Thursday, April 27, 2006

Beltran condemns illegal detention and interrogation of trade union leader

From the Office of Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
Lisa Ito, Public Information Officer (0927-796-7006)

April 27, 2006

Beltran condemns illegal detention and interrogation of trade union leader,
says police are ganging up on workers even before May 1 rally

Anakpawis Congressman and veteran labor leader Crispin "Ka Bel" Beltran condemned the illegal arrest, detention, and interrogation of Association of Democratic Labor Organization (ADLO-Kilusang Mayo Uno) trade union organizer Arturo Macalalag yesterday night.

"Even before the Labor Day rally, it's the police who are instigating violence and harassment against workers, and not the other way around," Beltran said, while confined at the Room 427 of the Philippine Heart Center (PHC).

"This is a condemnable act of political harassment, no different from the political harassment of the Department of Justice against Theresa Pangilinan and us six progressive party list solons. It is an obvious maneuver to intimidate workers in the hopes of discouraging them from airing out their clamor and demands for a better life on the upcoming Labor Day rally," Beltran said.

According to a report by the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) and Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR), Macalalag went missing after he failed to appear in a meeting for the ADLO's preparation for the upcoming May Day celebration. Before his colleagues eventually contact with Macalalag, he was able to tell them that he was in the vicinity of Mantrade in Makati City.A quick reaction team spearheaded by the KMU and the CTUHR later confirmed that Macalaglag was arrested and detained at the Southern Police District (SPD) Station 3 at Evangelista St. in Bgy. Bangkal, Makati City.

He was apprehended by a mobile patrol along Walter Mart and was forcibly taken to Station 3. While at the station, he was harassed and interrogated by police and intelligence agents. He was physically assaulted and held at gunpoint by his captors. After failing to extract information from Macalalag, the police released him at around 9 pm.###


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