Saturday, July 08, 2006

Biggest rally ever to greet Beltran's fourth month in detention

From the Office of Anakpawis Representative Crispin B. Beltran
Lisa C. Ito, Public Information Officer (+63)927.796.7006
Tel. # (+632) 931-6615 Email:

June 23, 2006

Biggest rally ever to greet Beltran's fourth month in detention

The biggest support rally to date in front of the Philippine Heart Center (PHC) will be greeting Anakpawis Congressman Crispin Beltran today as his fourth month of detention under the Arroyo administration nears on June 25.

Government employees, labor unions, health workers, students, professionals, urban poor, migrants, peasants, civil liberarians, church leaders, and human rights workers affiliated with the FREE KA BEL MOVEMENT (FKBM), a nationwide alliance calling for the immediate release of Beltran, will assemble in front of the PHC in Quezon City at around 4:00 this afternoon for a three-hour program in front of the hospital.

The rally by the FKBM is the biggest support action to date in front of the PHC, FKBM Spokesperson Dennis Maga said. Decentralized pickets and solidarity masses were previously held by various organizations ever since Beltran transferred there last April 26.

The 73-year old Beltran spent one week in solitary confinement at the Custodial Center of Camp Crame and two months under heavy security at the PNP General Hospital inside Camp Crame. The deterioration of his health compelled the Makati RTC to allow his transfer to the PHC last April.

"Ka Bel's continuing detention under false, fabricated and malicious charges by the DOJ is only part of the Arroyo administration's political harassment of government critics. This must be condemned and no longer be allowed to continue. We will continue to show our solidarity and unity for Ka Bel's liberty through support actions such as these," Maga said.

Beltran, barred by his police custodians from directly addressing the rallyists, will be watching the rally from the 4th floor of the PHC.

For his fourth month in detention, Beltran expressed optimism that the "people's united efforts for truth, liberty, and justice will prevail over President Arroyo's desperate and draconian maneuvers to stay in power".

"The Arroyo administration is harassing progressive parliamentarians through legalistic means and killing activists and civilians through extra-judicial means. The Palace is also seeking to suppress the truth by killing the new impeachment complaint and trying to terrorize the people by waging an all-out war in the provinces. But these forms of political repression will be overcome by the full force of the people's united struggle," the detained activist lawmaker said.

Beltran, a survivor of detention and torture from 1982 to 1984 under Martial Law, said that "even if the degree of political harassment today is similar to the days of the dictatorship, I am convinced that people power will again prevail to terminate the current regime. Sooner or later, the Arroyo administration will fall under the weight of its own rotteness and vileness". ###


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