BSCBN NEWS (PINKY WEBB) has just reported the warrantless arrest of CONGRESSMAN CRISPIN BELTRAN, (party list representative of the Left-leaning Anakpawis party) Over a 21-year old rebellion case.
Correction to this item via ABSCBN:
"Bayan Muna Rep. Saturnino Ocampo said Beltran along with a bodyguard, his wife, and two other companions, were arrested in his San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, home at around 8:30 a.m. Saturday. The five were reportedly taken to CIDG headquarters at Camp Crame in Quezon City." More from PCIJ
I may disagree with Rep. Beltran's ideology, some even say he is a communist, but I wish to condemn in the strongest possible terms this clear violation of the Rule of Law and a human being's Constitutional and Democratic rights to be safe and secure in his private person. There is an arbitrariness to this arrest, which smacks of a setup. It is of course easy to go after Leftist personalities. That is how it starts but repression never ends there. Because political protest is not the monopoly of the Left. All the more serious that he is a duly elected democratic representative of the people. The Palace has indeed been hitting out at the well-known avatars of the "extreme Right" and the "Extreme Left" by charging Senator Gringo Honasan for a coup d'etat conducted three years ago [sic!] and now "Ka Crispin Beltran." It's mainly for optics. It is a cruel reality-show type of support for the main pretext and premise in Proclamation 1017-- that an alliance between the Left and the Right is in conspiracy against the State. Hohum. How original. As for Oplan Hackle and General Danilo Lim, I have a feeling when the truth comes out about that, it will be very embarrassing and devastating for the Palace.
ALL ON THE FIRST DAY OF 1017: These reported actions are the actions of a rogue state with a rogue leader that does not deserve the respect of the international community and of global civil societies. These actions do not advance Freedom in the world, they retard it by tarnishing Democracy's record in resolving human political conflicts. Such states promote strife and distrust in democratic forms of governance and create a condition that is susceptible of violence by undermining respect due to constitutional authority. All in one day they have accomplished these despicable acts. They have outlawed the right to bear arms by repealing all permits to carry; they have warned media with takeover or closure if they do not bend the news so the government looks good; they have threatened to take over private enterprises under the pretext of a national emergency; they have raided newspaper offices and arrested university professors. They have indeed conducted warrantless searches and seizures of two newspapers, the Daily Tribune and Abante. Now they are arresting Congressmen in direct contravention of the Rule of Law and common morality. It is happening again right now folks and one of these days, as in Marcosian times, it will also be at your door. Fascist dictatorship by the faithless, the paranoiac, the totalitarian, the pikon with a gun, I mean.
There is a CHILL in the air.
It's name is Fear.
But there are other,
Equally ancient emotions
I call on all fellow Filipinos and Filipino Americans to stand by the U.S. Government's statement yesterday calling on the Philippine government to uphold the Rule of Law, protect human rights and civil liberties, and to support the renewed call of President Corazon Aquino for Mrs. Arroyo to step down. For the good salvation of the nation. It is our duty to hold our governments to their stated duties and commitments to law and decency.