Philippines: Beltran slams gov’t plan to file appeal before SC

Jun. 02, 2007

MANILA — Detained lawmaker Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran today slammed the declaration of Malacanang spokesperson Ignacio Bunye that the Supreme Court decision junking the rebellion charges against the progressive party-list lawmakers of Bayan Muna, Anakpawis and Gabriela Women’s Party (GWP) were fraught with legal consequences and hence the Malacanang through the Department of Justice and the office of the solicitor general will issue an appeal to it.

“Malacanang is appealing the SC decision because it questioned not only the legality of the rebellion charges against us, but the very motives of the Macapagal-Arroyo government for filing the same. Time and again we have been told to submit to the authority of the judicial system, and we did. Now that the High Court came out with a decision that rightly and fairly favors us, Malacang is sorely contesting it. Parang pikon lang talaga ang gobyernong Arroyo,” he said.

“Isn’t it enough that we’ve had this sword hanging above our heads for the last 15 months? Isn’t is enough that I’ve been denied my rights and my freedom for 15 months? If the Supreme Court upheld the rebellion charges against us, it would’ve been a party to the setting of a most dangerous precedent attacking the over-all civil and political rights of Filipinos. The High Court exercised the highest standard of justice and morality by dismissing these charges against us. Malacanang should not contest this decision and withdraw all plans and intentions to file an appeal,” he said.

“Justice secretary Raul Gonzalez should know when he’s defeated. He should acknowledge that he can only go so far with his abuse of authority and machinations. His sense of justice is twisted and he should learn to back off from fights when he has already been reduced to fighting dirty,” he said. #

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