Monday, May 22, 2006

*Chronology of Events Related to the Unjustified Arrest and Detention of Rep. Crispin Beltran

24 February 2006
Ka Bel joins the commemoration of Edsa, People Power 1 together with various groups at the Edsa Shrine. Ka Bel stays with the AP group while Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (New Patriotic Alliance) leads the program.

Earlier that day, the Philippines is declared under a State of National Emergency by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo after they discover an alleged coup being planned by disgruntled military officials of the Armed Forces of the Philppines. She announces the revocation of all rally permits and orders the dispersal of protest actions commemorating the popular uprising of 1986.

The group led by BAYAN at the Edsa Shrine is violently dispersed by policemen with water cannons, clubs and truncheons. They all leave peacefully and march towards Ayala, Makati through Ortigas Avenye to join other opposition groups holding a separate program.

25 February 2006
While preparing to leave home for a press conference in Quezon City, Beltran, accompanied by his wife Rosario and four other companions aboard their vehicle, is apprehended at around 10:10 a.m. at the gate of San Francisco III Subdivision, Muzon, San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan by a fully-armed team of Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) personnel led by Maj. Rino Corpus.

Beltran was “invited” for questioning by the police operatives and was brought to the CIDG office in Camp Crame. At the CIDG, Beltran is shown and served an alias warrant dated 7 October 1985, issued by Judge Edgardo Tutaan of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch LXXXIV, by virtue of a rebellion case filed against him then.

At around 11:00 a.m, Atty. Remigio Saladero visits Beltran and demands his immediate release, on the grounds that the arrest and detention was illegal. Saladero demanded that the matter be elevated to the office of PNP Director-General Arturo C. Lomibao. This request was, however, denied.

At around 5 pm, Beltran’s lawyers write a letter to Gen. Lomibao, stating the circumstances of Beltran’s illegal arrest and demanding his immediate release.

Atty. Saladero is shown a photocopy of the alleged warrant of arrest. He informs Rep. Beltran’s custodians that the case referred to in the warrant was also already dismissed and quashed in 1988, and that Rep. Beltran was already given amnesty under the Aquino administration. Despite this, defense lawyers could not immediately produce the said documents since it was a weekend. Beltran was forced to spend the night inside the CIDG.

Anakpawis sends a letter to the House of Representatives, urging House Speaker Jose de Venecia to intercede in Beltran’s warrantless arrest earlier this morning , citing Beltran’s parliamentary immunity as a member of Congress.

That night, Ka Bel was brought to the Regional Trial Court in Quezon City for another case being filed against him – inciting to sedition, for allegedly speaking during the February 24 Rally mentioned above and for inciting the public to rebel and overthrow the Arroyo government. His cash bond was posted at P12,000.00.

Beltran’s lawyers object to the inquest proceeding and his further detention, invoking Beltran’s constitutional privilege of immunity from arrest for alleged crimes punishable by not more than six years of imprisonment (Section 11, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution), under which the charge of sedition was classified.

Inquest prosecutors from the QC RTC reject this defense of parliamentary immunity and proceed with the inquest, which lasted until 2:00 AM.

Two of his colleagues and staff issued their counter-affidavits stating that this was a big lie. They vouched that Ka Bel remained with them together with the rest of the audience during the entire program and that even when he had to go up the stage, he never held the mike to give a speech.

Inquest Prosecutor Ben V. de la Cruz resolved to file the sedition case, and recommended bail of P12,000.

26 February 2006
Examining physicians Drs. Reginaldo Pamugas and Dr. Melani Hernandez-Siozon examined Cong. Beltran at the Custodial Center of the Philippine National Police.

Their diagnosis includes findings of moderate Hypertensive Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes Mellitus type 2, T/C Coronary Artery Disease, Cardiomegaly, S/P Cerebrovascular Accident, S/P Thoracen, and T/C Gouty Athritis. Their recommendations include (1) avoiding stressful conditions, (2) a low fat, low salt diet, (3) monitoring and control of blood pressure, (4) laboratory work-up, (5) medications, and (6) further evaluation and management, preferably in a tertiary hospital.

27 February 2006
Beltran’s lawyers proceed to the Docket Section of the Quezon City Court and learn that the sedition case has not been filed yet. They learn shortly after that Inquest Prosecutor de la Cruz reversed his earlier decision, and recommended in an amended resolution the dismissal of the case, subject to the approval of First Assistant Prosecutor Meynardo Baustista or City Prosecutor Claro Arellano.

Beltran’s lawyer UN Ad Litem Judge Romeo Capulong immediately went to the CIDG thinking that Beltran as going to be released that day. However, he learned that Ka Bel was going to undergo another inquest.

In Camp Crame, Beltran, whose health has been deteriorating due to his illegal detention since February 25, was suddenly informed by the CIDG that he would be brought to the PNP General Hospital (GH) for a medical check-up. But instead of being brought to a doctor, Beltran was summoned to the CIDG office for a “re-inquest” by Senior State Prosecutor Emannuel Velasco from the Department of Justice.

Beltran is charged with rebellion in conspiracy with 2nd Lt. Lawrence San Juan, a soldier belonging to the Magdalo group and was involved in the Oakwood coup in 2003. San Juan escaped detention a month ago but was recaptured in Batangas a few weeks after. Acting Deputy Director of the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management Police Chief Superintendent Rodolfo B. Mendoza, Jr. transmitted a letter to the Department of Justice through Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito R. Zuno, submitting ‘pertinent records of investigation relative to the case for violation of Article 134 in relation to Article 135 of the Revised Penal Code (Rebellion’Insurrection) against 49 individuals (including Anakpawis Reps. Crispin Beltran and Rafael Mariano), others related to the JASIG’s list, and several other John and Jane Does’ [Criminal Case No. 132943]

This irks Ka Bel and Atty. Capulong, prompting them to walk out from the inquest proceedings. Beltran’s blood pressure shots up to 180/120. Beltran is restrained and detained together with other common criminals at the PNP Custodial Center inside Camp Crame.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives adopts Resolution No. 1169, or Resolution Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives to Uphold the Rights of Its Members and Extending Protection to Them.

28 February 2006
The Public Interest Law Center (PILC), through Attys. Romeo T. Capulong, Rachel F. Pastores, and Amylyn B. Sato presents a letter to House of Representatives Speaker Jose de Venecia urging that Cong. Beltran be immediately placed under his protective custody.

As per House Secretary-General Roberto P. Nazareno’s directive dated February 28, Dr. RIzaline Figueroa-Lagman of the House of Representatives Medical-Dental service visit the CIDG to check Cong. Beltran’s medical condition at around 3:00 p.m. Dr. Lagman noted ‘essentially normal physical findings at the time of examination, and controlled state 1 hypertension’.

2 March 2006
Beltran is rushed to the Emergency Room of the Philippine National Police General Hospital (PNP-GH) at around 11:30 AM for hypertension, with a blood pressure level of 170/100. He was admitted to the Room 1 of the PNP-GH at 12:15 p.m and has remained there ever since.

4 March 2006
Beltran is charged with another rebellion case, this time linking him with the Communist Party of the Philippines, alleging that he attended a plenum of the CPP from August 1992 to February 1993.

5 March 2006

Family members, colleagues, supporters and friends are blocked from visiting Ka Bel when members of the PNP tried to stop them from trooping to the PNP General Hospital. Police close the gates of Crame for almost two hours to secure the place. No one is arrested.

6 March 2006
The Motion for Judicial Determination of Probable Cause is filed by Beltran’s lawyers and is heard at the Makati Regional Trial Court (MRTC) Branch 138 under Judge Sixto Marella, Jr (the case was originally assigned to the MRTC Branch 137 under Judge Jenny Lind Aldecoa-Delorino). Judge Marella orders Beltran’s military custodians to escort him to the hearing tomorrow.

The FREE KA BEL MOVEMENT is launched at the University of the Philippines.

7 March 2006
In his first public appearance at the second hearing held at the MRTC)\ Branch 138 under Judge Marella, Beltran together with his lawyers led by Justice Capulong submit counter-evidence against the two rebellion cases charged against him. Failing to conclusively refute the counter-evidence, Prosecutor Velasco asks for 15 days more for them to present new evidences. He is given seven (7) days by Judge Marella to submit additional evidence against Beltran.

Ka Bel continues to be confined at the PNP General Hospital.

9 March 2006
Department of Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales issues a statement refusing to release Beltran on humanitarian grounds.

10 March 2006
Beltran writes PNP Director-General Arturo Lomibao asking to attend Congress plenary sessions from March 13 to 15, in order to continue fulfilling his duties as Anakpawis congressman.

13 March 2006
The Municipal Trial Court of Quezon City Branch 43 issues a Release Order for Beltran on the grounds that his arrest was illegal, without probable cause, and violative of Beltran’s parliamentary immunity from arrest for cases punishable by six years of imprisonment. The PNP and the DoJ, however, defy the QC MTC Release Order and refuse to release Beltran on the grounds that another rebellion case is still filed against him at the MRTC.

14 March 2006
Beltran writes to PNP Director-General Lomibao demanding his release from PNP custody. The request is denied.

20 March 2006
Despite his unstable and high blood pressure, doctors at the Philippine National Police (PNP) General Hospital inform Beltran that he may be transferred any moment out of the police hospital and back into solitary detention at the PNP Custodial Center.

24 March 2006
A hearing on the Supplemental Motion and Motion for Release was held at the MRTC. The DOJ prosecutors led by Senior State Prosecutor Emmanuel Velasco attended the hearing. Prosecutor Velasco is given until March 29, 2006 within which to file his Comment on the Motions filed by Beltran's lawyers; on the other hand, Beltran's lawyers were required to submit a Memorandum. After the submission of the Comments and Memorandum, the case will be submitted for Resolution.


3 April 2006
Beltran’s lawyers file a Motion to Quash the Inciting to Sedition charge before the QC MTC Branch 43, under Judge Evangeline Marigomen. Judge Marigomen resets Beltran's arraignment to May 29, at 8:30 in the morning.

The MRTC Branch 137 delays its promulgation of a resolution on the Motion for Judicial Determination of Probable Cause filed by Beltran's lawyers one month ago. After the thirty days (30) waiting period, MRTC Branch 137 Judge Jenny Lind Aldecoa-Delorino filed for a thirty (30) day extension of the resolution, in effect prolonging his illegal detention in Camp Crame.

An Omnibus Motion aiming to effect the release of Cong. Beltran on humanitarian grounds was also filed at the MRTC.

7 April 2006
MRTC Branch 137 hearing on Omnibus Motion pleading to resolve the pending urgent Motion of Release and to allow Beltran to be transferred to a hospital with adequate facilities. Beltran pleads that he be immediately released or be allowed to avail himself of the protective custody of the House of Representatives and be transferred to a hospital with adequate facilities.

Senior State Prosecutors Emmanuel Velasco, Aileen Marie Gutierrez, and Joselita Mendoza filed an Opposition to the Omnibus Motion, praying that the Makati Court deny the said Motion. Judge Delorino gives the DOJ prosecution team and PNP until April 12 to comment on the medical findings presented by Beltran's lawyers.

Beltran’s lawyers present the following medical reports affirming his ill health: a Psychiatric Evaluation prepared by Dr. Michael P. Sionzon recommending Beltran's transfer to another hospital outside the PNP premises in order to lessen his prevailing anxiety and recurring nightmares of being tortured or assassinated; a Medical Report issued by cardiologist Dr. Roberto A. Raymundo of the Philippine Heart Center and another Medical Report issued by Health Action for Human Right (HAHR) physicians Dr. Romeo F. Quijano, Reginaldo L. Pamugas, and Melani Hernandez-Sionzon.

17 April 2006
Judge Aldecoa-Delorino of MRTC Branch 137 issues a favourable resolution on the prayer to transfer Beltran to a private hospital with adequate facilities and doctors to address his medical problems, provided that the expense for such treatment and/or confinement shall be at Beltran's expense.

In the same resolution, however, Judge Aldecoa-Delorino, denied the Motion to Release Accused Crispin Beltran with Alternative Prayer to Allow Him to Attend Plenary Sessions and Committee Hearings of Congress and the alternative prayer to have Beltran placed under the protective custody of the House of Representatives.

25 April 2006
The MRTC issues the implementing order for Beltran's transfer to the Philippine Heart Center.

26 April 2006
The PNP transfers Beltran to Room 427 of the Philippine Heart Center.

04 May 2006
Judge Delorino hears and grants motion to strike out prosecution’s amended information, saying that it cannot be admitted as an amended but rather a new information.

08 May 2006
Prosecution files motion to inhibit Judge Delorino for alleged lack of impartiality. They allege Delorino to have decided in favour of the respondents with undue haste.

10 May 2006
Judge Delorino, despite denying lack of impartiality and deciding in undue haste, issues order to inhibit without resolving pending motion to determine probable cause

12 May 2006
Prosecution files the rejected amended information as new information with the Makati Regional Trial Court. The information implicate, among others, the Batasan 5 and leaders of progressive organizations.

15 May 2006
The new information (Batasan 5 and progressive leaders case) is raffled and goes to Judge Quilala of Branch 57. The old information (Ka Bel case) is re-raffled and goes to Judge Jaja Moya of Branch 147.

PILC files motion for reconsideration on Delorino’s inhibition order, praying that the Court “reconsider and set aside its Order dated 10 May 2006 and proceed to hear and decide the case.”

16 May 2006
The Batasan 5 file omnibus motion to dismiss with alternative prayer to suspend proceedings and to conduct hearing to determine probable cause, on grounds that the information suffers from fatal defects and that the case lacks probable cause. Outright dismissal of the information is sought as it is a mere rehash of the rejected information which violates due process rights of respondents. Another basis for its dismissal is the prosecution failed to comply with Rule 112, Section 4 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure which requires prosecution to personally examine all witnesses therein stated; the Information also lacks the required signature of the Chief State Prosecutor. The Batasan 5 asks for suspension of proceedings as they are still awaiting the Supreme Court’s resolution on their petition for certiorari and prohibition with prayer for a TRO and/or writ of preliminary injunction.

18 May 2006
DOJ files written opposition (via mail) to Ka Bel’s Motion for Reconsideration (MRTC received copy early on May 19).

DOJ files Motion to Consolidate the two information with the Makati RTC Branch 57, which it requested to be heard on May 24 at 10am.

19 May 2006
Prosecution panel fails to appear before the Court for the hearing on Ka Bel’s MR. Jude Delorino informs Ka Bel’s counsel of the prosecution’s written opposition, to which counsel was given that same day as deadline for submitting a reply.

22 May 2006
Hearing on Batasan 5’s Omnibus Motion to Dismiss Information was postponed and reset to May 29, 10am.

*Judge on Ka Bel’s rebellion case concedes to DOJ, Malacanang pressure; Inhibits herself to avoid political backlash

The Free Ka Bel Movement (FKBM) lambasted this morning DOJ Sec. Raul Gonzales and the Malacanang for pressuring Makati Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 137 Judge Jenny Lind Aldecoa-Delorino to inhibit herself from the rebellion case filed against Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran.

FKBM Spokesperson Dennis Maga assailed Gonzales’ dirty tactics to delay the decision of Delorino on the petition for judicial determination for probable cause filed by Beltran’s lawyers. Maga said that Delorino’s decision to junk the amended information by the prosecution which favors the Batasan 5 and the others accused of the same charges triggered Gonzales to move for the inhibition of the said Makati judge from further hearing the controversial case.

”Malacanang has all the means to manipulate the judicial process to their favor. It is a logical possibility that, similar to what they did in the 2004 elections, they have posed serious threats on the career of Delorino in the Judiciary. Or much worse, they have threatened the lives of Delorino and her family like what they did to un-cooperative members of Comelec in their 2004 election cheating extravaganza.”

The FKBM said that for as long as the judicial process is rolling on the side of the truth and fairness, they are still confident that the rebellion charges against the internationally acclaimed legislator will be junked. Maga however said that they will do everything to stop the DOJ and Malacanang from meddling in the judiciary and that they are ready to file cases against Sec. Gonzales and all those coercing Delorino and other members of the court. Different organizations and personalities supportive of Beltran will also file for the disbarment of Gonzales. ###

*Beltran's transfer to hospital expected tomorrow, April 24

Ka Bel supporters await go signal from court

Anakpawis Congressman Crispin Beltran is expected to be transferred to the Philippine Heart Center (PHC) anytime this week as the Makati Regional Trial Court (MRTC) is set to give the go signal to the Philippine National Police (PNP) for the illegally-detained solon's temporary release from Camp Crame.

On April 17, Judge Jenny Lind Aldecoa-Delorino of the MRTC Branch 137 approved Congressman Beltran's transfer to a hospital of his choice. In consideration of Beltran's various cardiovascular diseases, lawyers filed their request the following day for Beltran's transfer to the PHC along East Avenue in Quezon City.

Beltran's lawyers from the Public Interest Law Center (PILC) have received notice that the order for transfer is already lodged at the MRTC Branch 137 since last Friday.

It is yet to be signed, though, by Branch 137 Judge Jenny Lind Aldecoa-Delorino as she was reportedly ill late last week and was unable to go to the MRTC.

This request is expected to be approved hopefully by tomorrow morning by Judge Delorino and forwarded to the PNP for implementation immediately after.

Meanwhile, Beltran's supporters from the Free Ka Bel Movement (FKBM) will be holding a support gathering to await Beltran's transfer to the PHC tomorrow, April 24 (Monday), in front of Camp Crame, FKBM Spokesperson Dennis Maga said.

"The PNP need not raise its red alert. This will be a peaceful gathering and 'pagsalubong' of Ka Bel's supporters. We have long asserted that he be released from detention in Camp Crame on humanitarian grounds while the legal battle for his liberty and justice continues," Maga said.

Despite being 73 years old, Beltran was illegally arrested and jailed by the Philippine National Police (PNP) since February 25, 2006, on fabricated and malicious charges. This has contributed to the precarious deterioration of his health, necessitating his detention at the PNP General Hospital since March 2. ###

*Interview with Rep. Crispin "Ka Bel" Beltran

Room 1, Philippine National Police General Hospital, Camp Crame
March 31, 2006

Kamusta na po kayo? Kamusta ang iyong kalagayan?

KA BEL: Sa kalagayan, ay masama ang kalagayan ko. Pwedeng tignan sa, unang-una, iyong kalagayang pampulitika: dito sa kulungan, siyempre, hindi ka makapagsalita ng kung ano gusto mong sabihin. In other words, kitang-kita ang kawalan mo ng kalayaan

Ngayon, sa kalusugan naman, masyadong erratic ang aking blood pressure. Paminsan-minsan, bumabababa ng napakababa. Halimbawa ang basa [ng blood pressure] ay [umabot] hanggang sa 90/60 at paminsan-minsan naman tumataas ng mataas na mataas, 180/120. At mayroon pa akong 'kutob' sa puso, na medically kung tawagin [ito] ay murmur of the heart.

So iyon na ang nadadaransan natin.

At siyempre pa, matagal-tagal na akong may record ng diabetes. Isa pa rin iyon sa minamanmanan natin, at gayundin iyong sakit sa baga. Noong year 2000 ay na-opsital [ako] ng more than 1 month at inalisan ng tubig ang aking baga, na umabot sa tatlong litro at kalahati.

Sa iyon ang mga minamanmanan natin ngayon na sakit.

Ngayon sa espiritu naman, o kaya katatagan ng loob, ay mas matatag ang kalooban ko ngayon kaysa sa dati. Sapagkat buong-buo sa aking isipan na kailangang ipagpatuloy ang pakikibaka para sa pambansang kalayaan at demokrasya, sapagkat ito lamang ang tanging daan sa paglaya ng ating bayan.

Ano naman po ang mensahe ninyo sa mga tao na humihiling para sa iyong pagpapalaya?

KA BEL: Ako ay lubos-lubos na nagpapasalamant sa kanila, sa kanilang ginagawa sa ating paglaya. Pero higit sa lahat, ang aking hinihingi, katulad din nila, ay ang paglaya ng sambayanang Pilipino mula sa kalagayan ng oppression, repression, at extreme poverty. Kailangang lumaya tayo sa lahat ng ito.

Kung kaya't ipinapanukala ko ulit sa kanila na kailangang ituloy-tuloy namin ang aming sinumpaan na commitment sa bayan na ipagpatuloy ng mas masugid at nagkakaisa iyong pakikibaka para sa pambansang paglaya at demokrasya sa ating bayan.

At sa ilalim nito, [nandiyan iyong] kailangang sentrohan namin ang pakikibaka para sa kabuhayan ng mamamayan na umaabot ngayon sa 90% ng kabuuang mamamayan sa bansa natin, ay halos kapos o walang kabuhayan.

Pangalawa, kailangang ituloy-tuloy natin ang pakikibaka para sa karapatang pantao. Sapagkat alam naman nating lahat ngayon na [ang] sinesentruhan ng pagyurak sa karapatang-pantao ay iyong mga kasamahan nating mga aktibista na [sumusulong sa pakikibakang] pangkabuhayan at pampulitika, na tuloy tuloy ang kanilang pagkilos. Kinikitil ngayon ang kanilang buhay ng mga military at goons ng administrasyong Arroyo.

Doon natin itutuon ang pakikibaka para sa paggalang ng karapatang pantao.

Pangatlo, yung pakikibaka para matamo ang katarungang panlipunan, na sa ngayon ay nananatiling panaginip lamang.

At ang panghuli ang pakikibaka para sa kapayapaan ng ating bayan.

Mababalikan [ko] pala iyong tungkol sinabi ko na pakikibaka para sa kabuhayan. May dalawang (2) mahalagang programa sa ilalim nito, at ito yung pakikibaka para sa pagkakaroon ng tunay na repormang agraryo, na siya ang tungtungang pangkabuhayan na isinusulong. Kaakibat nito, ang buong pagsisikap para magkaroon ng tunay na pambansang industriyalisasyon, sapagkat kung wala ang dalawang (2) na ito ay mahirap maabot ang economic emancipation ng ating bansa

Iyon lahat-lahat ang ating ipinakikibaka sa ngayon, na kumbaga sinuma lang natin ang 20-point program na inihain natin sa pamahalaan nang tayo ay nagumpisang lumahok sa pampulitika o parliamentaryong pakikibaka sa loob ng Kongreso.

Inuulit natin na iyong pakikibaka sa loob ng Kongreso ay dagdag na entablado lamang sa pakikibaka ng martsa ng sambayanan sa labas ng Kongreso. Ang tunay na inaasahan natin ay yung pagtatagumpay ng pakikibaka sa labas ng Kongreso.

Ano naman po yung mensahe ninyo sa mga taong na nais panatilihin kayo sa piitan?

KA BEL: Sa mga taong nandodoon sa kampo o mga kaporal ng reaksyonaryong pulitika at programang ekonomiya na gusto akong panalitihin dito: sana maunawaan ninyo na ang ipinakikibang ito ng partido Anakpawis, o kaya ng masang anakpawis, ay para sa inyo rin.

Isinusumpa namin na kailanman ang napakaraming mamamayan [ang] lumalangoy sa kumunoy ng kahirapan at kakaunti lamang na mamamayan lamang ang nagtatamasa ng kayamanan at kaginwahaan-- darating ang panahon na hindi na rin ninyo pakikinabangan ang inyong kayamanan kung ayaw ninyong ma-'save' ang nakakarami na nandidyan sa kumunoy ng kahirapan.

Sabi nga ng mga nakaraang Presidente, lalong lalo na si Pres.
[John F.] Kennedy ng Estados Unidos, "If you can not save the many who are poor, you can not save the few who are rich"*.

Ayon po ang mensahe natin sa mga taong palayo at umaabuso sa kapangyahiran, na pinagsasamantalahan at inaapi ang nakararami. Iyon ang ibinibigay natin na
warning sa kanila.

Iyon lamang at maraming salamat.

*Taken from Pres. John F. Kennedy's inaugural speech dated January 20, 1961, as follows: " To those peoples in the huts and villages across the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required-not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich."

*Taiwanese Groups Protest Against Attacks on the Civil andPolitical Rights of the Filipino People

MARCH 31, 2006

Reference: Mr. Gi Estrada, Area Coordinator in Taiwan, Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM) Contact Nos. (+886) 917-423-130

Taiwanese Human Rights organizations together with other civil society and labor groups staged this morning the biggest protest action in Taiwan to date to denounce the continuing human rights violations in the Philippines. This was held in front of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) in Taipei and was participated by around 60 Taiwanese and 10 Filipino migrants. Other issues raised were the continuing attacks on the civil and political rights of the Filipino people and the arrest and detention of Representative Crispin Beltran.

Rep. Beltran¡¦s message was even read to the protesters by the Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants. He thanked the participants for their mass action and vowed that he would one day meet them soon.

The activity was organized by the Chang Fo-Chuan Center for the Study of Human Rights, Soochow University in Taipei and was endorsed by 51 organizations and labor groups and 175 individuals. The picket in MECO was the third held in Taipei in a months time. Migrante Sectoral Party - Taiwan chapter, initiated the first two. These were held on February 28 and March 5 respectively.

A one-minute of silence was offered to the human rights victims and defenders in the Philippines. After which a number of slogans including Release Ka Bel, Zero Tolerance to state violence and long live international solidarity were heard. Speakers from the various participating organizations were allowed to air out their views. Atty. Carlo Aquino, head of MECO¡¦s assistance to nationals received the petition letter from the organizers including that of the Labor Rights Association, which collected the signatories from labor groups.

The participants then shouted liar and release Ka Bel when he was allowed to air out the Philippine governments position to the crowd.

*Respect Human Rights and Civil Liberties, Free Rep. Crispin "Ka Bel" Beltran!

Statement of the Hong Kong Campaign for the Advancement of Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (HKCAHRPP)

The Hong Kong Campaign for the Advancement of Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines, a coalition of composed of grassroots organizations of workers, women, students, human rights advocates, civil libertarians, church people, NGOs, journalists and migrant workers in Hong Kong, vehemently condemn the continued detention of Rep. Crispin Beltran of Anakpawis (Toiling Masses) Party.

His illegal arrest and detention since February 24 by elements of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Groups (CIDG) of the national police gravely violates his fundamental human and political rights. His continued detention despite his critical health condition exposes the government’s lack of respect for human rights specially those who are critical of the government’s policies.Moreso, other members of the Parliament belonging to progressive partylists like Reps. Satur Ocampo, Joel Virador and Teodoro Casino of Bayan Muna (People First) Party; Rep. Rafael Mariano of Anakpawis Party and Rep. Liza Maza of Gabriela Women’s Party are under the threat of warrant-less arrest.

On Feb. 28, the entire House of Representatives, recognizing that probable cause has yet to be established in their case, unanimously approved House Resolution 1169, a bipartisan resolution that reaffirmed the right of Rep. Beltran and the rest of the progressive parliamentarians to due process and gave them “protective custody” absent any judicially issued warrant of arrest resulting from a preliminary investigation or indictment.However, despite the Lower House’s protective custody, the Arroyo government, specifically its National Police, has disregarded this very basic right and insists that once they get out of their offices, they will be arrested even without warrant in clear violation of their rights under the Constitution and various laws.Even after the so-called lifting of the "State of National Emergency", the government continues to threaten political opponents, activists and progressive legislators with warrantless arrest. Peaceful protest actions and assemblies are met with violent dispersals by the police while strict government monitoring in the media is still in place.Meanwhile, political killings in the provinces targeting leaders of peasants and workers organizations, human rights advocates, church people, lawyers, journalists and progressive local government officials are escalating.

Since 2001, more than 80 party members of Bayan Muna, at least 24 mebers of Anakpawis and Gabriela were killed by suspected military operatives. Santiago Teodoro, chair of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (New Patriotic Alliance or BAYAN) in Bulacan province, was gunned down as he was driving in Barihan town on March 9. He was the 20th militant leader killed in the province since 2005 and the 47th in Central Luzon.These and the President’s consistent announcement of government and military crackdown on "enemies of the state", or should we say enemies of the President, only show that the Philippines is again under martial rule.We join the Filipino people in their quest for genuine democracy, social justice and respect for human rights. As we pledge our continuous solidarity, we urgently demand the following:

Immediate & unconditional release of Rep. Crispin Beltran & other political detainees;

Stop political intimidation and police harassment to progressive parliamentarians;

Respect freedom of speech, peaceful assembly and of the press; and

Uphold and respect the civil, political and basic human rights of the Filipino people;

12 March 2006, Hong Kong SAR

*Hangad ay kalayaan benefit concert



*Visiting Hours at PNP General Hospital

Sa mga kasama at kaibigang may planong dumalaw kay Ka Bel sa PNP General Hospital, heto po ang oras ng dalaw:

Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday: 8am-12nn
Monday-Wednesday-Friday: Special Visit only
Sunday: no visitors allowed

Kung mapapansin natin, kahit ang ating pagdalaw ay hinigpitan ng PNP. Pang-ilang palit na po ito ng oras ng dalaw, partikular sa ating minamahal na lider manggagawa at kinatawan ng Ankapawis sa Kongreso.

Maari pong makipag-coordinate sa Anakpawis (tel# 9316615) kung kayo o ang inyong organisasyon ay may planong bumisita kay ka Bel.

*Release Rep. Beltran Now!

"If helping the poor is a crime, and fighting for freedom is rebellion, then I plead guilty as charged." --Crispin Beltran, August 1982 Supreme Court hearing

*Calendar of Activities

March 11, 2006
(1pm-5 pm)
Workers’ Indoor Rally, UP Alumni Hostel

March 13, 2006
(9:30 am)
Free Ka Bel Movement Convenors’ Meeting, UP Faculty Regent Office, UP Diliman
(10:00 am) Senate hearing on Rep. Beltran’s illegal arrest

March 16, 2006
(9am-12nn) Free Ka Bel Movement Media Forum with Workers and Parliamentarians, Andaya Hall, House of Representatives

March 17, 2006
(1-5pm) Workers mobilization,pushing for: 1) Rep. Beltran’s immediate release and;
2)the approval of HB345 providing for a P125 legislated wage increase, Isetan (Recto) to Plaza Miranda

March 20, 2006
Hangad ay Kalayaan: Sulyap sa Buhay at Pakikibaka ni Cong. Crispin Beltran, House of Representatives

March 23, 2006
Multi-sectoral mobilization
, Plaza Miranda

March 24, 2006
(9:00am) Rep. Beltran’s Hearing on Supplemental Motion and Motion to Release, Makati Regional Trial Court

March 25, 2006
(10:30am) Presscon, Tree House, Kalayaan, QC (12nn) FKBM Convenors' Visit to Rep. Crispin Beltran, Camp Crame

March 28, 2006
FKBM-Southern Tagalog Visit to Rep. Crispin Beltran,
Camp Crame
Kapisanan ng mga Manggagawa sa GSIS (KMG) visit to Rep. Crispin Beltran at Camp Crame

March 29, 2006
(1am-1pm) Convenors Lunch Meeting, Room 12 Mitra Hall, House of Representatives

April 1, 2006
(7:00pm) Cultural Night for the release of Rep. Beltran
Freedom Bar, Anonas, Quezon City



We hereby unite in defense of Anakpawis Partylist (Toiling Masses Party) Representative Crispin B. Beltran.

We condemn the illegal arrest and inhumane detention of Cong. Beltran by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) last February 25, 2006, a day after the issuance of Presidential Proclamation 1017 declaring a state of emergency. We deplore how Cong. Beltran and company were accosted without an arrest warrant by elements of the CIDG, forcibly brought to Camp Crame for interrogation, and detained on false and null charges of inciting to sedition and rebellion.

We deplore how Cong. Beltran was treacherously taken from his cell by the police on February 27 on the pretext of being given medical attention, and was subjected to an inquest on new charges of rebellion--an incident condemned as "an act of political harassment" by no less than international human rights lawyer Atty. Romeo T. Capulong. We deplore how Cong. Beltran has remained in detention under police custody up to this very moment, despite the release order issued by the Quezon City Metropoltian Trial Court last March 13, 2006.

We express deep concerns for Cong. Beltran's well-being and health. Cong. Beltran is 73 years old, recovering from a mild stroke, and is taking maintenance medicine for hypertension and diabetes. Several days after his unjust incarceration, Cong. Beltran was rushed to the PNP General Hospital for unstable blood pressure levels and remains there to date. In the PNP General Hospital, Cong. Beltran is being served with inappropriate and unhealthy food which can worsen his health condition. This is contrary to the press statements of the PNP Director-General Arturo Lomibao that Cong. Beltran is well-taken care of as a “VIP”. These infuriating circumstances have considerably contributed to the deterioration of his health, something which this veteran labor leader does not deserve. We stand united in the belief that the best way to restore and stabilize his health is by immediately transferring him to a hospital where he can be attended upon by his personal doctors, and dropping the false and malicious charges filed against him.

Only dictatorships detain parliamentarians the way the PNP has detained Cong. Beltran. His continuing incarceration is not only unforgivably inhumane and blatantly unconstitutional; it is also a despicable act of political repression that deserves the condemnation of the entire Filipino people and the international community. We condemn this brazen violation of the right to due process under the law and the treacherous connivance between public officials involved in Cong. Beltran's arrest and detention.

We demand nothing less than Cong. Beltran's immediate and unconditional release from unjust detention in Camp Crame. The dismissal of the inciting to sedition case filed against Cong. Beltran only strengthens the grounds to drop the false, null, repressive and malicious charge of rebellion filed against him by the PNP and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

We condemn the issuance Presidential Proclamation 1017 last February 24, 2006, which served as an implementing order to this intensified spate of ruthless political repression against civilians and public officials critical of the Arroyo administration. The issuance of PP1017 is unfounded and unconstitutional. The “paper-lifting” of PP1017 last March 3, 2006 is not enough for it does not guarantee an end to warrantless arrests and political harassments. We demand the government to withdraw all illegal and unfounded charges to all victims of political repressions, and scrap General Order No. 5 which legalizes warrantless arrests.

We also deplore the rabid campaign of political repression against progressive solons such as Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano, Gabriela Rep. Liza Maza, Bayan Muna Reps. Satur Ocampo, Joel Virador, and Teddy Casino, leaders and supporters of progressive organizations, the Filipino mass media, and ordinary citizens. It is deeply tragic how human rights violations and violations of civil and political rights have persisted and reached alarming levels in contemporary Philippine society. These acts of political repression must be duly condemned and the perpetrators held accountable.

We call on the Filipino people and the international community to stand in favor of basic civil and political rights.





1. Former Vice President Teofisto Guingona
2. Senator Jamby Madrigal
3. Rep. Roseller Barinaga
4. Rep. Edcel Lagman Sr.
5. Dr. Edberto Villegas, UP Manila
6. Dir. Joel Lamangan, dgpi
7. Fr. Joe Dizon, Kairos
8. Bishop Julio Xavier Labayen, National Coalition for The Protection of Workers' Rights (NCPWR)
9. Mr. Elmer Labog, Kilusang Mayo Uno
10. Atty. Remigio Saladero, Pro-Labor Legal Assistance Center (PLACE)
11. Ms Cherry Clemente, Anakpawis
12. Ms Daisy Arago, Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR)
13. Mr. Donato Continente, SELDA
14. Ms. Connie Regalado, MIGRANTE
15. Mr. Ferdie Gaite, COURAGE
16. Mr.Dennis Maga, FKBM Spokesperson
17. Prof. Doroteo Abaya, UP Manila
18. Gat Inciong, MCCCL
19. Nanay Carmen Deunida, Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (KADAMAY)
20. Ms. Lengua De Guzman, Idol Ko si Ka Bel
21. Mr. Juan Paolo Alfonso, UP-Diliman University Student Council
22. Mr. Paul Quintos, Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER)
23. Prof. Roland Simbulan, UP Faculty Regent