Thursday, April 26, 2007

Ka Bel hopeful that court will grant him bail after Malacanang says it will not contest his release

April 26, 2007

Ka Bel hopeful that court will grant him bail after Malacanang says it will not contest his release

Anakpawis Representative and political detainee Crispin Beltran today said that he was eagerly awaiting the decision of the courts regarding his long-standing motion for release. He said that based on Malacanang's commitment that it will not oppose his motion for bail, he expects that the courts will issue a favorable decision and allow his release. His counsels led by Atty. Romeo Capulong filed the motion for bail filed Wednesday, April 25.

"I do not resent being released on humanitarian grounds because I am, after all, 74. I would, however, very much prefer to be released on the grounds of my complete innocence and demand political indemnification for my illegal arrest and 14 months of detention. I hope that the courts will give me my liberty and grant me bail."

"Fourteen months is a long time to be detained on false charges and fabricated testimonies. Even one day is too long," he said. "I owe my release to the thousands of Filipinos and friends of the Filipino people who have supported me and the campaign for my freedom. It is their continued expressions of unflagging support that have sustained me and my family through this injustice. I am forever in their debt, and I vow to continue the work I was forced to leave behind when I was illegally arrested and detained."

Beltran singled out the various people's organizations allied with Anakpawis Party-List and the Free Ka Bel Movement (FKBM) for tirelessly campaigning for his release. He thanked the various senatorial candidates who spoke out in defense of his release. He also said that he was deeply grateful to members of the international human rights and diplomatic community for their letters, resolutions and petitions pressing for his release. He also thanked members of the media who continue d to write stories and reports about him and his stands on issues even when he was under detention.

Beltran said that he will not take any time for rest if and when he is released. "I spent 14 months cooped up in one room; the first two months in Camp Crame, and the rest at the Philippine Heart Center. I have had all the rest I could ever use or need. The weakening of my health and body has been directly related to the stress of being illegally arrested and unjustly detained. I expect to recover my full health as soon as I am outside these walls and free to once more participate in the parliament of the streets and in legislative arena," he said.

The veteran labor leader and activist lawmaker said that as Anakpawis' first nominee in the party-list elections, he want to continue pressing for the passage of a P125 across-the-board wage increase for workers, a P3,000 across-the-board salary hike for government employees; and help campaign for the an end to the worsening civil, political and human rights situation.

The 74-year old Beltran said that there was still so much to be done. "My second stint as a political detainee has further driven home the realization that there is so much more work to be done by way of bringing genuine peace, justice and progress in the Philippines. I would like to think that somehow my incarceration has further exposed the necessity to assert for human and political rights against the face of intensifying political repression of the government. I am grateful to every single individual who supported my release; but I would still dare to be bold enough to ask for their continuing support when it comes to safeguarding the May 14 elections against fraud and violence," he said.

Beltran also seeks to join the rest of Anakpawis officials and nominees in Anakpawis' miting de avance on May 1 International Labor Day. #


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