Friday, May 25, 2007

Beltran says he will not do a Gringo; asks Supreme Court to immediately approve his petition for bail

May 25, 2007

Beltran says he will not do a Gringo; asks Supreme Court to immediately approve his petition for bail

Detained lawmaker Anakpawis Representative Crispin today reacted to statements issued by National Security Adviser Norerto Gonzales regarding his (Beltran's) continuing incarceration. In a story that came out in today's edition of the broadsheet Malaya, Gonzales is said to be wondering over Beltran's continued incarceration considering that the Macapagal-Arroyo government has already issued a promise to the Inter-Parliamentary Union that the government will allow Beltran's release on humanitarian grounds.

"It's questionable why Sec. Gonzales is wondering on this matter. On behalf of the Arroyo administration he has already stated that I should be released at the soonest possible time; but one month since their talks with the leaders of the IPU, I remain incarcerated and there's no movement on my petition for bail," he said. "Sec. Gonzales and Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez are the ones in the best position to answer why I have not been released after all this time."

Today, May 25, 2006, marks Beltran's 15th month in detention after he was arrested on trumped-up charges of rebellion and inciting to sedition. It was also exactly a month ago that officials of the IPU committee on the human rights of parliamentarians visited Beltran in his detention hospital room at the Philippine Heart Center and told him of the government's promise that he will be released on humanitarian grounds at the soonest possible time.

Beltran's legal counsels led by Atty. Romeo Capulong have already filed a motion for bail at the Supreme Court almost a month ago, but neither the Supreme Court nor the Department of Justice have issued a response to the motion. Solicitor general Agnes Devenadera has reportedly been avoiding calls for discussion with Beltran's lawyers.

In the Malaya report, Gonzales is also alleged to have said that the progressive party-lists could be deliberately keeping Beltran incarcerated to gain more public sympathy.

"Sec. Gonzales should get his stories straight. He knows full-well that my incarceration has been a great personal inconvenience to me and more importantly, a serious setback for my group Anakpawis Party-List. I have been unable to perform my work as one of the two representatives of Anakpawis in congress, and I was able to participate in the electoral campaign for the May 14 elections. The government has been deliberately foot-dragging on my case, despite the fact that there is absolultely no credible evidence to prove my guilt over the charges made against me," he said.

"I hope that Sec. Raul Gonzales of the DOJ is not expecting me to issue any apologies to Malacanang the same way senatorial candidate Gregorio 'Gringo' Honasan has allegedly done to be allowed to post bail. I will certainly not to a Gringo because I am not guilty of anything and I did not avoid arrest when I was confronted with the charges in February 25. I have followed and abided by the legal process from Day 1 and it's the government that has not given me the same courtesy. I should've been released long before because the government has no genuine case against me,' he concluded. #


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