Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Beltran chides Palace on 'rally phobia' and addiction to political repression

From the Office of Anakpawis Representative Crispin B. Beltran
Lisa C. Ito, Public Information Officer (+63)927.796.7006
Tel. # (+632) 431-6615 Email: crispinbeltran@gmail.com
URL: http:// www.geocities.com/ap_news


April 25, 2006

Beltran chides Palace on 'rally phobia' and addiction to political repression:

Support for workers' wage hikes and rights is not destabilization!

Is the Palace all too eager to impose another state of national emergency?

While awaiting the upcoming Labor Day rally from Room 427 of the Philippine Heart Center, Anakpawis Congressman Crispin "Ka Bel" Beltran chided Presidential Chief of Staff Michael Defensor for warning that the President would proclaim a state of national emergency should the May 1 rallies escalate into "armed violence" as a "sure sign of Pres. Arroyo's 'rally phobia' and salivating eagerness to impose another state of national emergency".

"What 'armed violence' is Sec. Defensor ranting about? Overt public support for workers' wage hike and rights is not destabilization. Rallying for a P125 legislated across-the-board wage hike is not terrorism," Beltran said.

"It's sick to hear how the Palace is so intent on suppressing workers' initiatives to air their grievances on Labor Day, when from Day One of the Arroyo administration the President has not uttered a sentence or a single word of support for the six-year demand for a P125 wage hike. Modesty aside, this dictatorial Arroyo government has even illegally arrested and jailed the principal proponent of a Congressional bill seeking to realize this clamor for a significant wage increase," Beltran said. House Bill 0345, which aims to legislate the said wage hike, is pending at the plenary of the Lower House up to now.

"The only threat of armed violence that I see on May 1 is the armed violence of the anti-riot police and the military personnel against workers who are asserting their rights to a better life, should the Palace use them to impose its draconian political suppression as it did last February 24," Beltran said. The veteran labor leader also dismissed the Armed Forces of the Philippines's 'wildcat conspiracy theories, sub-plots and 'Oplans' of a withdrawal of military support of May 1', saying that "Arroyo's top brass are afraid of their own shadow".

Beltran spared no kind words for the Palace's most recent "alarm scenarios", calling it a symptom of the Arroyo administration's sick framework of governance. "This veiled threat from the Palace is a sure symptom of the Arroyo administration's morbidity and its sick policies. Pres. Gloria Arroyo is in an advanced stage of 'rally phobia', while Secretary Defensor seems to be suffering from hallucinations in his amusing ability to see specters of destabilization from traditional days of protest such as Labor Day, to even the smallest picket. This administration seems to be hopelessly addicted to political suppression and the smell of blood. Such government officials are beyond rehabilitation," Beltran said.

Beltran served as former chairperson of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) for a decade. His fiery and impassioned speeches in defense of workers rights have been a staple of Labor Day rallies for decades. ###


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