FORWARDED APPEALS (Philippines): Arrest of a labour leader subsequent to state of national emergency declaration 

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is forwarding to you an appeal from the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) calling for the immediate release of labour leader Crispin Beltran, a Party list Representative of Anakpawis (“Toiling Masses”) in the Philippine Congress.

Beltran was arrested on 25 February 2006, a day after Proclamation 1017 declaring the entire Philippines under the “State of National Emergency”. Beltran’s arrest is yet another instance of the illegal arrest, threat and harassment of political leaders, human rights and labour activists in the Philippines.

If you have further questions, please contact the concerned organisation.


Dear Friends,

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared the Philippines under a state of “national emergency” on the false premise of a non-existent coup attempt yesterday, 24 February.  Two generals and a colonel have been arrested allegedly for planning to join rallies calling for the resignation of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during the commemoration of the EDSA People Power 1 that ousted the dictator Marcos from power in February 1986. Her government is now conducting a crackdown on known opposition leaders and the media.

Parliament member Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran was arrested this morning, while police tried but failed to arrest Parliament member Satur Ocampo. The offices of two daily newspapers — Daily Tribune and Abante– were likewise raided by the police and military.

Crispin Beltran, 73 years old, is a long time labor leader and staunch fighter for workers’
rights and welfare. He was the founding chairperson of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS).

For many months now, a broad range of forces composed of opposition political parties, people’s organizations, bishops, businessmen, retired and active military and police officers has been calling for the resignation of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.  They accuse her of cheating in the last presidential elections, government corruption involving her husband, rampant human rights violations, and carrying out disastrous economic policies that have aggravated the poverty and sufferings of the people.

We urge all participating organizations of the ILPS and our friends in the international
community to support our calls for the release of Crispin Beltran and for the Philippine Government to revoke its Presidential Proclamation 1017 (declaring the Philippines in a state of “national emergency”).

In solidarity,
General Secretariat
International League of Peoples’ Struggle


Urgent Action Date: 25 February 2006

Urgent Action Title: Parliament Member Crispin Beltran arrested by Police in Bulacan, Philippines

Urgent Action Case: Illegal Arrest and Detention

Victim/s: Hon. Crispin B. Beltran
•    73 years old, married with 11 children
•    Male
•    Partylist Representative of Anakpawis (“Toiling Masses”)
•    Former Chair of Kilusang Mayo Uno (May 1st Movement)
•    Former Chairperson of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle
•    a resident of Francisco III, Muzon, Bulacan, Philippines

Place of Incident: at the gate of Francisco III, Muzon, Bulacan, Philippines

Date of Incident: 25 February 2006 between 8:00 – 8:30 AM

Suspected Perpetrators: Senior Inspector Rene Corpuz of the Philippine National Police (CIDG)

Account of Incident:

Between 8:00 – 8:30 AM today, February 25, 2006 Anakpawis (Toiling Masses) Partylist
Representative Crispin Beltran, 73 years old was about to leave his home in Francisco III, Muzon, Bulacan, North of Metro Manila in the Philippines, when two vans of a combined team of army and police blocked his vehicle at the gate of the said village and arrested him together with his aide.

Led by Senior Inspector Rene Corpuz, the policemen said they were inviting the Crispin
Beltran for questioning at the Camp Crame to find out if he was involved in a destabilization plot against Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s government.

Prior to this incident President Macapagal-Arroyo put the Philippines in a state of emergency yesterday after an alleged coup by military officers opposed to her administration. On the same day, her government revoked all permits for mass mobilizations and violently dispersed rallies commemorating the 20th anniversary of
People Power 1 that led to the ouster of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos.


1. Send letters, emails or fax messages protesting the illegal arrest and detention of
Parliament member Crispin Beltran and the crackdown on legitimate dissent and demanding his release and revocation of Proclamation 1017.

2.  Picket Philippine embassy/consulate in your countries to protest the crackdown on the
opposition and call for the revocation of the state of emergency as it serves mainly to keep her illegitimate claim to power.


Dear Sir/Madam;

We strongly protest the unjustified arrest and detention of Parliament member Crispin
Beltran.  This action is patently a violation of the right to legitimate dissent and his immunity to arrest as a member of Congress while this is in session.. We urge you to immediately release him and to desist from further carrying out measures that restrict the democratic rights of the people.

We are aware that the constitutionality and legality of Proclamation 1017 are being
challenged by members of the Philippine Senate, who have cited non-compliance with the limits and restraints on the use of extraordinary powers.

We remind you that the Philippine Government is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that it is also a party to all the major Human Rights instruments. Thus it is bound to observe all provisions of the said instruments.

Respectfully yours,

You may send your communications to:

H.E. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
President of the Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace,
JP Laurel St., San Miguel
Manila, Philippines
Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968
Cell#: (+ 63) 919 898 4622 / (+63) 917 839 8462
E-mail: /

Hon. Avelino J. Cruz, Jr.
Secretary of National Defense
Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo,
E. de los Santos Avenue
Quezon City
Voice:+63(2) 911-9281 / 911-0488
Fax:+63(2) 911 6213

Hon. Purificacion Valera Quisumbing
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., UP Complex
Commonwealth Avenue
Diliman, Quezon City
Fax: (+632) 929 0102

Please send us a copy of your email/mail/fax to the said government official to our address below.

URGENT ACTION Prepared by:
General Secretariat
International League of Peoples’ Struggle


Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (

To support this case, please click here: SEND APPEAL LETTER


Document Type : Forwarded Urgent Appeal
Document ID : FA-006-2006
Countries : Philippines,
Campaigns : Stop extra-judicial killings in the Philippines
Issues : Arbitrary arrest & detention,