IPU mission ends human-rights probe in Philippines

Apr. 21, 2007

The Inter-Parliamentary Union’s fact-minding mission dispatched to
investigate the case of the Batasan 6 today ended their four-day
probe, maintaining their emphatic call for the immediate release of
detained Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran.

The IPU mission will present its report to the organization’s 116th
Assembly on April 29 to May 4 in Bali, Indonesia.

Before leaving Manila, the IPU mission held with a final two-hour
meeting with House Deputy Minority Leader Satur Ocampo, Bayan Muna
Rep. Teddy Casino, Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano and Gabriela Rep.
Liza Maza at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel inside the CCP

The IPU mission visited Rep. Beltran at the Philippine Heart Center yesterday.

The IPU mission composed of Canadian Senator Sharon Carstairs, vice
president of the IPU committee on human rights of parliamentarians,
IPU Secretary-General Anders Johnsson, and committee secretary
Ingeborg Schwarz arrived in Manila on April 18 and immediately sat
down with the partylist solons and Beltran’s wife Rosario.

Top executive, legislative, security and elections officials also met
and sat down with the IPU mission.

Last year, the Batasan 6 filed a case at the IPU soon after Beltran’s
arrest and while they were under the protective custody of the House
of Representatives.

In response, the IPU issued resolutions expressing concern over the
plight and dubbed the Beltran’s arrest and the attempted warrantless
arrest on five others as “an attack on Congress itself”.

In a related development, a ranking member of the US House of
Representatives joined the IPU and dozens of parliamentarians
worldwide in demanding Beltran’s release from detention.

US Rep. Adam Smith, member of the influential Armed Services and
Foreign Affairs committees of the US Congress, wrote President Arroyo
on April 18 and asked that Beltran be released on humanitarian

Prosecutors under Justice Sec. Raul Gonzalez have opposed Beltran’s
motion for bail before the courts. davaotoday.com

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