Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Mandatory cellphone registration appears like a income generating racket for the NTC

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Mandatory cellphone registration appears like a income generating racket for the NTC

Detained Anakpawis lawmaker Crispin Beltran today expressed opposition to the move of the National Telecommunications Commission to require all cellular phone manufacturers, dealers and users to register their units and pay P150 for every phone registered.

Beltran said that the NTC's justification that the registering the cell phones would help put an end to problems such as smuggling, terrorism, theft and text spamming attributed to mobile-phone use sounded all well and good on paper, "But in reality registering cellphone units will not do anything given the low level of technology the country has. It's doubtful that cellphone registration will help curb crime, for instance, cellphone theft and the sale of stolen units," he said.

"So far the NTC has done a poor job of regulating the telecoms industry and the major telecoms company and their excessive profiteering schemes . The NTC should instead focus on measures to bring down the costs of cellular phone services and the abuses of the telecom firms. Also, why charge cellphone distributors and users for the registration? If there are over 40 million cellphone users in the country, requiring them to pay P150 each will rake in a pretty hefty sum for the NTC. This latest scheme sounds suspiciously like a major racket aimed at generating funds for the commission"

"Cellphones are not deadly weapons like guns that need to be registered; but if the NTC is saying that cellphones can be used in the conduct of crimes, then it is up to the Philippine National Police (PNP) to investigate these crimes and go after the perpetrators. The NTC appears to be going beyond the scope of its powers, but without really performing its main task of protecting cellphone users from telcom's excessive fees and charges , fraudulent ads that are circulated through texting, and cellphone scams."

"There is also the possibility that the privacy of cellphone users will be violated or threatened by the mandatory registration. The NTC should not implement or impose this mandatory registration scheme without consultations from consumers rights' groups and their legal counsels.

Beltran said that Anakpawis will file resolution in congress calling for an inquiry into the limits of the NTC's authority and its right to charge cellphone users any amount for any kind of registration, and where the NTC intends to use the money it intends to charge.#

No one is biting GMA's calls for peace, reconciliation or economic freedom as HR situation worsens, charges of corruption remain unresolved

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

No one is biting GMA's calls for peace, reconciliation or economic freedom as HR situation worsens, charges of corruption remain unresolved

Detained Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran today said that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's continued prayers for peace and reconciliation in the country for hypocritical considering that she continues to allow the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to conduct its campaign of extrajudicial killings and abductions against political activists, human rights workers and journalists. He also said that the economic freedom that she is aiming is for is merely an illusion "Because her government is determined to impose full economic liberalization and privatization, which ensure that the country remains a slave to foreign business and their finance agencies."

Beltran said that no one is responding positively to Pres. Arroyo's calls for reconciliation because it was not clear what the opposing political forces in the country are being asked to reconcile over.

"The country is certainly not moving forward despite the assertions of the president. The massive number of unresolved corruption scandals and political controversies involving the presidency have not been resolved. The economy is far from being self-reliant and continues to depend on foreign investments, loans and OFW remittances instead of strong industries and self-sustaining manufacturing."

"Pres. Arroyo cannot be that naïve to believe that by extending an olive branch of peace, there will be actual peace. None of the charges of corruption, political repression and human rights violations leveled against her government have been directly and concretely addressed, and Pres. Arroyo herself has done nothing but lie to the international community that she is doing something in response to these issues."

"He allies in the House of Representative led by Jose de Venecia are still hell-bent on amending the country's charter despite the overwhelming tide of public opinion against it. Pres. Arroyo, by her silence on this divisive matter, has been essentially supportive of charter change because it buys more time for her and her unpopular governance," he said.

Beltran also said that since GMA and JDV and their allies insist on calling for charter change, so will the broad alliance of anti-Arroyo and anti-charter changes forces be determined to fight the scheme tooth and nail.

In the meantime, Beltran said that contrary to Pres. Arroyo's hopes, the 14th Congress will be an even greater battleground as various anti-Arroyo forces, progressive and cause oriented groups gear for coordinated campaigns to call for the repeal of the Human Security Act (HSA) or the anti-terrorism law which, Beltran said, gives the government the legal ground to perpetrate even more civil and human rights abuses against its critics and political opponents.

"The AFP and its mercenary groups, the National Security Council and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are straining at the leash wield the HSA as a lethal weapon to curb righteous political dissent. With only a month to go before the HSA takes effect, civil libertarians, human rights advocates and defenders of press freedom are already gearing for coordinated efforts to stop the HSA on its tracks and have the Supreme Court declare it void," he said,. #

Monday, June 11, 2007

Salute the flag, but there is no national independence to speak of or celebrate tomorrow, June 12; Proclaim Pimentel, Trillanes

Monday, June 11, 2007

Salute the flag, but there is no national independence to speak of or celebrate tomorrow, June 12

Detained lawmaker Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran today said that celebrating Independence Day in the Philippines tomorrow, June 12, was a farce. He said that the country has yet to gain genuine economic, political and cultural independence from foreign interference and intervention.

"The massive display of the national flag all over the country is well and good, but it should be made clear that there is no national independence to celebrate. Gazing at the flag and giving tribute to what it stands for should be taken in the context of the Filipino people's continuing struggle against economic and political oppression. Under the Macapagal-Arroyo presidency, the Philippines has become even more of a neo-colony of the United States, a drummer boy for the US' anti-terrorism campaign in the Asia-Pacific," he said. "The country remains dependent on foreign aid, with no self-sustaining, self-reliant national industries or finance and trade systems. "

He said that many of the laws and resolutions prioritized by Malacanang and railroaded by its allies is congress were dictates of foreign multilateral finance agencies among them the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as conditions before they grant aid to the Philippines. "These laws favor foreign investors in the Philippines while sacrifice the welfare of local manufacturing companies and firms, and inevitably, Filipino workers and consumers and the general national interest," he said.

"In the meantime, Human rights and civil liberties are under severe attack, and with the pending implementation of the Human Security Act in July following the dictates of the United States government, these attacks will further escalate. We have no genuinely independent government and we don't have a government that recognizes much less respects human and civil rights of its constituents," he said.

Beltran said that the approval of the Human Security Act was one of the dictates coming from the White House, 'a conditionality before the US proceeds to give more economic and military aid to the Philippines. The HSA will exacerbate the already serious situation of civil rights in the country.

Proclaim Pimentel, Trillanes

In the meantime, the veteran labor leader turned lawmaker continued to rue the Commission on Election's slowness in finalizing the winners of the senatorial polls, saying that Genuine Opposition candidates Aquilino Pimentel III and Antonio Trillanes clearly have the edge over Team Unity candidate Miguel Zubiri.

"The Comelec is only postponing the inevitable, which is the poll victories of Trillanes and Pimentel, both vocal critics of the administration and untainted by corruption. The delay in Trillanes' proclamation is clearly the doing of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) , specially the leadership led by AFP chief of staff Hermogenes Esperon. Trillanes' victory is a slap in Esperon's face and his assertions that the rank and file of the AFP or the general voting public do not support the young firebrand and his advocacy against the corruption in the AFP and the executive. "

"As for Pimentel, he should also already be a declared a winner because of his substantial lead over Zubiri. The votes coming from Maguindanao are tainted with fraud and should no longer be taken into account. Zubiri should take the cue from his Mike Defensor and their other teammates from Team Unity and concede defeat," he said. #

US Church and Labor Leaders to Pres. Arroyo: "Stop the Killings and Release Rep. Crispin Beltran Now!"

Monday, June 11, 2007

US Church and Labor Leaders to Pres. Arroyo: "Stop the Killings and Release Rep. Crispin Beltran Now!"

Seattle, The Philippines News Today, a local newspaper in the cities of San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver, Canada will release a full page Ad of American and Filipino progressive organizations and individuals calling among other things, an end to political killings in the Philippine and the immediate release of detained Congressman and labor leader Crispin Beltran and all political prisoners.

The Supreme Court of the Philippines recently dismissed trumped up case against six Congress leaders including Beltran.

Another local newspaper, Diaryo Pilipino, based in Southern California issued the same statement a month ago. Both newspapers have combined circulation of 60,000 that target to reach the majority of Filipinos living in the West Coast of North America.

In the meantime, the Rev. David Bloom, Director Emeritus of the Rauschenbusch Center for Spirit and Action wrote a letter to six Philippine Consul Generals in the US requesting that the Statement of Concern be presented to President Gloria Arroyo for urgent action.

To quote Bloom: "The recent political killings of some 840 ordinary citizens of the Philippines whose only "crimes" have been their desire for peace and social justice in their homeland is a disturbing reminder that once again people in the Philippines are under threat simply for their support for a strong democratic society."

Bloom said that The Philippine Daily Inquirer, refused to publish the statement on the grounds of "being unacceptable and unsubstantiated." Next to Iraq, the Philippines was tagged as the most dangerous place for journalists

Pres. Arroyo in her latest visit in New Zealand for an inter-faith meeting has been highly criticized for the continuing political violence inflicted upon social activists by "death squads" affiliated with the Armed Forces of the Philippines of which Arroyo is the Commander-in-Chief.

The Philippine National Police recently abducted another pastor from the United Church of Christ Philippines, Rev. Berlin Guerrero.

Ka Bel shows his lighter side, pokes fun at his detractors as he guests on Tutoo TV show airing 7pm airing tonight at ABC 5

Monday, June 11, 2007

Ka Bel shows his lighter side, pokes fun at his detractors as he guests on Tutoo TV show airing 7pm airing tonight at ABC 5

Detained lawmaker Anakapawis Rep. Crispin Beltran shows his funny, irreverent and less serious side as he is interviewed with the dynamic duo of character comics Ariel and Maverick in their show 'Tutoo TV' tonight at 7PM, over at ABC Channel 5. Ka Bel pokes fun at Malacanang, the Department of Justice, and insists that one needs a sense of humor to resist going crazy over the lies of the government about the economy, the political situation, and the country's prospects for over-all recovery.

"This was the first time that I was subjected to over an hour of the silliest questions, but with serious undertones," he said. "Minsan talaga, matatawa ka na lang sa mga kaguluhan sa bansa at sa mga sinasabi ng gobyerno para belwalain ang kaguluhan. It helps to have a sense of humor to survive in this country. Speaking from personal experience, if I didn't have a sense of humor, I would have extreme difficulty surviving this injustice I continue to be experience. Fifteen months later and after the Supreme Court's declaration that I am innocent of the charges of rebellion, I'm still detained," he said.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) also recently released a statement expressing alarm over the solon's continuing detention. "The IPU has expressed deep concern at the charges held against him and has called for his release. Following a mission of the IPU and its Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians to Manila in April this year, the Government stated publicly that it would no longer oppose Mr. Beltran's release," the statement read.

Ariel and Maverick breezily made their way into the Philippine Heart Center and taped their interview with the detained lawmaker despite the nearby presence of members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG). They ambushed Rep. Beltran after the latter exited the bathroom.

Besides asking Rep. Beltran the 'serious journalistic questions' of how Ka Bel is able to ward off the 'hordes of female doctors and nurses' who are supposedly desperate to 'get to know him,' and whether or not Ka Bel ever visits the 'Pegasus Club in Quezon Avenue where they hear many other congressmen conduct their midnight sessions,' Ariel and Maverick inquired into Rep. Beltran's medical bills and how he feels about his 15-months and counting incarceration.

The interview continued well into the afternoon as Rep. Beltran left his detention hospital room to proceed to the House of Representatives session hall where Ariel and Maverick also interviewed Beltran's colleagues, members of the security staff, and his doctor from the PHC. Afterwards they all went to visit Rep. Beltran's office at the 6th floor South Wing of the Batasan Complex. It was the first time that Beltran was able to set foot into his own congressional office since he was arrested in rebellion charges on February 25, 2006. There Ariel and Maverick asked him questions about how he spent his childhood, his early adulthood, and how he became involved in the labor movement and how he eventually became a congressman and consequently a political detainee under the Macapagal-Arroyo administration.

"The Macapagal-Arroyo government's stance on civil and human rights is hypocritical. Pres. Arroyo herself even had the gall to lie to the Pope on her recent trip to Rome, telling the pontiff that her government is doing it's best to put an end to the extrajudicial killings. Swerte niya at hindi siya tinamaan ng kidlat sa kanyang lantarang pagsisinungaling," he said.

To relax and unwind after the entire afternoon's grueling session of questions and answers, Rep. Beltran, Ariel and Maverick donned boxing gloves. The veteran labor leader gave an impromptu boxing lesson, and, when asked, demonstrated what punches he would deliver if placed in a boxing ring with Department of Justice Raul Gonzalez and National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales.

Ariel and Maverick also achieved to convince Rep. Beltran to do something unprecedented: sing in public. Ka Bel sang at least six lines of 'Sumulong Ka, Anakpawis.'

As of this writing, Rep. Beltran and his lawyers led by Atty. Romeo Capulong are waiting for the Supreme Court's response to their petition calling on the High Court to make its decision junking the rebellion charges against the Batasan 6 final and executory.

Beltran's daughter Ofelia Beltran-Balleta said that their family is only waiting for the SC to finalize the decision and order the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 to release Rep. Beltran before they file the charges against the DOJ et al for malicious prosecution and consequent damages. #

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Beltran lauds Chief Justice Puno's stand for civil liberties; calls the SC a potentially strong ally in the fight against the Human Security Act...

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Beltran lauds Chief Justice Puno's stand for civil liberties; calls the SC a potentially strong ally in the fight against the Human Security Act, Malacanang gag orders

Detained Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran lauded the declaration of Chief Justice Reynato Puno that the Supreme Court will use its power to protect civil liberties. He said that the Chief Justice has already begun doing so when the SC junked the rebellion charges against the Batasan 6. Beltran expressed hope that given CJ Puno's vow, the SC will also immediately make this decision final and executory and allow his (Beltran's) release from detention at the soonest possible time, even as the office of the solicitor general files an appeal.

Beltran's lawyers yesterday filed a motion at the High Court appealing for their client's immediate release.

Beltran said that the continuing political persecution of the lawmakers, officials and members of the progressive party-lists and militant people's organizations were serious attacks against human rights and civil liberties. He said that thankfully, the SC has recently been vocal on the matter through CJ Puno's declarations and public statements.

"The SC under CJ Puno can prove to be a formidable ally in the fight for justice against the executive and the Armed Forces of the Philippines' worsening attacks against civil liberties and democratic rights of ordinary Filipinos. Malacanang has given nothing but milk and water pronouncements that it is doing its best to curb the politically-motivated violence against human rights activists and members of the progressive party-lists. We hope that the SC will issue more forceful statements backed by the law and more importantly, lay down rulings that will Malacanang and the AFP in their place," he said.

He sought the Supreme Court's intervention on the issue of extra-judicial killings and Pres. Arroyo refusal to hold the AFP and the military institution accountable for them. He also said that the High Court will also soon facing a challenge as civil libertarians and human rights groups escalate protests against the Human Security Act or the anti-terrorism law will be effective beginning July.

"The HSA is so far the biggest and most comprehensive threat against the already battered civil and human rights of Filipinos. We look up to Chief Justice Puno's leadership when it comes to questioning and opposing this lawand preventing its abusive implementation," he said.

In the meantime, Beltran also said that CJ Puno would do well to look into the latest tactic of Malacanang to circumvent the law by issuing Memorandum Circular 108 which requires both the Senate and the House of Representatives to provide the Palace before hand the list of questions they will ask cabinet officials and other personnel.

"Malacanang circumvented the SC's decision on the gag order Executive Order 464 which had the same intent as MC 108. The High Court declared EO 464 unconstitutional when the senate challenged this presidential ban. It's clear that Pres. Macapagal-Arroyo is highly apprehensive – and rightly so – about the incoming senate which is dominated by the opposition. Pres. Arroyo and her handlers are desperately trying to stonewall and establish protective measures to secure themselves and all confidential staff and cabinet officials from being exposed in congressional investigations," he said.

"If the Macapagal-Arroyo government truly has nothing to hide, it should have nothing to fear from any senate-initiate investigation. Government officials should not fear public and administrative accountability if they were not dabbling in corruption or committing violations of the civil service code."

"Executive secretary Eduardo Ermita is trying to justify this latest gag order memorandum by citing nationals security, but in fact it's not the nation's security that Malacanang aims to protect, it's the president's precarious political standing," he said. #

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Beltran to file motion appealing to the Supreme Court to make its dismissal decision on Batasan 6 final and executory; slams Comelec's plan...

Tuesday June 5, 2007

Beltran to file motion appealing to the Supreme Court to make its dismissal decision on Batasan 6 final and executory; slams Comelec's plan to implement First Party Rule

Detained lawmaker Anakpawis Crispin Beltran today said that his attorneys Romeo Capulong and Rachel Pastores of the Public Interest Law Center (PILC) will file a motion at the Supreme Court appealing to the High Court to make its decision on the dismissal of rebellion charges on the Batasan 6 final and executory.

Beltran is appealing to the Supreme Court that it immediately order the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 under Judge Elmo Alameda to expedite the implementation of the SC's ruling that the rebellion charges against Beltran be dismissed and allow his complete release. Beltran's lawyers have said that they will not wait for the DOJ and the Solgen office to file its appeal and instead petition the Supreme Court to make its decision final and executory.

"I know that the Department of Justice under Sec. Raul Gonzalez and Solicitor-general Agnes Devanadera are seeking an appeal and prevent my release from police custody. Be that as it may, I am seeking the Supreme Court's favor and order my release even as the Solo-gen's appeal has yet to be finalized, submitted or deliberated upon. All that remains is for the MRTC Branch 150 is to act on an order from the SC. It's my hope that the High Court will dismiss the Solgen's appeal," he said.

"The Solgen and the DOJ can file all the appeals that they want and we will not back down with a counterpart legal offensive. I have no doubt that we will come out victorious because truth is on our side – we do not have to resort to underhanded tactics, fake testimonies, and political persecution to achieve our ends. What the DOJ is doing is malicious prosecution; abusing its authority as a government institution to prosecute legitimate opposition."

"I hope to regain my full and complete freedom at the soonest possible time."

Beltran has been allowed by the MRTC to perform his duties as a lawmaker and attend the closing session of the 13th Congress, from June 4 to 6, and to participate in the House of Representative's Centennial celebrations on June 7.

On his second day of temporary freedom after 15 months of incarceration, Beltran said that there was evidence that the Macapagal-Arroyo government was determined to gradually do away with the party-list system because it has become a valuable venue for progressive organizations to ventilate their issues and further their activist advocacies. He said that the First Party Rule that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is threatening to implement actually targets the progressive party-lists led by Bayan Muna which have been participating in the polls since 2001.

"The Comelec has long been tampering with the party-list system and the rules governing it not with the intent to strengthen it, but to weaken it. What has been originally conceptualized as an electoral avenue wherein marginalized sectors and underrepresented sections of society can maximize so they can enact progressive changes among their ranks has been bastardized and manipulated. The Comelec should cease and desist from these efforts and once and for all dismiss the Panganiban formula not only as faulty, but patently unjust. It undermines the interests of the genuine party-list groups who carry true pro-poor advocacies," he said. #

Monday, June 04, 2007

Norberto Gonzales, champion liar, is also sore loser; Macapagal-Arroyo must not be allowed to get away with its attacks against us

Monday June 4, 2007

Norberto Gonzales, champion liar, is also sore loser; Macapagal-Arroyo must not be allowed to get away with its attacks against us, our members and our party-lists – Beltran

Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran today slammed National Security Adviser (NSA) Norberto Gonzales for calling him and the other progressive lawmakers collectively known as the Batasan 5 'liars now in celebration.'"

"Gonzales is the liar – he's one of the champion liars the Macapagal-Arroyo administration ever had. His allegations and accusations against us and our party-lists are all patent untruths. He has been rendered incapable of speaking the truth and consistently resorts to exagerration and twisting facts in his desperation to pin us down. His tag that we are fronts for the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) did not stick; and the rebellion charges he machinated along with with Department of Justice secretary Raul Gonzalez were thrown out by the Supreme Court. Now he's crying out like the sore loser that he is," said Beltran.

"Gonzales probably expected us to withdraw our criticism of him and the Department of Justice after the Supreme Court laid down its decision junking the rebellion charges against us. He thought wrong, and now he is angry and bitter and trying to deprive us of our right to celebrate because we continue to overcome tremendous obstacles while securing the support of Filipino voters.."

"We are targets of the Macapagal-Arroyo administration's political annihilation campaign, and Gonzales and Gonzalez are the two masterminds behind it. We have done nothing illegal in furthering our advocacies for progressive and pro-people politics; but the Arroyo administration particularly its henchmen the likes of Gonzales have attacked our ranks and leadership through abductions, extrajudicial killings, and the filing of various criminal charges. "

"We have the legal and moral ascendancy to demand justice against the Macapagal-Arroyo government's illegal, underhanded attacks against our persons and our organizations. The govenrment is not infallible, and despite what Sergio Apostol says, we have a strong case against the government and its shocking abuse of authority. The government must not be allowed to get away with what it has done to us, our members and our party-lists."

In the meantime, Beltran clarified reports that he will be unable to pay for his bills at the Philippine Heart Center. He said that it was now only a matter of time before he is released; "barring more of the DOJ and the NSA's dirty tricks and legal technicalities."

"There will be no problem covering my bills at the PHC. Support continues to pour in in the form of financial aid, guarantee letters from supportive government officials and allied politicians, and the funds of the Free Ka Bel Movement, " he said. "I also seek to clarify that any assistance to be offered by the House of Representatives and my colleagues there are much welcome. I am as I have always been, grateful for any show of support given me by my friends and colleagues in the legislative branch."

"The hospital bills are the least of my worries right now. What is imperative that the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 expedite the decision of the Supreme Court and sign my release papers and grant me my freedom from the custody of the Philippine National Police ((PNP)." #

Makati Court allows Ka Bel to attend last session days of 13th Congress

Monday June 4, 2007

Makati Court allows Ka Bel to attend last session days of 13th Congress

Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 Judge Elmo Alameda granted Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran's motion for temporary release so he (Beltran) can attend the final closing session of the 13th Congress from June 4 to June 7, 2007. The said motion was filed by Beltran's lwayers Atty. Romeo Capulong and Atty. Rachel Pastores Wednesday last week.

Judge Alameda granted the said motion even as he is yet to execute the decision laid down by the Supreme Court junking the Department of Justice's charges of rebellion against Beltran.

As of this writing, Anakpawis Party-List, the Free Ka Bel Movement, Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) and other supporters are proceeding to the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame to deliver the temporary release papers.

Rep. Beltran has been allowed to go to attend the sessions at the House of Representatives from 3pm-7pm everday beginning today, June 4, 2007, up to June 7.

Beltran expressed gratitude for the decision and said that he is hopeful that the Matai RTC will also immediately act on the Supreme Court's decision as soon as the SC makes it final and executory.

He will deliver a privileged speech at the House of Representatives this afternoon with focus on his 15 months in incareceration and his continuing appeal for congress to approve HB 345 or the bill legislating a P125 across-the-board wage increase nationwide for all workers.

"I am thankful to the Makati RTC for giving me leave to attend the final session days of the 13th congress. I will use the next three days to thank all my colleagues who supported me throughout my incarceration, and to continue to seek their support for the campaign against the worsening human and civil rights situation in the country,' he said. #

Sunday, June 03, 2007

It's Malacanang and the DOJ who flaunted criminal law and procedure when it went after the Batasan 6 and had me arrested on false charges...

Sunday June 3, 2007

To the Solgen: It's Malacanang and the DOJ who flaunted criminal law and procedure when it went after the Batasan 6 and had me arrested on false charges and a lapsed warrant – Ka Bel

Detained lawmaker Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran today chided Solicitor General Agnes Devanadera for saying that the Supreme Court decision junking the rebellion charges against progressive party-list lawmakers will have adverse circumstances on the criminal justice system.

"Sol.Gen. Devanadera has been giving my attorneys the run-around ever since Malacanang announced a month ago that it will not contest any motion for my release. Now, all of sudden, she's visible again and in fighting form; only she's out to defend the government's immoral, illegal and unjust right to prosecute and incarcerate the innocent. SolGen. Devanedera should refrain from sounding high and mighty as if she's genuinely defending the criminal justice system. By contesting the Supreme Court decision that declared us the victims of the government's campaign of political persecution, she is actually being a party to the potential imposition of more injustice and political repression," he said.

"It is the Department of Justice and Malacanang itself who flaunted criminal law and procedure out the window when they went after us February 2006 and had me arrested and detained on the strength of a two-decade old warrant and bogus testimonies. Sol. Gen. Devanadera is barking up the wrong tree when she accuses the SC on this issue," he added.

Beltran has been detained for 15 months, 12 months of which he spent at the Philippine Heart Center under close guard by elements of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the Philippine National Police (PNP). The first three months he was detained in a cramped cell in Cam Crame.

"I have been denied my rights as an elected lawmaker, and a Filipino citizen when I was arrested on a lapsed warrant. My detention also denied the constituents of my party-list Anakpawis of one sectoral representative. My family suffered throughout these ordeal. The Supreme Court's decision was an affirmation of what I have been insisting all along – my innocence of all charges. The government machinated to have me arrested and detained to cripple our pro-poor advocacy and legislative work that just so happened to go against that of the corrupt and illegitimate Macapagal-Arroyo administration," he said.

"I demand immediate justice for myself, my party-list and all the Filipinos who have supported me throughout this 15 month ordeal. We have worked long and hard to press for my release, and the Arroyo government can not deny that it sustained countless blows from the local civil and human rights advocates as well as the international community who also continue to call for my freedom. The SC decision was fair and objective, and Sol.Gen. Devanadera and Malacanang through the DOJ's plan to appeal should be immediately nipped in the bud. They are risking even greater public and international outrage," he said.

Anakpawis, the Free Ka Bel Movement, Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) and sister party-lists Bayan Muna, Gabriela Women's Party, Kabataan Party and Suara Bangsa Moro will be holding a mass action in front of the Makati Regional Trial Court offices tomorrow, June 4, 2007 at 9:30 am and there wait for the court to assign the documents finalizing the dismissal of rebellion charges against Ka Bel. Anakpawis leaders also said that there will be protests against the DOJ and the Devanadera's office if they persist with their intent to file an appeal to the decision.#