James Clancy, national president of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), is urging members and supporters to protest the repressive actions of the government of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of the Philippines.
Ottawa (1 March 2006) - James Clancy, national president of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), is urging members and supporters to protest the repressive actions of the government of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of the Philippines.
"We read daily reports of arbitrary arrests, a crackdown on press freedoms and the forceful disruption of peaceful and legal protests. These are not the actions of a government that respects the democratic process or values civil and human rights," Clancy says.
He has also written a letter to the president on behalf of NUPGE's 340,000 members across Canada.
"We are urging everyone who cares about human rights and civil liberties to write the government of the Philippines and demand action to restore democratic freedoms and liberties," he adds.
Crispin Beltran, a former trade union leader and an elected Representative of the National Legislature, was taken into custody on Feb. 26 in a subdivision of Bulacan, where he resides.
His vehicle was blocked by elements of the Criminal Investigation and Detention Group (CIDG), which operates under the Philippine National Police (PNP), as Beltran was leaving for a press conference of the House Minority in Sulu Hotel, Quezon City. The elected parliamentarian, his wife Rosario and four other companions were escorted' to Camp Crame.
This makes Beltran the first victim of a state of emergency imposed by the government. A few hours after his arrest, police attempted to arrest another progressive member of parliament, Satur Ocampo, a Bayan Muna party-list representative. He escaped when the military swooped down on the wrong van. The following day two others, Ramon Montano, a retired general, and Rex Piad were also invited for "questioning" by the military.
In Beltran's case, there are concerns for his health as well as his safety. He has a history of high blood pressure and was confined in a hospital last year after suffering from a mild stroke.
Within a day of the state of emergency being declared, grave violations of civil liberties, press freedom and international human rights conventions were reported around the country.
"This is far too reminiscent of the actions of the days of Ferdinand Marcos regime and his abusive declaration of Martial Law," says Clancy. "It's time for concerned citizens around the world to speak out and demand accountability this time from the government of President Arroyo." NUPGE
Speak up now!
In the Philippines, contact:
H.E. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
In Canada, contact:
Ambassador Jose. S. Brillantes
Hon. Peter MacKay
In solidarity, contact:
Messages of solidarity can be send to Crispin Beltran at email@example.com