Sunday, March 05, 2006

Gov't prevents Ka Bel from fulfilling his duties as a public servant

*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://

MARCH 6, 2006

*White doves and documents for Cong. Beltran
Gov't prevents Ka Bel from fulfilling his duties as a public servant- staff

*In a bitter twist of irony, it is the Arroyo government that is preventing
Anakpawis (Toiling Masses) Congressman Crispin B. Beltran from fulfilling
his duties as a public servant.

As a militant trade union leader of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), Ka Bel was
first unjustly arrested and jailed by the Marcos dictatorship on rebellion
charges from 1982 to 1985. Now, more than two decades later under the Arroyo
regime, he faces the same unwelcome prospect of jail as a duly-elected
73-year old congressman of Anakpawis Party List.

But being unjustly and inhumanely jailed by the Arroyo regime will not stop
Rep. Beltran from performing his duties as a Congressional representative of
the Filipino toiling masses. As Rep. Beltran is physically unable to go to
Congress and read all the newspapers, letters, and unsigned papers piling up
on his desk, he has requested his staff to go to Camp Crame and bring these
documents for him to pore over while in police custody. Beltran's staff,
along with numerous sympathizers, will be visiting Ka Bel this afternoon.

These documents include newspapers, letters, and congressional papers, such
as the Order of Business documentation from the Journals Section, minutes of
previous sessions, unsigned resolutions, and press releases. All of these
are slowly piling up on his desk ever since his absence last week.

During his usual working days at Congress, the first thing Rep. Beltran does
upon arriving at the office is to survey the morning papers for updates on
issues concerning workers, peasants, urban poor, and migrants and edit his
press releases for the day. While doing this, he consults with legislative
stadd and scribbles notes or clips articles of particular interest for his
personal files. In between Congressional hearings, sessions, or other
appointments, he pores through readings on various issues, keeping himself
updates with new statistics or developments.

Anakpawis members and students from the University of the Philippines also
dramatized the call to release Ka Bel from the illegal and unjust detention
by setting white doves free in front of the UP Oblation, a traditional
symbol of freedom.

Rep. Beltran was illegally arrested and jailed since February 25 by the CIDG
of the PNP He was first detained in a small solitary cell with poor
ventilation. During his inquest on Monday, charges of rebellion were slapped
against him, to the strong condemnation of his legal counsel Atty. Romeo
Capulong. On Tuesday, Beltran, a recovering stroke victim diagnosed with
hypertension and diabetes, was rushed to the PNP General Hospital for
unstable and high blood pressure levels.

Rep. Beltran will also have a hearing on the rebellion charges filed against
him at the Branch 137 of the Makati Regional Trial Court (under Judge Jenny
Lind Aldecoa Delorino) on March 6 at 8:30 am. Atty. Romeo Capulong of the
Public Interest Law Center (PILC) has filed a Motion for Judicial
Determination of Probable Cause, which will be heard tomorrow.

References: Ofelia Balleta (Acting Chief of Staff) and Lisa Ito (media
officer) at 0927-7967006 or 426-9442.


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