Monday, March 06, 2006

Legal battle for Cong. Beltran's liberty starts

*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://

*NEWS RELEASE March 6, 2006*

* *

*Legal battle for Cong. Beltran's liberty starts*

*Beltran prevented by PNP to appear before court today, ordered to appear
before Makati RTC tomorrow *

Despite the Philippine National Police (PNP)'s refusal to let illegally
jailed Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran attend today's hearing, his legal
counsels have proceeded with a motion seeking to nullify the charges slapped
against the 73-year old parliamentarian and veteran labor leader.

Attys. Romeo T. Capulong, Rachel F. Pastores, and Amylyn B. Sato of the
Public Interest Law Center (PILC) submitted a Motion for Judicial
Determination of Probable Cause on Criminal Case No. 06-452 entitled People
of the Philippines vs. Lawrence San Juan, Crispin Beltran, et al, now
pending before the Regional Trial Court of Makati City, Branch 137.

Rep. Beltran was prepared and all set to attend today's hearing at 8:30 AM
at Branch 137 of the Makati Regional Trial Court. However, no order from the
Philippine National Police (PNP) permitting him to appear before the court
was issued this morning. He remains under military custody at the PNP
General Hospital, where he was confined since last week due to unstable
blood pressure levels.

During the hearing before Presiding Judge Sixto Maretta, Jr. of the RTC
Branch 138, Atty. Capulong narrated the circumstances of Rep. Beltran's
arrest, saying that the arresting officers and operatives of the
PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) violated Section 8,
Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.Atty. Capulong
questioned the validity of the arrest by the CIDG operatives and also noted
a "clear bias and lack of impartiality on the part of the public prosecutors
involved" in the charging and inquest of Cong Beltran.

As there is no probable cause, the case should be dismissed, Rep. Beltrans
attorneys urged. In the PILC's Prefaratory Statement to the Motion, Atty.
Capulong reiterated that the "antecedent facts of the case prove the

(1) There was a deliberate scheme to arrest Cong. Beltran without a
warrant of arrest and to file criminal charges and detain him indefinitely.

(2) The deliberate machination and malicious delay in resolving the
request for the immediate release of Cong. Beltran and in resolving the
inciting to sedition case was purposely intended to await the hasty filing
and questionable conduct of the inquest proceeding for the alleged offence
of rebellion.

(3) This is a serious case of malicious persecution of Cong. Beltran on
account of his political beliefs and activities.

Atty. Capulong suggested that the sedition case be (1) dismissed outright,
(2) subjected to further investigation, and that (3) further proceedings be

Judge Maretta set the continuation of the hearing to March 7 (tomorrow) at
10:00 in the morning at the Makati Regional Trial Court. He also ordered
that the accused (Rep. Beltran) be given notice of the hearing and that his
custodians from the Philippine military be ordered to present him at the
hearing tomorrow.

As the hearing was going on, some 50 members of Anakpawis and the Kilusang
Mayo Uno held a short protest action outside the Makati RTC, urging the
immediate and unconditional release of Rep. Beltran and his immediate
transfer to a hospital of his choice. ###


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