Wednesday, May 31, 2006

GMA gov't blaming anyone except itself for the killings of activists

From the Office of Anakpawis Representative Crispin B. Beltran

Lisa C. Ito, Public Information Officer (+63)927.796.7006

Tel. # (+632) 931-6615 Email :


May 31, 2006

GMA gov't blaming anyone except itself for the killings of activists

Llamas' co-accused in rebellion case slams Palace, PNP diversionary tactics

A co-accused in the rebellion charges against assassinated peace talks adviser Sotero Llamas and illegally-detained solon Crispin Beltran today slammed the "Arroyo administration's diversionary tactics on the issue of extra-judicial killings of activists", saying that "GMA's cohorts are sowing all sorts of lies and intrigue to hide their culpability for the deaths of more than half a thousand activists and civilians" .

"The Palace and the military is now blaming anyone except themselves for the alarming extra-judicial killings of activists nationwide. The Arroyo administration is concocting all sorts of conspiracy theories involving the progressive and the revolutionary movement to cover up for their obvious accountability," said Rafael G. Baylosis, Anakpawis Party List Vice-Chairperson and Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) Vice-Chairperson for Political and External Affairs.

"The Palace, PNP, and AFP's far-fetched claims that the deaths may be due to an internal leftist purge or a left-right conspiracy are all atrocious concoctions and fabrications. These are just diversionary tactics to cover up for the traces of military involvement and the active direction of some high-ranking Palace officials in the killings," Baylosis stressed.

Baylosis emphasized that the "purpose of all the Arroyo administration's hand-washing and finger-pointing over the killings is to dilute and confuse the growing nationwide clamor for GMA's ouster from office".

"These theories that the AFP and Task Force Usig are floating are all diversionary tactics meant to sow intrigue inside the Left. By conveniently laying the blame on a non-existent communist purge or a fabricated Left-Right plot, the Palace is trying to pit the growing number of anti-GMA groups against each other. It is desperately trying to preempt the surging mass movement's clamor for her removal," Baylosis said.

"Another purpose of these diversionary tactics is to cover up for the dastardly crimes of the Arroyo government against activists. If you notice, the PNP and the AFP has conveniently omitted any talk of the deadly counter-insurgency plan 'Oplan Bantay Laya'. Only GMA and her cohorts have the motive or alibi to kill opposition and progressive leaders. Only the Arroyo administration has the means and resources to conduct an orchestrated killing spree of this scale and magnitude," Baylosis said.

Meanwhile, Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran reiterated his apprehensions for Baylosis' safety and security, saying that "none other but the Palace should be blamed if anything bad happens to Rafael Baylosis ".

Apart from being Llamas'co-accused in the rebellion charge sheet, Baylosis was also a member and consultant to the reciprocal working committee on socioeconomic reforms for the peace talks. "Ka Teroy (Llamas' nickname) was our companion as a consultant to the social and economic reforms agenda from 2001 to 2002," Baylosis said.

Reference: Rafael G. Baylosis, Anakpawis Party List Vice-Chairperson

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Incarcerated lawmaker issues plea to Church and religious groups to denounce political killings

From the Office of Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
May 30, 2006

Incarcerated lawmaker issues plea to Church and religious groups to denounce political killings

Activist lawmaker Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran today appealed to the leaders of the Catholic Church and other major religious formations in the country to speak out against the continuing campaign of terrorism the Macapagal-Arroyo administration is conducting against activist civilians and members of progressive party-lists and people's organizations.

"In the name of all those who have been brutally slain at the hands of the mercenaries of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, we ask that all Church organizations and religious formations in the country would denounce this cold-blooded slaughter of civilians whose only crime is to speak out in defiance against the corrupt and illegitimate presidency," he said.

"What this government is doing is complete barbarism," he said. "The Macapagal-Arroyo government has set loose the hounds of hell against political activists and human rights advocates, and to not raise one's voice against this is to condone the brutal murders. What do these killings affirm but the truth that there is no genuine political freedom in the country, and that human rights are nothing but empty phrases for the government?"

The veteran labor leader turned legislator said now is not since the days of the Marcos dictatorship has the democratic space and the exercise of one's political beliefs been so viciously attacked. "Macapagal-Arroyo has not even declared martial law and yet here we have the Filipino people being subjected to the most violent proofs of a working dictatorship?"

Beltran himself remains incarcerated on hackneyed charges.

Finally, Beltran said that each day brought reports of yet another journalist or member of a progressive political party, church organization or people's group gunned down. "Is this not something to condemn and protest against? The country continues its plunge to economic failure and political mayhem, and Filipinos must take action against all this, most particularly and urgently so because the government has taken to killing those who speak out in defiance."#

Rep. Beltran to Sto. Tomas: Resign now and good riddance

From the Office of Anakpawis Representative Crispin B. Beltran
r Reference: Rep. Crispin Beltran

Lisa C. Ito, Public Information Officer (+63)927.796.7006
Tel. # (+632) 931-6615 Email:

May 30, 2006
Rep. Beltran to Sto. Tomas: Resign now and good riddance

"If she think she's stressed out, we can only imagine the state of health, mind and welfare of the workers whose rights she has violated by signing all those various memoranda, department orders and case decisions. How many workers have lost not only their jobs but their very lives because of her?"

This was the reaction of activist legislator Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran to reports that labor and employment secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas is mulling over resignation for health reasons.

"She should resign now, and good riddance," said Beltran. "Under her administration, the labor department has become even more anti-worker and anti-poor. She shouldn't expect any compassion from the workers, neither is there anyone willing to step forward and stop her from resigning. To leave the public service would be Sto. Tomas' gift to the hundreds of thousands of workers she helped employers and capitalists abuse, exploit, and kick out of employment."

"Actually, her exit is long overdue. Government employees, labor unions, and private sector workers have long been appealing for her resignation and the rejection of her appointment," Beltran said.

"Pat Sto. Tomas will not be missed even if she leaves the DOLE. How can one miss a labor Secretary who herself has been accused of committing unfair labor practice, violating the Constitutional rights of government employees to self-organization by directly intervening in the affairs of DOLE employees, union-busting, and grave abuse of authority?" Beltran said.

Though still incarcerated, Beltran said that he still closely monitors the developments in the labor front. "The situation of our workers is deplorable. And things keep getting worse. Sto. Tomas has done essentially nothing to help improve the lives and welfare of Filipino workers. Because of her, human rights violations against workers have shot clear through the roof, and the country's unemployment rate has remained at alarming levels. The brutal massacre of the workers and farmworkers of Hacienda Luisita is also something she remains and will always remain partly responsible for," he insisted.

Still, Beltran said that Sto. Tomas' impending resignation would not absolve her of her injustices against Filipino workers. "Sto. Tomas will still be held accountable for the various labor rights violations committed under her term, particularly the Hacienda Luisita massacre," Beltran said.


Friday, May 19, 2006

GMA is still accountable for killings of activists

May 17, 2006

No matter how much the Palace denies it,
GMA is still accountable for killings of activists – Beltran

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo face her own share of public accountability over the rising murders of activists by suspected military and para-military elements, Anakpawis Congressman Crispin Beltran said today from Room 427 of the Philippine Heart Center (PHC) in Quezon City.

"No matter how much the Palace denies it, Pres. Arroyo is still accountable for the record-high killings of activists and journalists under her administration. As Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), she can not escape total public accountability over the alarming and condemnable murders of activists, many of which are suspected to be the handiwork of military troops, paramilitary elements or their 'death squads'" Beltran said.

"Many of these killings, if the Task Force Usig Takes its job of scrutinizing the trends seriously, took place after observed prior military surveillance and/or harassment of the victims. Many of the murders took place in the overall context of increased military presence in the areas where these occurred, particularly with the deployment of Jovito Palparan and his publicly-documented claims to wipe out the mass movement in these rewspective areas," Beltran said.

"Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita's admonition to quit laying blame on the President is an obvious attempt at paghuhugas-kamay. All the Palace's actions in the past point to the President's callous silence over killings ever since the trend started in 2001. As the human rights watchdog KARAPATAN correctly pointed out, it was only until the body count reached over five hundred dead that the Palace ordered an investigation into the issue," Beltran said.

"The call for a probe comes too late and too lame, especially after the issues of political murders of activists have been publicly brought out through different venues: local and international media reports, international fact-finding missions such as the International Solidarity Mission (ISM) last August 2005 and the International Labor Solidarity Mission (ILSM) this month, last year's impeachment complaint, the Citizens' Congress for Truth and Accountability (CCTA), and even the International Parliamentary Union (IPU) when it convened in Manila last year. It's impossible that the Palace has not been duly aware of the scope of these killings, as these included high-profile union leaders, such as Nestle union President and Anakpawis Southern Tagalog Chairperson Diosdado Fortuna and Central Azucarera de Tarlac Labor Union (CATLU) President Ricardo Ramos," Beltran noted.

"These killings have been brought to the attention of the President way back in 2001, and ever since these escalated to alarming heights and brutality last year. But the Palace did not lift a finger to condemn or to call for a probe. It was ominously and coldly silent on the issue of these murders. It was is only now, when local and international outrage over these killings are beginning to threaten her plans of staying in power, that the Palace is trying to project a semblance of action on the issue," Beltran said. ###

Reference: Congressman Crispin Beltran (0927-871-1080).

Monday, May 15, 2006

Beltran files Motion for Reconsideration after judge inhibits

From the Office of Anakpawis Representative Crispin B. Beltran

Lisa Ito, Public Information Officer, 0927-796-7006

Tel. # (+632)431-6615 Email:

URL: http://


May 15, 2006

Beltran files Motion for Reconsideration after judge inhibits,

Says DOJ pressure on judges erodes confidence in justice system

Legal counsels of illegally-detained Anakpawis Congressman Crispin Beltran filed a Motion for Reconsideration before the Makati Regional Trial Court (MRTC) Branch 137 first thing in the morning today, asking that Judge Jenny Lind Aldecoa-Delorino reconsider and set aside her earlier decision to inhibit from the case last May 10, 2006 and proceed to hear and decide upon Beltran's case.

Judge Delorino voluntarily inhibited herself from handling Criminal Case No. 06-452 (I.S. Nos. 2006-226) for Rebellion, charged against Beltran, 1Lt. Lawrence San Juan, and others., after the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a Motion for Inhibition on May 8. She ordered that the case be raffled off.

Beltran's counsel, Atty. Romeo Capulong of the Public Interest Law Center PILC) said that there was no valid reason for the Prosecution to demand Judge Delorino's inhibition from the case.

"The Motion for Inhibition of the prosecution against her is grossly unfair, obviously designed to cover-up for the incompetence, the blunders, and the violations of the constitutional and statutory rights of the accused committed by the panel of public prosecutors and Secretary Raul Gonzalez in this case," Capulong wrote in the Motion for Reconsideration.

"The Motion for Inhibition is evidently motivated by ill-will, and a ploy to remove this case from a judge who has clearly shown by her actions, orders, rulings, resolutions, and conduct during the hearings that she is the embodiment of competence, integrity, and independence as prescribed by Rule 1.01 of the Code of Judicial Conduct," Capulong wrote.

Capulong asserted that the DOJ's pressure on the judge involved in the case was eroding public confidence in the local justice system.

"The practice of recusing judges without sufficient basis whenever a litigant or counsel suffers a setback or an adverse ruling, resolution, or decision, especially if it is committed by public prosecutors and the Secretary of Justice himself erodes public confidence in, and contributes to the deterioration of our system of justice, and should be resoundingly repudiated and condemned," he added.

"The rule of law must be upheld, and the incumbent Secretary of Justice must be checked lest his high-handed and strong-arm tactics result in the irreversible loss of public confidence in our system of justice," Capulong wrote.

Beltran is currently confined at the Philippine Heart Center (PHC) in Quezon City after Judge Delorino approved a Motion asking for Beltran's transfer to a hospital on humanitarian grounds.###

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Keynote Speech of Anakpawis Congressman Crispin Beltran to the 22nd International Solidarity Affair

Forge a chain of resistance against imperialist globalization,
fight economic and political persecution
with international and class solidarity!

Keynote Speech of Anakpawis Congressman Crispin Beltran to the 22nd International Solidarity Affair

Warm and militant greetings to the delegates, organizers, and leaders of the 22nd International Solidarity Affair (ISA) and the International Labor Solidarity Mission (ILSM)!

I am honored to be one in the struggle with you all. The chains binding me to detention fall apart when I hear of how we are collectively battling against the oppression waged by imperialist globalization.

Our initial efforts have not gone to waste, dear comrades! The working class has contributed to the increasing victories of countries that have asserted national sovereignty and liberation from the clutches of imperialist plunder and war. We have seen how the people's rising resistance has advanced in countries, such as Australia, India, Philippines, South Korea, Brazil, South Africa, Belgium, France, Germany, Venezuela, Bolivia, Bangladesh, Chile, and Nepal.

The agents and beneficiaries of imperialist globalization, however, will do everything to quash the hard-earned victories of the toiling masses. They are waging economic, social, and political terrorism around the globe in order to retain their grip on power, disregarding the toll of death and destruction this rampage of greed will yield.

Economic and political terrorism against the toiling masses

Comrades, this is an era of great persecution against the workers, peasants, and toiling masses of the world, of assaults against the people's rights to a better life. All around the world, millions are suffering because of the greed of a few.

Economic genocide is systematically carried out by neo-liberal multilateral agencies such the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World Bank (WB). These agencies conspire with the local ruling elite and with the kings of monopoly and finance capital to impose structural adjustment programs and free trade agreements that have only devastated the economies and societies of developing nations.

These economic policies and programs are being imposed through force, deceit, and fear. Political terrorism is being waged through the US' imperialist and unilateral wars of aggression and through the repression of trade unionists and progressive organizations and individuals.

Violence is being used against those who struggle for land, wages, jobs, and rights. In the Philippines, over 560 defenders of the peoples' democratic rights have been murdered by suspected military agents ever since President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo stepped into power in 2001. Last year, these political killings claimed the lives of 31 unionists, worker-organizers, and labor leaders.

In Hacienda Luisita, for example, suspected soldiers shot and killed Ricardo Ramos, President of the Central Azucerera de Tarlac Labor Union (CATLU) last October 25. Ramos was one of the key leaders when Hacienda Luisita farm and sugar mill workers went on strike in November 2004, in protest against low wages, union-busting, and the lack of land reform.

In the Calabarzon industrial region, trade union suppression by foreign multinational companies persists alongside militarization of the countryside by state fascist forces. I remember how motorcycle-riding assassins killed Diosdado "Ka Fort" Fortuna, labor union President of Nestle's local subsidiary in Laguna and the Chairperson of Anakpawis in the Southern Tagalog region, last September 22, 2005.

These killings and human rights violations against labor leaders continue up to now. But not a single person has been arrested or tried in court ever since the start of President Arroyo's term.

The situation in the Philippines reflects the simultaneous assaults on workers all over the globe. Elsewhere, trade unionists asserting their democratic rights are being arrested, arbitrarily detained, harassed, put under surveillance, abducted, interrogated, penalized and brutalized--whether under so-called 'democracies', dictatorships or political dynasties.

Local atrocities, global genocide

Comrades, the atrocities you have seen during your brief stay the Philippines is only part of a global trend of systematic oppression. The situation here is only reflective of the crimes of monopoly capital and imperialism against the toiling masses of the world.

You may have heard about how, just a few months ago, a Filipina was raped by US military servicemen in Subic, the former US military base turned 'special economic zone' and tourist spot. This is no different from the havoc and pain the US has caused to millions of Iraqi workers and their families, in its military bid to control the world's oil reserves. Yet the Philippine government tolerates the rape, just as it has supported the war against Iraq and Afghanistan, because the local ruling elite benefits from US' monopoly capital and military presence in the Philippines.

Upon arriving in the Philippines, you may have noticed the long queues at the airport, full of Philippine overseas contract workers. Every day, 3,000 Filipinos are forced to leave their homeland and work abroad, in the same way that millions from Asia, Latin America, Africa, and Europe have been forced to migrate due to colonial and imperial expansion. The Philippine government even promotes such massive labor export to revive the dying economy. But it has not even uttered a whimper of protest even as millions are up in outrage against the US government's anti-immigration bills, which aim to protect corporate profits and divide the working class.

While reading the news, you may have noticed that President Arroyo wants to change the Constitution of the Philippines at any cost. This should not be seen only as her attempt at political survival. It is also a question of survival and growth for imperialist globalization, which has historically endorsed Charter Change in around 130 countries to open up their domestic labor, key economic sectors, natural resources, and national patrimony to neocolonial exploitation, plunder, and devastation.

In the Philippines and all around the world, many are dying because of the greed and deceit of a few. Everyday, millions of workers and their families are being starved, deprived of education, housing, and health care, displaced from their homes and lands, forced to migrate, and even threatened or killed so that a small number of ruling elite can maintain their empires and kingdoms around the globe.

Comrades, we can no longer allow this era of oppression to continue! We must strengthen our ranks against such assaults on human life, on the lives of the toiling masses. This global state of injustice and inhumanity must eventually come to an inglorious end!

Forge international solidarity for the toiling masses' rights

Lupa, sahod, trabaho, at karapatan! (Land, wages, jobs, and rights!). How many millions have been deprived of these basic needs by the ruling local and global elite? How many millions have been killed and threatened for fighting for these? What is the power of land, wages, jobs, and democratic rights, that makes our oppressors so intent on witholding and depriving such freedom from us?

Lupa, sahod, trabaho, at karapatan! (Land, wages, jobs, and rights!) This are the demands of the toiling masses of the world. But these can only be achieved through victories against the violent sreign of global monopoly capital in collusion with the ruling elite.

As trade unionists, we have the power and the means to unite the broadest number of people to decisively defeat the maneuvers of intensifying imperialist globalization. We must closely link the struggle of the working class to the struggles of the other major productive forces of our respective societies, such as the peasants, women, and youth. Only then will we be able to unite the broadest number of people to weaken the hold of the ruling elite conspiring with the forces of monopoly capital.

At the same time, we must face these challenges with a brand of unionism that will unite the toiling masses of our countries and to the worldwide struggle against the empire of super-profits. We must forge a brand of unionism and workers' unity that will go far beyond localized reforms, one which will encompass the struggles for LAND, WAGES, JOBS AND DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS and defeat the assaults of monopoly capital on the lives of the toiling masses.

Comrades, we will frustrate the divisive, violent, and deceitful maneuvers of imperialist globalization through TUNAY, PALABAN, MAKABAYAN, AT ANTI-IMPERYALISTANG UNYONISMO! (Genuine, militant, patriotic, and anti-imperialist unionism!)

Whether we be in the belly of the beast, or on the borders of empire, we must unite, and forge a worldwide chain of resistance against the economic and political assaults of imperialist globalization. There is no other way towards a better life for the toiling masses! There is no better time to intensify the struggle but now!

Comrades, the future for trade union resistance against imperialism globalization is bright but laden with challenges. I wish you, brothers and sisters in the worldwide struggle, all the fervor, insight, and strength to bring the fight onwards to victory!

Down with imperialism!

Long live international solidarity!

Victory to the toiling masses of the world!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

SC ruling on PP 1017 a toothless tiger

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

May 4, 2006

SC ruling on PP 1017 a toothless tiger
if political harassment continues¡½Cong. Beltran
PP 1017 victim asserts release

The Supreme Court (SC) ruling on Presidential Proclamation 1017 yesterday is welcome, but it will only be a 'toothless tiger' if the Arroyo's political harassment and suppression continues, Anakpawis Congressman Crispin Beltran said today.

From Room 427 of the Philippine Heart Center (PHC) in Quezon City, Beltran expressed hopes that "the SC ruling would herald the reversal of the abominations associated with the imposition of PP 1017".

"The SC rulings on PP 1017 affirms what we have been saying right from the start: that Pres. Arroyo is a wannabe dictator who is trying to put in place mechanisms for creeping Martial Law," Beltran said of yesterday's ruling.

"What needs to be done now is to reverse the abominable human and political rights violations spawned by President Gloria Arroyo's PP 1017: the warrantless arrests, arbitrary detentions, and transgressions of press freedom that continue up to now," Beltran said.

Beltran expressed hopes that the courts would eventually rule his arrest as illegal, the charges against him baseless, and immediately release him from arbitrary detention under the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Beltran is one of the first "victims" of the PP 1017. A day after its proclamation, the 73-year old solon was accosted and "invited for questioning" by fully-armed elements of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) while preparing to leave home in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan on the morning of February 25. Upon arriving at Camp Crame, he was illegally detained after PNP CIDG personnal showed him a warrant dating back to 1985.

Beltran has been arbitrarily detained for more than two months already. He was transferred from the PNP Custodial Center to the PNP General Hospital in Camp Crame on March 2 after his health deteriorated. The Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 137 finally ordered Beltran's temporary transferr to the PHC on April 25 on humanitarian grounds. ###

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Illegal detention under GMA administration bars wage hike bill's author from plenary debates

From the Office of Anakpawis Congressman Crispin Beltran
Lisa Ito, Public Information Officer (0927-7967006)

May 3, 2006

Illegal detention under GMA administration
bars wage hike bill's author from plenary debates

Saying that it is high time for Congress to pursue the passage of House Bill (HB) 0345 approving a P125 across-the-board wage hike, HB 345's principal author Anakpawis Congressman Crispin Beltran challenged avowed pro-labor solons to concretely support the bill's passage at the Second Reading and enjoin other undecided solons to support HB 345 as well.

"We should not be lulled into complacency or inaction with the Palace's statement leaving the issue of wage hikes to be decided upon by the regional wage boards. Based on the experiences of labor groups, we can not expect any concrete and signficant wage increases from the regional wage boards, only denials or dole-outs. Congress should break this impasse on the virtual wage freeze and lay the ground for a legislated nationwide P125 wage hike for private sector workers," the veteran labor leader said.

"It's now or never. According to statistics from the National Wages and Productivity Commision, the daily living wage in the National Capital Region has already reached P746.00 for a family of six, as of March 2006. This is the farthest thing in the world from the P325 daily minimum wage rate. This P125 wage hike is long overdue and much-needed. The HB 345's passage will mark the first step towards making workers' wages catch up with the rising costs of living," Beltran said.

Rep. Beltran, however, added that he does not believe Pres. Arroyo is in favor of a wage hike. "It seems from the President's silence and evasion that she is against the P125 legislated wage hike being demanded by the Filipino working class since 1999. If the President truly supported House Bill 345, then she would have at least indicated so. However, she has issued no such certification, and instead, certified that Anti-Terror legislation and Charter Change in lieu of the calls for a P125 wage hike. She has even left the issue of a wage hike at the mercy of the regional wage boards, which grant only ridiculously low wage hikes and not the significant poverty-alleviating rate which we are asking from the national government. She just stopped short of saying that Filipino workers don't deserve a wage hike, despite all their efforts to increase productivity," Beltran said.

Beltran also noted that his arbitrary detention by the Arroyo administration barred him from attending plenary debates on the bill when sessions resume on May 15. Beltran is the principal proponent of HB 345.

Unless he is released, Beltran said, he will be "deprived, by default, of the chance to lobby for and to be interpellated upon by fellow solons on this landmark pro-worker legislation".

"I have been deprived by the Arroyo administration of the right to lobby for this bill, due to this illegal detention and political harassment being waged against me and the five other progressive party list solons. This is not only an infringement of my responsibility as a solon to work for legislation serving the peoples' interests. This is also an assault towards Filipino workers nationwide who have been deprived of their rights to be duly represented within the Lower House," the veteran labor leader said.

Beltran is currently confined at the Room 427 of the Philippine Heart Center (PHC), undergoing medical treatment and examination while under custody of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Beltran has been arbitrarily detained by the PNP at Camp Crame since February 25. The Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 137 last April 17 ordered the 73-year old's immediate transfer to the PHC on humanitarian grounds. ###

Monday, May 01, 2006

GMA evading and glossing over real problems faced by workers

From the Office of Anakpawis Reperesentative Crispin Beltran
Room 602, South Wing, House of Representatives, Quezon City
Lisa Ito, Public Information Officer (0927-7067006)

May 1, 2006

Beltran on GMA's Labor Day announcements:
GMA evading and glossing over real problems faced by workers,
promised benefit packages will not make a dent in the lives of the toiling masses

Anakpawis Congressman Crispin Beltran outrightly dismissed Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's May 1 promises announced earlier this morning as "all empty air amounting to nothing", saying that "the President's promises would not a make a dent in the lives of the toiling and starving masses".

Speaking from Room 427 of the Philippine Heart Center (PHC), Beltran said that Arroyo is merely trying to "evade and gloss over the real problems faced by millions of Filipino workers and their families: absurdly low minimum wages that only amount to half of the average daily cost of living of P675.00, record-breaking levels of hunger and unemployment nationwide, chronic lack of access to basic social services such as affordable health care, and brute political suppression of workers' democratic rights".

Beltran said that "if GMA is truly concerned about the welfare of the Filipino working class, she would have supported the six-year call for a legislated P125 across-the-board wage increase for private sector workers and a P3,000 across-the-board salary increase for government employees from Day One of her Presidency".

"GMA, however, attempts to deceive Filipino workers with non-wage benefits. While non-wage benefits may temporarily allay hunger pangs, these have no significant long-term impact on many other workers' benefits that are tied to one's wage levels," Beltran said.

"GMA's affirmation of support for a "reasonable wage hike to be hammered out by the Tripartite Regional Wage and Productivity Boards (TRWPB) is tantamount to saying that we workers should not expect a significant wage increase", as these regional wage boards have been historically used as instruments to deflect and delay the institutionalization of significant wage hikes. Ipapaasa lang tayo ng mga ito sa wala," Beltran said.

"It seems that the only wage hike GMA favors is a paltry "wage hike" based on what loose change rapacious corporate powers are wiling to give, instead of a wage hike aiming to bring current minimum wage levels to par with the estimated daily costs of living".

Beltran also slammed GMA for her veiled threat against so-called destabilizers, saying that "she should be the one to quit the political maneuverings and truly serve the people by stepping down."

"Stepping down from her Palace throne and facing the crimes she has committed against the Filipino people will be GMA's greatest way of serving the people, by providing a precedent for other corrupt, illegitimate, and draconian heads of state," Beltran said.

"Instead, GMA continues to paint the broadening peoples' call for her ouster as a plot by destabilizers that should be quelled by brute force, political harassment, and deception," Beltran said. ###

Mayo 1 Mensahe ni Ka Crispin Beltran

Note: aired during the opening program of the May 1, 2006 rally held at Liwasang Bonifacio today.

Mensahe ni Ka Crispin Beltran
Mayo 1, 2006

Mga ka-manggagawa at mga kababayan, ito po si Kasamang Crispin Beltran.

Hayaan po ninyo na batiin ko kayo sa makasaysayang araw na ito, ang pandaigdigang araw ng paggawa.

Ang tema ng inyong pagdiriwang ng pinakamahalagang araw na ito ng kilusan ng manggagawa dito sa ating bansa na laban para sa dagdag na sahod, [at para] labanan ang kahirapan, kagutuman, at "Cha-Cha" ni Gloria, ay napapanahon.

Dapat na ang dagdag na sahod ng mga manggagawa na P125 sa mga pribadong ka-manggagawa natin, at P3,000 across-the-board sa mga pambublikong sektor na mga manggagawa, ay dapat tuloy-tuloy nating ipaglaban hanggang makamit natin ang tagumpay.

Labanan din ang kahirapan, kagutuman at cha-cha ni Gloria. Ito po ang kasalukuyang kahilingan ng mangagawang at mamamayang Pilipino sa ngayon.

Tama lang po na isumbong natin sa bayan na tayong mga manggagawa ay hindi na kumakain ng tatlong beses sa isang araw, na tayong mga manggagawa ay hindi na sumisilong sa bubong kung gabi sapagkat po ang ating mga kababayang manggagawang naghihikahos, ayon sa mga estadistika, ay halos 108,000 na pamilya ay nakatakdang i-demolish sa mga kahabaan ng riles sa ngayon.

Ang ating mga mahal sa buhay ay hindi na nagkakaroon ng sapat na ipakakain sa kanilang mga pamilya. Ang sahod ng manggagawa-kung mayroon man nasasahod sila sa araw-araw–ay kulang na kulang sa sinasabi ng estatistika na P675.00 ang kailangan ng pamilya para mabuhay lamang nang maayos sa isang araw.

At kapag nagakakasakit ang ating mga mahal sa buhay, ay masyadong higit tayong nahihirapan sapagkat wala na tayong maipambili ng gamot. Sapagkat ang gamot ngayon ay halos 25 ulit ang taas, kumpara sa ibang bansa, tulad ng India.

Ang nalalabi sa mga manggagawa ngayon: dapat ipaglaban natin na siya ay matanggal ngayon din sa pagkapangulo sa ating bansa. Sapagkat habang tumatagal siya ay lalong lumalala ang kahirapan ng ating bansa. Maraming salamat.

Mabuhay ang Kilusang Mayo Uno!
Mabuhay ang uring mangggawang Pilipino!
Mabuhay ang anakpawis sa ating bansa!
Mabuhay ang sambayanan!

Message of Ka Crispin Beltran
May 1, 2006

Dear fellow workers and countrymen, this is Ka Crispin Beltran.

Allow me to extend my greetings on this historic day, International Labor Day. The theme of our celebration on this most important day for the Philippine labor movement is timely and just: the struggle for higher wages and the struggle against poverty, hunger and [Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's] Charter Change.

It is imperative that we continue to struggle until we attain victory for higher workers' wages of P125 across-the-board for our private workers, and a P3,000 across-the-board salary increase for public sector workers.

We should also struggle against poverty, hunger and Gloria's Cha-cha. It is the overwhelming demand of the workers and the Filipino people today.

We should tell the people that workers are not able to eat three times a day, that workers no longer have a roof to stay at night as 108,000 families of our fellow poverty-stricken workers are about to lose their homes in demolitions along the railways.

Our loved ones do have not enough to feed their families. Workers' wages, if they receive any wages at all, are well below the P675.00 needed per day for a family to live on a day.

And if our loved ones get sick, we suffer even more. We cannot afford to buy medicine because these cost 25 times more, when compared to other countries such as India.

To our workers today: we should struggle to oust her from the presidency. Poverty will worsen in our country for as long as she stays in power.

Thank you.

Long live Kilusang Mayo Uno!
Long live the Filipino working class!
Long live the toiling masses of our country!
Long live the Filipino people!