 2006. ###

NR0110: higher wages not chacha

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran News Release
January 10, 2006. Tuesday
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602.
Lisa C. Ito, Public Information Officer
Cellphone number 09277967006, 931-6615
Email: Visit

The real public clamor is for higher wages, not Charter Change- Rep. Beltran

Adding to the growing number of public officials wary of the Malacanang-rigged January 24 state council meet, Anakpawis solon Rep. Crispin Beltran said he was “steering clear of a political carousel that is only bound to end up in building a facade of support for Pres. Arroyo's plans for Charter Change”.

“The Arroyo administration is taking the whole nation on a ride by passing off the Jan. 24 state council meet as a venue for political reconciliation and economic reform,” the militant solon warned.

“Despite the Palace's assurances about the 'sincerity' and 'objectivity' of the meet, it's plain clear to any thinking citizen that the Palace will only use the Jan.24 meet for political expediency and survival by deflecting attention away from the continuing clamor for President Arroyo to step down, and by using the media and political mileage to promote her Charter Change and 'no-election' scheme. Its a grand gimmick meant to salvage Pres. Arroyo's sinking political ship and has nothing to do with improving the welfare of the nation's poor majority,” Beltran said.

Beltran cast doubts on popular support for the Palace-endorsed pro-ChaCha signature campaigns by local government executives under the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP). “Strange, how they call it a 'Peoples Initiative' when the 'initiative' actually emanates from top-down: from officials, such as the President, her highly-placed allies and her appointees, and not from the grassroots levels and from the masses,” the veteran labor leader said.

“The real public clamor nowadays is for higher wages, not Charter Change,” the veteran labor leader said, “Filipinos nationwide have been rallying for a P125 across-the-board wage hike since 1999. The ones who want Charter Change now are public officials who endorsed and implemented anti-poor policies that pushed already-steep daily cost of living rates even much higher, such as the Expanded Value Added Tax, deregulation of the oil industry, and the like.”

“Ask any of our 16 million Filipino workers and their dependents if they want a wage increase or not this year, and I wager that each and every one of them will answer in the affirmative. That's at least thrice the maximum number of signatures pro-Chacha officials hope to gather, if they will be able to gather that much at all,” Beltran said.

Beltran said that he and other pro-people legislators in the House are currently working for the passage of House Bill No. 345, which calls for a P125 nationwide across-the-board wage hike among workers in the private sector, and certified as a priority bill for the first quarter of 2006. ###