Monday, February 27, 2006

Militants defy rally ban to press for Rep. Beltran's freedom

*From the Office of Anakpawis Representative Crispin B. Beltran *

Lisa C. Ito, Public Information Officer (+63)927.796.7006

Tel. # (+632) 426-9442 Email:

URL: http://


*February 27, 2006*

*Reference: Sammy Malunes, Anakpawis Spokesperson (0920-472-1865)*

*Militants defy rally ban to press for Rep. Beltran's freedom*

Vow to bring outrage to provinces, international community, foreign

In an act of defiance against the political suppression following the
declaration of Presidential Proclamation (PP)1071, Anakpawis (Toiling
Masses) Party List, the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) and other peoples'
organizations challenged the 'state of emergency' ban on rallies by staging
a street protest today pressing for Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran's freedom
and the upholding of civil liberties.

The militants will defy the rally ban implied under the President's
declaration of a state of emergency Friday. From Caltex Santolon, they will
march to the gates of Camp Crame at around 10 am today, where Rep. Beltran,
or Ka Bel, is currently being detained in a cramped *bartolina*-like cell,
according to the 73-year old solon's family members.

Rep. Beltran was illegally taken into the custody of the Philippine National
Police (PNP)'s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) on February
25, Saturday through an arrest warrant dating back to October 7, 1985. He
was charged yesterday with inciting to sedition, based on statements by Rep.
Beltran's arresting officer PCI Rino V. Corpuz, PI Honesto D. Gaton, and
SPO1 Arnold Casumpang.

"We are up in protest against the continuing illegal arrest and fabricated
charges against Rep. Beltran, and will continue to defy the rally ban for as
long as he unjustly remains in jail. We are demanding his immediate release,
the dropping of sedition charges against him, and the filing of
counter-charges against those responsible for his incarceration. While Gen.
Lomibao and House Speaker Jose de Venecia have reportedly negotiated for the
transfer of Rep. Beltran's custody from the PNP to the House of
Representatives, we have yet to see a formal order in black and white,"
Anakpawis Spokesperson Sammy Malunes said.

"In fact, it is Corpuz, Gaton, and Casumpang who should be slapped with
court cases for their fabrication of stories. In their joint affidavit of
arrest, these three stooges claim that Rep. Beltran was one of those who
delivered 'seditious speeches' at the February 24 rally at the EDSA shrine.
Yet Rep. Beltran was not scheduled to, and never even had the chance, to
make any speech of this sort during the rally because of the violent
dispersal initiated by the Crowd Disturbance Unit a few minutes after Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo declared a 'state of emergency' through Presidential
Proclamation 1017," Malunes said.

"Mrs. Arroyo must also be held liable for her administrations' illegal and
unconstitutional arrests of progressive public officials such as Rep.
Beltran, and citizens discontented with Mrs. Arroyo's corrupt, repressive,
and insufferable ways of governance. She must be held accountable for these
human rights violations and transgressions of civil liberties and press
freedom; be nationally defied and internationally condemned for this
dictatorial espousal of unwarranted political arrests," he said.

"Today's rally in front of Crame is just the start of a broad nationwide
and international campaign to free Rep. Crispin Beltran in the absence of
affirmative government action. We will be bringing this outrage to the
provinces, to other freedom-loving countries, and even to foreign
parliamentarians. We will make sure that the world probes GMA on her
newfound Martial Law powers," he said. ###


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