Wednesday, June 07, 2006

0607: Solons uphold IPU resolution on Beltran's release

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

June 7, 2006

Solons uphold IPU resolution on Beltran's release

Solons yesterday afternoon filed a resolution urging the Arroyo government to uphold the recommendations of an international organization of parliamentarians to release Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran on the presumption of innocence.

House Resolution (HR) 1280 (Right-click here to download HR1280 (PDF file)), filed last night, moved that the Lower House adopt the resolution of Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) approved by its Governing Council during its 114th Assembly last May 12 in Nairobi, Kenya, and urges that the Philippines government release Crispin Beltran from detention, as recommended by the IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (please refer to file attachment for the copy of the resolution).

The resolution was signed by Rep. Rafael Mariano, Rep. Roseller Barinaga, Rep. Edcel Lagman, Rep. Eduardo Gullas, Rep. Hermilando Mandanas, Rep. Satur Ocampo, Rep. Teddy Casino, Rep. Emilio Espinos, Jr., Rep. Raul del Mar, Rep. Felix Alfelor, Jr., Rep. Renato Magtubo, Rep. Clavel Martinez, Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, Rep. Rodito Albano III, Rep. Benhur Abalos, Jr., Rep. Antonio Cerilles, Rep. Eduardo Zialcita, Rep. Vincent Crisologo, Rep. Rene Velarde, Rep. Teodoro Locsin, Rep. Constantino Jaraula, Rep. Jesus Crispin Remulla, Rep. Gerry Salapaddin, Rep. Catalino Figueroa, Rep. Prospero Pichay, Rep. Francis Escudero, Rep. Teofisto Guingona, Rep. Eduardo Veloso, Rep. Harlin Cast Abayon, Rep. Leovigildo Banaag, and Rep. Danilo Lagbas.

The IPU Governing Council's resolution "recalls the principle of presumption on innocence, which implies that pre-trial detention should be the exception and as short as possible" and "consequently urges the authorities to release [me] forthwith, particularly in view of his state of health and the fact that the court ordered his release in March 2006".

"Article III of the Constitution of the Philippines contains a Bill of Rights which in its Sections 12 to 19 enshrines extensive fair trial guarantees, and that the Philippines is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and thus bound to respect the right to liberty and to fair trial, as enshrined in Articles 9 and 14," the IPU resolution noted.

The IPU Committee on Human Rights of Parliamentarians, meanwhile, said it will continue to examine Beltran's case and that of Reps. Mariano, Ocampo, Virador, Maza and Casino. The Committee will issue a report to the IPU Governing Council at the 115th IPU Assembly scheduled in October 2006.

Meanwhile, individual foreign parliamentarians are continuing to express their support for Rep. Beltran.

Australian Federal MP Anthony Albanese recently expressed concern over the state of democracy in the Philippines. Albanese charged in a statement quoted in an Australian newspaper that "a democratically-elected member of the Philippines Parliament [sic] Mr. Crispin Beltran was arrested and detained under the special powers of arrest granted under the state of emergency" by the Arroyo administration.

"The arrest and detention of one's political opponents under cover of emergency powers and without warrant are¡Ä a cause for legitimate concern¡ÄThe suppression of political dissent cannot be allowed to be the legacy of the people power movement that captured the world's attention some twenty years ago," Albanese said.

In the U.S., Rep. Bob Hasegawa of 11th legislative district, in Seattle, Washington signed the resolution of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) National calling for Beltran's immediate release of detained Philippine labor leader Crispin Beltran last April 29.

Beltran is currently confined under heavy police custody at the Philippine Heart Center in Quezon City since April 26. He is scheduled to undergo his arraignment for the rebellion case filed against him at the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 146, under Judge Encarnacion Jaja Moya, tomorrow at 2 PM. ###

Right-click here to download HR1280 (PDF file)


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