Philippines: Beltran Demands Freedom to Vote

May. 02, 2007

MANILA — Anakpawis Representative and political detainee Crispin Beltran today said that even as the Supreme Court has yet to grant his petition for bail, he is already preparing to file a motion to be allowed to leave his detention room at the Philippine Heart Center on May 14 election day so he may be able to cast his vote for his party-list Anakpawis and the candidates it is supporting and endorsing for the senatorial and local elections. Beltran said that he hopes that his political and constitutional right to vote will not be denied him given that he has already been illegally arrested and unjustly detained for the last 14 months.

Beltran’s motion to attend the Labor Day rallies yesterday, May 1 International Labor Day was denied by the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150.

“Pending the favorable resolution of my motion for bail, I hope that the court will not deny my plea that I be allowed to leave detention so I can cast my vote for Anakpawis on May 14,” he said. Beltran, 74, is a registered voter in Gao, Commonwealth, Quezon City where he has been residing with his family since the late 1970s. He remains Anakpwis’ Party-List’s first nominee to the party-list polls as well as its national chairman.

The veteran labor leader and activist lawmaker’s legal counsels led by Atty. Romeo Capulong has already filed a motion for his temporary release on bail. They filed the motion soon after the release of senatorial candidate Gringo Honasan’s own motion for bail was granted and Honasan was released.

Beltran said that the charges against Honasan and the charges against himself were both rebellion, “But I have been incarcerated far longer than he has, and my previous motion for bail essentially ignored. I hope that since the courts and the Arroyo administration allowed Honasan’s release, it will also allow mine. It will be glaring double standard of justice if this will not be the case,” he said. #

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