Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Filipino unionist who protested against GMA in New Zealand risks arrest when he returns on June 2

Tuesday May 29, 2007

Filipino unionist who protested against GMA in New Zealand risks arrest when he returns on June 2

Detained Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran today said that there was a threat that the spokesperson of the Free Ka Bel Movement (FKBM), Dennis Maga, might be arrested as he returns to the Philippines on June from New Zealand.

Maga is in New Zealand to seek the support of New Zealand unions for the campaign to release Beltran. Also the secretary-general of the Kilusang Mayo Uno federation Alliance of Nationalist and Genuine Labor Organization (ANGLO), he went to the New Zealand as an official guest of the National Distribution Union (NDU-NZ).

Yesterday, May 28, Maga placed himself inside a steel cage in front of the NZ Parliament where Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was conducting a press conference with members of parliament. Maga and 40 other protestors demonstrated on the House of Parliament lawn and condemned Arroyo' human rights record and Beltran's continuing detention. As a consequence of the action, journalists were prompted to ask Pres. Arroyo questions regarding the human rights situation in the Philippines, particularly the extra-judicial killings and the attacks against progressive lawmakers.

"Pres. Arroyo was reportedly humiliated by the experience. She did not go to New Zealand to defend herself and her government's failure to put an end to the extrajudicial killings, but she ended up in a defensive position. Because of this, there is the threat that she would order Dennis' arrest when he returns to the country on June 2," Beltran said.

Beltran warned against Maga's potential arrest and said that the operatives of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) or the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) might well be plotting Maga's arrest as he arrives at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) next week.

"Dennis only exercised his duty as a militant labor activist and a responsible Filipino by speaking out against the Arroyo administration. He has committed no crime. We warn the Arroyo government against having him arrested – that would only bring greater international attention to the Philippines and the deteriorating civil and human rights situation in the country," he said.

The veteran labor leader turned legislator expressed his gratitude to the members and leaders of the National Democratic Union and the Members of Parliament of New Zealand who spoke out in support for his release and in condemnation of the Arroyo government's political repression.

"We hope that the New Zealand government will not extend any financial aid to the Philippines in the light of the worsening human and civil rights situation in the country. Giving aid to the Macapagal-Arroyo administration in any form is like condoning its relentless attacks against the human rights of the Filipino people," he said

In the meantime, Maga is set to participate in a protest in front of the Copthorne Hhotel in Waitangi at 3pm (New Zealand time) and a further protest at 8am tomorrow morning (New Zealand time) at the start of the Interfaith Dialogue at Waitangi. A public meeting will also be held tonight at the Bounty Inn, Cnr Bayview and Selwyn Rds in Paihia.#


Post a Comment

<< Home