Philippines: OSG files motion blocking Beltran’s release

Jun. 20, 2007

MANILA — Detained Anakpawis lawmaker Crispin’s lawyers Atty. Romeo Capulong and Atty Rachel Pastores said that they have received reports that the Solicitor General Agnes Devanadera yesterday, June 19, filed the government’s motion appealing the decision of the Supreme Court to junk the rebellion charges against their client.

Atty. Pastores expressed confidence that the Supreme Court will not take back its decision favoring Beltran and the Batasan 5.

“The OSG carried out its task to file the expected appeal. Now there is nothing left to do but wait. Given the recent declarations of Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno saying that the High Court under his leadership will exert all efforts to uphold and defend civil and human rights, we are confident that the SC will not change its mind on its decision to throw out the rebellion charges against Rep. Beltran,” she said.

“We hope that the Supreme Court will act with haste and dispatch on the OSG’s motion and release a satisfactory decision on it, which is to categorically and with finality dismiss it,” said Pastores.

Beltran’s lawyers have earlier filed a motion at the High Court seeking the body’s immediate action to make its decision on Beltran final and executory. The Beltran family led by the congressman’s wife Mrs. Rosario Soto-Beltran and daughter Ofelia Balleta-Beltran have also announced their intent to file counter charges against the Department of Justice (DOJ) and its officials for unlawful and malicious prosecution.

In the meantime, Beltran’s chief of staff Ina Alleco Silverio said that her principal is also confident of his chances of being released before the start of the 14th Congress of the House of Representatives next Month, if he is not released earlier.

“Ka Bel remains upbeat, elated over the decision of the Supreme Court on his case. He feels very vindicated by the decision,” she said. “Rep. Beltran’s hopes for immediate release have been much bolstered by the recent pronouncement of the Chief Justice that the Supreme Court will staunchly defend civil rights. The Macapagal-Arroyo government’s continuing persecution of Rep. Beltran and its reneging on its previous promise that it will not block any motion for bail is a glaring case of the government’s campaign of political repression. He expects that the High Court will see through this and stand firmly on its decision to junk the rebellion charges against him on the grounds of these accusations being politically motivated, besides being solid basis.”

Silverio also said that the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) through its Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians continue to monitor the developments in Beltran’s case. She said that the Committee Secretary Ingeborg Schwarz has made known the IPU and the committee’s continuing commitment to press for the full and unequivocal release of the detained lawmaker.

“The IPU and its committee on the rights of parliamentarians continue to send letters of appeal to Malacanang, the DOJ and other adjunct agencies involved in Rep. Beltran’s case and calling for his immediate release. The IPU has also hailed the Supreme Court’s decision on the Batasan 6 and said that it’s enough grounds to have Rep. Beltran removed from police custody,” she said.

Finally, Silverio said that even as his release is not yet finalized, Rep. Beltran has already given instructions to his staff to begin the drafting of bills and resolutions to be filed as soon as the Bills and Index Division of the House of Representatives begins accepting legislative submissions on July 2. #

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