Friday, March 09, 2007

Progressive party-lists lead in latest SWS survey; British Lawmaker files Early Day Motion on worsening HR situation in the Philippines

Friday March 9, 2007

Progressive party-lists lead in latest SWS survey; British Lawmaker files Early Day Motion on worsening HR situation in the Philippines

Anakpawis Representative and political detainee today said that even as the Macapagal-Arroyo government and the Armed Forces of the Philippines continue to attack, harass and demonize the bloc of progressive party-lists led by Bayan Muna, Anakpawis and Gabriela Women's Party, the same three parties remain the three most popular among voters. According to the First Quarter 2007 SWS Survey, 17 percent of respondents said they will vote for Bayan Muna; 9.4 percent for Anakpawis; and 8.1 percent for Gabriela.

"AFP chief of staff Hermogenes Esperon, Department of National Defense Hermogenes Ebdane and National Security Adviser Noberto Gonzales can chew on that. These latest survey results make them liars; even as they say that our party-lists are no longer supported by the Filipino people, it's clear that we still have the biggest number of supporters and sympathizers. The more the Macapagal-Arroyo govenrment tries to vilify us, the greater the sympathy for us becomes," he said.

"Filipinos are not stupid. They ask themselves, "why is the government targetting these party-lists?", and the answer is very clear. It's because these are the same party-lists that oppose then government's corruption and continued betrayal of the Filipino people's economic welfare and political and human rights. Filipinos who support and vote for us are against the Macapagal-Arroyo government's abuses. The attacks against us are also attacks against all our supporters," he said.

In the meantime, Beltran said that a member of parliament of the United Kingdom has filed an Early Day Motion (equivalent to a resolution in the Philippines) numbered 897 expressing concern over the the human rights violations in the Philippines and Beltran's continuing detention.

Labour Party Member of Parliament for Walthamstow Neil Gerrard filed the motion in the UK parliament earlier this March.So far, 55 other MPs have signed the EDM. The London-based Campaign for Human Rights in the Philippines is spearheading the campaign to bring the human rights situation and Beltran's illegal arrest and continuing incarceration in the Philippines to the attention of the British people.

The EDM can be read from the UK parliament's website at

"That this House notes with concern the continued political killings of leaders and members of progressive organisations and political parties critical of the administration of President Arroyo which according to the Philippine human rights organisation Karapatan reached a total of 830 between 21st January 2001 and 31st January 2006 with 207 persons disappeared; notes that other human rights violations such as arbitrary detention, warrantless arrest, and harassment by military and police agents are also increasing; notes the report issued by Amnesty International in July 2006 entitled `The Philippines: Political Killings, Justice and the Peace Process', which seriously criticises the climate of impunity in the Philippines; notes with concern that these attacks are intensifying as the May 2007 elections approach, seriously affecting the capacity of some parties to be able to campaign effectively; notes with alarm the detention of Member of Congress Crispin Beltran, who is 73 years old and a respected representative of workers and farmers in the Philippine Congress, which continues despite the lifting of the State of Emergency (Presidential Proclamation 1017) and the subsequent decision of the Supreme Court that its implementation was unconstitutional; and urges the UK Government to express to the government of President Arroyo the need to ensure that political killings stop, to bring to justice those responsible, and to release Congressman Crispin Beltran."

"Pres. Arroyo and her various spokesperons are unable to stem the tide of concern and outrage emanating from the international community over the rapidly deteriorating human and civil rights situation in the country. An international alarm is now also being sounded against the warrants of arrest laid down against Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo, Anakpawis vice-chairman Rafael Baylosis, and other officials of people's organization's allied with the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan. The extra-judicial killings have already placed the Philippines on the watchlist of every human rights organization in the world; now, the persecution of the leaders of the progressive party-lists will also gain international attention," he said.


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