Sunday, March 11, 2007

There is no guarantee that if Satur and the others similarly charged willingly surrender, their rights will be respected and due process followed

Sunday March 11, 2007

There is no guarantee that if Satur and the others similarly charged willingly surrender, their rights will be respected and due process followed

Anakpawis Representative and political detainee Crispin Beltran today said that the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) team which raided the home of Bayan Muna solon Satur Ocmapo yesteday morning is as guilty as the CIDG team that arrested him February 25 last year. Beltran was on his way back to Manila from Bulacan when the vehicle he was in was flagged and surrounded by three black vans loaded by CIDG elements.

Beltran said that the CIDG operatives who arrested him initially said that they were only 'inviting' him to headquarters. "They did not present a warrant. They did not say that I was suspected of any crime, but only cited the 25-year old rebellion charges against me that had been dismissed long before. I would have wanted to decline the invitation but I did not want to endanger my driver and security staff, not to mention my wife Rosario (Ka Osang) and our grandchild who were with me at time, " he said.

"It was an illegal arrest. My rights were bypassed and violated, and I was directly taken to Camp Crame. When the arresting officers realized their serious legal error in arresting me with an old and very much lapsed warrant, that's when the Department of Justice (DOJ) led by Sec. Raul Gonzalez machinated to have inciting to sedition and rebellion charges formally filed against me. Everything was in violation of the law," he said.

"Now we have the CIDG raiding the house of Satur and harassing his wife Bobbie. It was an illegal search, just like the fraudulent charges being laid against Satur and the other lawmakers of Bayan Muna, Anakpawis and Gabriela Women's Party. This govenrment has the infamous habit of breaking its own rules and laws. These series of attacks and political harassment and repression are the brainchild of the likes of National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, AFP chief of staff Hermogenes Esperon and national defense secretary Hermogenes Ebdane. They are lashing out in retaliation against the beating they received at the hands of the international community and UN Special rapporteur for extra-judicial killings Philip Alston," he said.

Beltran opined that there was the possibility that if Satur and the others accused over the same submitted themselves to arrest, "They will also be denied due process, and false testimonies and documents and what have you will be piled agains them. Barumbado ang gobyernong ito. It does not hesitate to twist its own rules and laws just so it gets its way. Having miserably failed at convincing the Filipino people to turn against us and dropping their support for our party-lists, the government ruthlessly executed hundreds of our members and leaders, raided communities where have a large base of supporters, and now manufacturing criminal charges against our lawmakers," he said.

"This govenrment cannot be trusted to abide by its own laws on civil and human rights and legal, due process. The Human Security Act (HSA) is now being projected as its main weapon to completely criminalize the bloc of progressive party-lists and militant people's organizations," he said.#


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