IPU probe team to arrive in Philippines tomorrow

Apr. 17, 2007

April 17, 2007

IPU probe team to arrive in Manila tomorrow; Beltran’s incarceration,
trumped-up suits vs. Batasan 5 to be probed

The members of the fact-finding mission of the Inter-Parliamentary
Union will arrive on April 18, Thursday:

Anders B. Johnsson, IPU secretary-general; and Ms. Ingeborg Schwarz,
secretary of the IPU Committee on Human Rights of Parliamentarians are
set to arrive at 8:45 AM on board KLM Airlines flight KL 803.

Canadian Senator Sharon Carstairs, vice president of the IPU Committee
on Human Rights of Parliamentarians, arrives at 9:55 AM aboard a
Cathay Pacific jet with flight number CX 917.

From April 19-21, the IPU mission will investigate the case of the
Batasan 6 composed of Anakpawis Reps. Crispin Beltran and Rafael
Mariano, Gabriela Rep. Liza Maza, Bayan Muna Reps. Satur Ocampo, Teddy
Casino and Joel Virador.

Beltran was arrested on Feb. 25, 2006, the 20th anniversary of the
overthrow of the Marcos dictatorship, on the basis of a 21 year old
warrant of arrest for sedition which violated his parliamentary

Ocampo et al evaded warrantless arrest sanctioned by President
Arroyo’s Proclamation 1017 by obtaining protective custody of the
House of Representatives. Ocampo was arrested last month on falsified
multiple murder charges.

“An attack on Congress itself” was how the IPU described the legal
persecution of the Batasan 6 since last year, in the body’s
resolutions on the issue.

The IPU mission will meet with officials of the House of
Representatives, Justice Sec. Raul Gonzalez and Chief State Prosecutor
Jovencito Zuo, Defense Sec. Hermogenes Ebdane, Interior Sec. Ronaldo
Puno, National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, the chiefs of the
PNP and AFP, Commission on Elections Chair Benjamin Abalos, and
Commission on Human Rights Chair Purificacion Quisumbing.

The results of the IPU mission will most likely be presented to the
international body’s 116th Assembly in Bali, Indonesia from April 29
to May 4, 2007.

Over 140 national parliaments are currently members of the
Geneva-based IPU. Seven regional parliamentary assemblies are
Associate Members.

Manila hosted the IPU’s 112th Assembly in April 2005. ###

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