Re: Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran, Labor leader, and others.
To: H.E. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President of the Republic of the Phillippines and others
From: Ms. Luningning Alcuitas-Imperial, LRWC
As an organization of lawyers in Canada defending human rights, we strongly protest your government’s recent actions in unjustly arresting and detaining Congressman Crispin Beltran and in threatening the unjust arrest of Congress Members Satur Ocampo, Rafael Mariano, Liza Maza, Joel Virador and Teodoro Casino.
These actions are patently a violation of the right to legitimate dissent and their immunity to arrest as members of Congress while this is in session. We urge you to immediately release Congressman Beltran, who is in ill health, and to desist from further carrying out measures that restrict the democratic rights of the people.
We are aware that the constitutionality and legality of Proclamation 1017 is being challenged in your Supreme Court, who has cited non-compliance with the limits and restraints on the use of extraordinary powers. We are also aware that the Philippine Congress unanimously passed House Resolution 1169 which seeks to uphold its members’ right to due process and grants protective custody to any members charged with any offense.
We remind you that the Philippine Government is bound by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that it is also a party to all the major Human Rights instruments. In particular, we remind you that your government is a signatory to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, which has an established mechanism to monitor its implementation. Your government is bound to observe all provisions of the said instruments.