Category: KMU

KMU third update and action alert

Another militant Party List Representative arrested; DOJ files rebellion charges against party list reps, tags KMU and other progressive legal organizations as CPP fronts

3:30 p.m. – Bayan Muna Representative Joel Virador was arrested in Davao City this afternoon. Sketchy reports said that he was arrested at the Davao International airport. He was immediately brought to Camp Leonor but Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte took Rep. Virador into his custody. Duterte said that he will personally surrender Rep. Virador to House Minority Leader Francis Escudero and House Speaker Joe de Venecia tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano, Bayan Muna Representatives Satur Ocampo and Teodoro Casino, and Gabriela Womens Party representative Liza Maza, opted to go to the Congress and wait for their warrant of arrests to be served. A commotion ensued when policemen tried to prevent their supporters from entering the House. The police also attempted to arrest a staff of Rep. Virador but failed.

This morning, the PNP filed rebellion charges before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against 51 so-called “reds”, which included leaders and members identified with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), partylist representatives, and other militant leaders.

In its complaint, the PNP named 41 individuals and several John and Jane Does. Among those charged were Jose Maria Sison, founder of CPP-NPA; National Democratic Front (NDF) chairperson Luis Jalandoni; and partylist Representatives Beltran and Mariano (Anakpawis); Ocampo, Casiño and Virador (Bayan Muna); and Maza (Gabriela).

It also tagged as legal fronts of the CPP-NPA organizations such as Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN), Gabriela, and PAMALAKAYA, among others.

Last Saturday, Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran, also a veteran labor leader, was arrested outside the gate of a subdivision in Bulacan, north of Manila, where he resides.

At 6pm tonight, KMU will launch a “Candle for Democracy” campaign. Simultaneous candle lighting will be conducted in front of factories, offices and residences to protest the blanket martial law that the Arroyo government is implementing under PD 1017. KMU is calling on the people to go out of their houses, offices, factories and communities at 6pm tonight and everyday and light a candle until PD 1017 is scrapped.

We are encouraging our international network to join us in this campaign.

In solidarity,
Kilusang Mayo Uno

KMU condemns crackdown on progressive partylist solons

The militant labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) condemns the arrest of Anakpawis Rep. Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran.

“If the government can do this to our representatives in the Lower House using PD 1017, how much more to us ordinary citizens?” stressed Elmer Labog, KMU National Chairperson.

According to reports, Beltran was arrested by the military led by a certain Major Rene Corpus at the gate of Francisco III Subdivision in Muzon, Bulacan around 10 am today after leaving his house. Beltran was said to be taken for investigation in Camp Crame. The veteran labor advocate was accompanied by his wife, grandchild and two security personnel when the incident occurred.

Beltran was also a victim of martial law during the dictatorship of the late President Ferdinand Marcos when crackdown hit the KMU leaders. On August 13, 1983, three trade union leaders, 28 organizers and three church people were arrested. The office of the National Federation of Labor Union (NAFLU) was raided. Then KMU National President Ka Bert Olalia, KMU Secretary General Crispin Beltran and PISTON President Medardo Roda were arrested.

Beltran was honored as an outstanding congressman for four consecutive years.

Meanwhile, an attempt to arrest Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo also happened this morning after a press conference in Sulo Hotel in Quezon City. But reports said, members of Criminal Investigation and Detention Group (CIDG) failed to arrest the partylist solon and instead took two of Ocampo’s staff.

KMU urges the media, different organizations and the people to be vigilant on the president’s state of emergency, “It is apparent that Gloria is using this decree to freely suppress and take revenge on the staunch critics of the anti-people policies of this administration.”