Philippines: After Honasan, Ka Bel should be freed next — Satur

Apr. 21, 2007

MANILA — Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo today challenged Justice Sec. Raul
Gonzalez not to oppose any new motion to grant temporary release on
bail for detained Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran in the wake offormer
Sen. Gringo Honasan’s release yesterday.

Ocampo said that “everyone, including Ka Bel, has a constitutional
right to bail. In the case of the Anakpawis chairperson, the charges
leveled against him by Gonzalez are weak and clearly justifies
availment of the right to bail.”

“There are strong and compelling constitutional and humanitarian bases
to release Ka Bel,” said Ocampo.

“It is an outright lie for Mr. Gonzalez to claim he has nothing to do
with Ka Bel’s detention as he claimed before the members of the
Inter-Parliamentary Union fact-finding mission. It was Gonzalez and
his prosecutors who justified Ka Bel’s arbitrary arrest before the
courts and continuously opposes his temporary release on bail,” said

“We expect our lead counsel Atty. Romeo Capulong to take the necessary
legal steps to attain freedom for Ka Bel who was illegally arrested on
Feb. 25, 2006,” said Ocampo. “We will see what Mr. Gonzalez will do
when Ka Bel and Atty. Capulong file a new motion for bail. We expect
him to oppose the motion because the administration really wants to
keep Ka Bel out of the public and sideline him for the entire
partylist campaign.”

Ocampo obtained temporary liberty from detention on orders of the
Supreme Court after he posted a P100,000 bail.

Anakpawis is a consistent second-placer to Bayan Muna in the
pre-election surveys of SWS and Pulse Asia.

Beltran is the Anakpawis chair and first nominee and chair emeritus of
the Kilusang Mayo Uno. He was first elected to Congress in 2001 as
partylist representative of Bayan Muna. He quit Congress and Bayan
Muna in 2003 to form Anakpawis as a partylist of workers, farmers,
fisherfolk and urban poor.

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