Monday, March 20, 2006

Cong. Beltran ordered back into detention cell by PNP doctor

From the Office of Anakpawis Representative Crispin B. Beltran

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

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



March 20, 2006

Cong. Beltran ordered back into detention cell by PNP doctor

Despite his unstable and high blood pressure, doctors at the Philippine National Police (PNP) General Hospital are ordering Anakpawis Congressman Crispin Beltran out of the police hospital and back into solitary detention at the PNP Custodial Center.

Dr. Ferdinand Madrilejos, attending physician at the PNP General Hospital, reportedly approached Cong. Beltran earlier this morning and gave him verbal instructions that he would soon be returned to his cell, Beltran's daughter Olivia Lalusis said. Madrilejos reportedly said that Cong. Beltran's blood pressure only rose whenever there was a court hearing, claiming that Beltran was well enough to be ushered back into solitary confinement.

Lalusis, however, disputed Madrilejos' claims, reporting that while Beltran's blood pressure as of this morning reached normal level, "this was still no assurance that his health condition would remain stable in the coming days". Lalusis expressed apprehensions that "returning Rep. Beltran to solitary confinement in a cramped and humid cell would only exacerbate and cause the further deterioration of his health".

Beltran's supporters from the Free Ka Bel Movement, meanwhile, criticized this move from the PNP as "a cruel form of political harassment intending to weaken Rep. Beltran's health".

"This is an inhumane and insensitive order, especially since it came from a doctor whose sworn duty is to protect a patient's health above all other considerations. Rep. Beltran's unstable condition was also a result of his illegal and solitary confinement and just anger at the continuous injustices committed against him; transferring him back to that cell will only result in another dangerous bout of ill health," Dennis Maga, Spokesperson of the Free Ka Bel Movement, said.

"We will never agree to this order. The PNP under Gen. Arturo Lomibao and the Department of Justice (DoJ) have repeatedly denied Rep. Beltran and his family's requests to be transferred to a hospital of his choice. Now, despite his age and health condition, they are ordering him back to jail," he said.

"In the first place, Beltran's arrest, detention, and charges were illegal, inhumane, and malicious. Anyone in his or her right mind or with any adherence to justice would be setting Rep. Beltran free and not ordering him back into jail the way they are doing right now," Maga said.

"The PNP and the DOJ are trying to repeat history by subjecting Ka Bel to the same treatment as the late Kilusang Mayo Uno Chairperson Felixberto "Ka Bert" Olalia, who was arrested along with Beltran during the Martial Law crackdown in 1982. Ka Bert was also elderly and sickly at the time of his arrest. Eight months in detention weakened his body, and he eventually succumbed to heart failure in December 1983.

"Sec. Gonzales and Gen. Lomibao will pay dearly if anything of the same kind happens to Ka Bel. The Arroyo administration's deliberate silence and obvious hand in his continuing harassment will also backfire dearly from the international human rights community and from parliamentarians worldwide," Maga ended. ###


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