Ka Bel, Bayani ka
ng Masang Pilipino
"If helping the poor is a crime
and fighting for freedom is rebellion then I plead guilty as charged
Crispin "Ka Bel" Beltran
21 years ago on the rebellion charges against him by the Marcos
The militant workers of the Cordillera
Region under the flagship of Kilusang Mayo Uno-Cordillera join the
Filipino masses in bidding farewell to the great leader and fighter
of the oppressed, ANAKPAWIS REPRESENTATIVE Crispin "Ka Bel"
Beltran who died at 11:48 am on May 20. Beltran succumbed to lacerations
of the head and brain injuries after falling from his roof of their
house in Muzon, Bulacan. He was first rushed to the Far Eastern
University Hospital in Quezon City where declared that the congressman
is "brain dead" after suffering at least four cardiac
arrests after arrival and later transferred at the Caloocan Doctors'
Hospital. Beltran is 75.
Ka Bel is a big loss to the lives of the Filipinos
especially the poor as they lose a brilliant and brave father who
dedicated his life in giving utmost servitude for the advancement
of the democratic rights and welfare of the Filipino people. He
firmly stood for what he believed for in fighting against the exploitations
and oppressions and struggling for a just and democratic society
in the country.
Ka Bel was a true blooded working class hero where
he courageously fought for the democratic rights and welfare of
the Filipino workers for almost 54 years. A trade unionist ever
since 1955, he helped in the establishment of the Kilusang Mayo
Uno (May 1st movement) forwarding genuine, militant, and nationalist
unionism. He became the Vice-Chairman of the Partido ng Bayan from
1986 to 1987. He was one of the first set of representatives of
the progressive Party-List Bayan Muna in 2001 until 2004. From 2004
until the time he died, he is the representative of ANAKPAWIS Party-List.
He is the chairman of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN). He
is also the founding Chairman of the International League of Peoples'
Struggle. He is the Chairman Emeritus of the KMU before his death.
Ka Bel was born on January 7, 1933 at Bacacay, Albay.
He attended elementary at the Bacacay, Elementary School (1938-1941;
1946-1949). He finished secondary education at the Albay High School
(1949-1953), went to the Phil. School of Arts and trades (1953-1955).
He even took up Marine and Civil Engineering at the Far Eastern
University (undergraduate). He is married to Rosario Soto Beltran
Ka Bel is a true peoples' servant, as a congressman
of the masses, he filed numerous bills and passages advancing the
peoples welfare. He is at the forefront of exposing government anomalies
and corruptions. He is a vocal campaigner against foreign exploitation
and domination. Because of his tireless and dedicated performance
in the public service, he was awarded the Congressional Hall of
Fame, he was chosen Most Outstanding Congressman for four consecutive
years from 2002-2005. The Philippine Graphic Magazine recognized
him as Filipino of the Year for 2002 for protecting consumers from
the anti-people policies and abuses of electricity firms and by
the Philippine Free Press as 2003 Filipino of the Year for advancing
the interests of the working class.
Being a firm critic to the misdeeds of the Gloria
Macapagal Arroyo administration, Ka Bel was illegally arrested on
February 25, 2006 just after Arroyo desperately declared a state
of emergency by elements of the Philippine National Police without
even explaining to him the basis of his arrest. He was only presented
after a few hours a photocopy of an alleged warrant for a rebellion
case hurled against him by the Marcos Dictatorship which was dismissed
21 years ago. He was a political detainee during the Martial Law
and was again one under the Arroyo administration for more than
15 months falsely charged for inciting to sedition from March 2006
to July 2007 through a hospital arrest at the Philippine Heart Center.
According to his daughter, Ofelia Beltran-Balleta,
Ka Bel was about to file a bill scrapping the 12% reformed Value
Added Tax (RVAT) which is the main cause of the sky rocketing of
the price of oil and other petrol products. Ka Bel was among the
Ka Bel may be physically gone, but in the hearts
and mind of the Filipino masses especially the working class, never
will the golden deeds and priceless contributions for the people's
welfare he gave for more than five decades. A simple salute is not
enough but continuing his fight will be the better way to let live
what he thought us.
We invite everyone to join us in paying tribute
to our beloved congressman and hero of the masses on May 24 at 4:00
to 6:00 pm at the people's park.
LET US SALUTE OUR BELOVED CONGRESSMAN!
LET US CONTINUE THE FIGHT OF KA BEL!
ISULONG ANG PAKIKIBAKA NG MASANG ANAKPAWIS!
MAKIBAKA! HUWAG MATAKOT!
KILUSANG MAYO UNO-CORDILLERA