Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Today marks 2nd month in illegal detention



April 25, 2006

Today marks 2nd month in illegal detention:

Ka Bel still in Crame despite court's transfer order yesterday

Supporters slam PNP leadership's delaying tactics, intend to file court complaint

Despite the clear issuance of a court transfer order yesterday, the Philippine National Police (PNP) leadership under its Director-General Arturo Lomibao is "clearly employing delaying tactics to keep Ka Bel longer in Camp Crame", family and supporters of illegally-detained Anakpawis solon Crispin Beltran say.

Dennis Maga, spokesperson of the Free Ka Bel Movement (FKBM) scored PNP Director-General Arturo Lomibao's failure to issue a go signal for Ka Bel's transfer to the Philippine Heart Center (PHC) despite the PNP's receipt of the court implementing order yesterday noon.

"We denounce the PNP leadership, particularly Director-General Arturo Lomibao, for failing to decisively and immediately execute the court order upon its receipt. In as much as we wanted to give the PNP the benefit of the doubt at first, yesterday's disappointing and infuriating events at Camp Crame only proves that some people in high places is deliberately delaying the execution of the court order to keep Ka Bel for a little longer in Crame," Maga said.

On April 17, Judge Jenny Lind Aldecoa-Delorino of the Makati Regional Trial Court (MRTC) Branch 137 approved Congressman Beltran's transfer to a hospital of his choice. She signed the implementing order for "PNP Director-General Lomibao [to] oversee the safe and expeditious transport and conduct of Beltran to the [PHC] on [April 24, 2006]" at around 10:00 am yesterday.

"No such execution of the order occurred yesterday. The document ordering Beltran's transfer on April 24 2006 was forwarded by the court to the PNP yesterday early noon, yet was not decisively acted upon. We went to Camp Crame at around 3 pm yesterday to follow up Ka Bel's transfer, but were just passed around from one department to another, all of which vaguely promised to follow-up the order. We waited until around 11 in the evening for any developments, but none came," Maga recalled.

Maga said that Beltran's supporters and family would be filing the "appropriate complaints against the PNP's inaction and slow-paced implementation in court soon.

Maga also slammed PNP Spokesperson SSupt Samuel Pagdilao's press statement yesterday, claiming that Beltran's transfer was being processed but was unlikely to take place that evening. "Ssupt Pagdilao's attempt to justify the delay through bureaucratic red tape and procedural delays only skirts the issue. What happened yesterday was the a clear violation of the MRTC order," Maga said.

"It seems that everyone except Gen. Lomibao is ready to have Ka Bel transferred asap. Ka Bel's doctors from both the PNP-GH and the PHC have been patiently waiting for his transfer ever since yesterday. His family has already secured Room 427 of the PHC for his transfer. Even the other PNP departments we talked to yesterday, such as the Headquarters Service Support Command, claimed to be ready for the transfer. What we have all been waiting for is a simple go signal from Gen. Lomibao," Maga said.

Maga added that the simultaneous decentralized workers protests today would also denounce the PNP's delay of Ka Bel's transfer and the political harassment waged by the Arroyo administration against the six progressive parliamentarians.

Beltran will be spending his 60th day (2nd month) in Camp Crame today. He was arrested without warrant on February 25 by elements of the PNP-CIDG.

Reference: Dennis Maga, FKM Spokesperson (0927-399-6227)


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