Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Wednesday February 14, 2007

Anakpawis lawmakers score Speaker de Venecia for allowing recall of P125 wage hike bill on Malacanang's orders; duplicity in letting DOJ and PNP arrest, detain and charge Ka Bel

Anakpawis Representative and political detainee Crispin Beltran today scored Speaker Jose de Venecia for his 'betrayal of Filipino workers' after de Venecia and other Malacanang allies recalled HB 345 or the measure legislating a P125 across-the-board wage increase for workers nations. Beltran said that de Venecia clearly acted on Malacanang's bidding to have the bill recalled after it was passed during its third and final reading last December before Congress when into recess for the Christmas holidays.

"As House Speaker, de Venecia had the responsibility to stand up in defense of the HB 345, but instead of transmitting it to congress, he allowed for the measure to be recalled and essentially killed. Workers and other concerned sectors have been lobbying and campaigning for HB 345 and its predecessor in the 12th congress since 1999. De Venecia has been House Speaker for two consecutive terms, but he has consistently discouraged the measure's passage. Now, on Malacanang's orders, he allowed the bill to be recalled and once more relegated to the House archives. For this, de Venecia should be ashamed," he said.

In the meantime, fellow Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano also criticized de Venecia for his duplicity in working with the Department of Justice and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in keeping Rep. Beltran incarcerated.

Beltran was arrested almost a year ago on February 25 and his rights as a lawmaker were not respected.

"Speaker de Venecia should have stood up to defend Ka Bel and insist on his parliamentary immunity, but what he did was allow the DOJ and the PNP 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. Clearly, he also acted on Malacanang's orders to allow Ka Bel's arrest and detention, as well as the harassment against the other progressive lawmakers of Bayan Muna and Gabriela Women's Party," Mariano said.

"Speaker de Venecia did not lift a finger much less issue a single statement to condemn Ka Bel's arrest. Neither did he take action on 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," he concluded.#


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