Saturday, February 17, 2007

Lawmaker says widows Felipe and Bayudang should accuse the more likely killers of their husbands, the military

Saturday February 17, 2007

Lawmaker says widows Felipe and Bayudang should accuse the more likely killers of their husbands, the military; calls on Comelec to dismiss their motion to disqualify progressive party-lists

Anakpawis Representative and political detainee Crispin Beltran today said that said that the Armed Forces of the Philippines, National security adviser Norberto Gonzales and were most likely behind the moves of Medelyn Felipe and Isabelita Bayudang's petition to the Commission on Elections to cancel the registration of Bayan Muna, Anakpawis and Gabriela as party-list organizations and disqualify their nominees for seats in Congress in the May 14 elections.

Beltran said that Anakpawis and its sister progressive parties have nothing to do with the abduction or killing of any Filipino, regardless of their affiliation with any other political group including Akbayan. He said that the Commission on Elections should dismiss the complaint. "Our party-lists and our leaders are the main targets of the government's campaign of extrajudicial killings and intense political repression precisely because we fight for human rights," he said.

"We hope that Mrs. Felipe and Mrs. Bayudang, even in their grief, will not resort to accusing us for the deaths of their husbands. They should turn to the real perpetrators – the military. We are the same in seeking justice for the deaths of loved ones at the hands of the armed forces of the Arroyo government. We hope that they will not allow themselves to be used and manipulated by the military or the other attackers of our progressive party-lists."

Beltran questioned the timing of the two widow's filing of complaint. "The timing is too suspect. It's clear that the intent is to take even a little of the attention away from the issue of the extrajudicial killings being perpetrated against our progressive party-lists, and to discredit our calls for justice by making it appear that we, too are guilty of extra-judicial killings. The victims are now being accused of being killers themselves. This accusation against Anakpawis, Bayan Muna and Gabriela Women's Party and against us, the elected representatives to congress and nominees to the May polls are completely lacking in credibility," he said.

"It is our party-lists and our members, coordinators and leaders who have fallen and continue to fall victim to the Arroyo government's state policy of extrajudicial and political killings. Anakpawis, Bayan Muna and Gabriela Women's Party's respective legislators have been harassed and forced to take refuge in the House of Representatives earlier last year. I myself have been incarcerated on false charges and made-up testimonies for almost a year now. What is being done to us and our members we are not in any habit of committing to anybody else. The killers of the husbands of Mrs. Felipe and Mrs. Bayudang are most likely the same as those who have killed over 830 of our own members and leaders – elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines," Beltran said.#


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