Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Rep. Beltran's wife asks United Nations through Special Rapporteur Philip Alston to give attention to husband's case; slams de Venecia and Nograles...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Rep. Beltran's wife asks United Nations through Special Rapporteur Philip Alston to give attention to husband's case; slams de Venecia and Nograles for abandoning Ka Bel

Anakpawis Representative and political detainee Crispin Beltran's wife and partner for the last 50 years Mrs. Rosario Soto-Beltran today attended the hearing of the House Committee on Human Rights regarding the relentless series of extrajudicial killings. United Nations Commission on Human Rights Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Philip Alston was in attendance, and Mrs. Beltran sought to speak to the said UN official regarding the continuing detention of her husband.

Rep. Beltran has been incarcerated on charges of inciting to sedition and rebellion since February 25, 2006 when the Macapagal-Arroyo administration declared a state of emergency. Rep. Beltran has been accused of colluding with elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to remove Macapagal-Arroyo from office.

"We continue to do everything we can to press for Ka Bel's release, and I am prepared to speak to anyone who will listen and help. It's been a year since Ka Bel has been arrested, and it's most unjust because the testimonies of supposed witnesses against him are all false. The witnesses are lying, the timeline connecting Ka Bel to the military uprising is incorrect, and Ka Bel would never resort to colluding with the military," she said.

The Beltran family has already given Alston a briefing paper on Ka Bel's arrest as well as a personal letter from Ka Bel asking the United Nations through Alston to give attention to his case. Beltran is a victim of unjust and arbitrary detention, and his continuing detention on made-up charges is a inconvertible truth that there is worsening political repression in the Philippines.

"Sana bigyang pansin ni Mr. Alston ang kaso ng asawa ko. Alam ko na wala siyang magagawa para direktang palayain si Ka Bel, pero sana mapaabot niya sa UN ang nangyayaring pampulitikang panggigpit dito sa Pilipinas. Isang taon nang nakakulong si Ka Bel, at hindi umuusad ang mga hearing sa kanyang kaso. Lumalala na rin ang kalusugan niya," Mrs. Beltran said.

Mrs. Beltran also slammed the House of Representatives, specifically Speaker Jose de Venecia and Majority Leader Prospero Nograles.

"Walang ginawa ang mga opisyales ng Kongreso para protektahan si Ka Bel. Si de Venecia ni minsan ay hindi nagsalita para igiit ang mga karapatan ni Ka Bel bilang isang konggresista. Si Nograles naman, lalo pang idinidiin si Ka Bel at sinasabing mas mabigat ang kaso ni Ka Bel kaya dun sa kongresista ng Laguna nanahulihan ng bala at baril sa kanyang bag. Alam nilang inosente si Ka Bel sa mga akusasyon laban sa kanya; at bilang congressman may mga karapatan sa immunity si Ka Bel pero sina de Venecia at Nograles walang ginawa at talagang nilaglag si Ka Bel," she said.

Mrs. Beltran was referring to Rep. Danton Bueser.

Mrs. Beltran said that de Venecia should have stood up to defend Ka Bel and insist on his parliamentary immunity, "But what he did was let the Department of Justice and the Philippine National Police to continue their persecution and prosecution of Ka Bel. We will not forget de Venecia's deafening silence on this issue of Ka Bel's illegal arrest and continuing incarceration. Utos talaga ng Malacanang kina de Venecia nah wag tulungan si Ka Bel at hayaan siyang makulong kahit wala siyang kasalanan," she said.

Rep. Beltran's wife furthermore accused Speaker de Venecia of remaining deaf to the constant and consistent calls from other lawmakers that the House leadership take Ka Bel under protective custody and give him sanctuary.

"Through his silence and inaction, he allowed the DOJ and the PNP to arrest, detain and charge Ka Bel despite the fact that congress was in session at the time of the arrest, and that the testimonies are false and fabricated," she concluded.#


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