Philippines: Beltran to ask SC to make decision final

Jun. 05, 2007

MANILA — Detained lawmaker Anakpawis Crispin Beltran today said that his attorneys Romeo Capulong and Rachel Pastores of the Public Interest Law Center (PILC) will file a motion at the Supreme Court appealing to the High Court to make its decision on the dismissal of rebellion charges on the Batasan 6 final and executory.

Beltran is appealing to the Supreme Court that it immediately order the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 under Judge Elmo Alameda to expedite the implementation of the SC’s ruling that the rebellion charges against Beltran be dismissed and allow his complete release. Beltran’s lawyers have said that they will not wait for the DOJ and the Solgen office to file its appeal and instead petition the Supreme Court to make its decision final and executory.

“I know that the Department of Justice under Sec. Raul Gonzalez and Solicitor-general Agnes Devanadera are seeking an appeal and prevent my release from police custody. Be that as it may, I am seeking the Supreme Court’s favor and order my release even as the Solo-gen’s appeal has yet to be finalized, submitted or deliberated upon. All that remains is for the MRTC Branch 150 is to act on an order from the SC. It’s my hope that the High Court will dismiss the Solgen’s appeal,” he said.

“The Solgen and the DOJ can file all the appeals that they want and we will not back down with a counterpart legal offensive. I have no doubt that we will come out victorious because truth is on our side we do not have to resort to underhanded tactics, fake testimonies, and political persecution to achieve our ends. What the DOJ is doing is malicious prosecution; abusing its authority as a government institution to prosecute legitimate opposition.”

“I hope to regain my full and complete freedom at the soonest possible time.”

Beltran has been allowed by the MRTC to perform his duties as a lawmaker and attend the closing session of the 13th Congress, from June 4 to 6, and to participate in the House of Representative’s Centennial celebrations on June 7.

On his second day of temporary freedom after 15 months of incarceration, Beltran said that there was evidence that the Macapagal-Arroyo government was determined to gradually do away with the party-list system because it has become a valuable venue for progressive organizations to ventilate their issues and further their activist advocacies. He said that the First Party Rule that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is threatening to implement actually targets the progressive party-lists led by Bayan Muna which have been participating in the polls since 2001.

“The Comelec has long been tampering with the party-list system and the rules governing it not with the intent to strengthen it, but to weaken it. What has been originally conceptualized as an electoral avenue wherein marginalized sectors and underrepresented sections of society can maximize so they can enact progressive changes among their ranks has been bastardized and manipulated. The Comelec should cease and desist from these efforts and once and for all dismiss the Panganiban formula not only as faulty, but patently unjust. It undermines the interests of the genuine party-list groups who carry true pro-poor advocacies,” he said. #

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