Honoring Crispin Ka Bel Beltran on Labor Day

with the unveiling of his bas relief at historic Plaza Miranda

 

Manila

 

May 1, 2010

 

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Photos courtesy of  Ron Villegas, Judy Taguiwalo, Karl Ramirez and Vince Borneo (as indicaed by the  fiienames)
           
           

 

Lawmaker’s memorial unveiled on Labor Day
Poll bets challenged to learn from Ka Bel

PRESS RELEASE
May 1, 2010

“The candidates in this elections shall be doing a great service to our country and to the people by learning from the example of Ka Bel, who served the poor and the marginalized until his untimely death.”

This was the challenge made by Ofel Beltran-Balleta, daughter of the late Rep. Crispin Beltran to candidates running in this year’s national elections during the unveiling of the lawmaker’s bas-relief at the historic Plaza Miranda in Manila today.

The unveiling and wreath laying coincided with the celebration of the International Labor Day, in anticipation of the annual rally led by Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) and Anakpawis in the afternoon.

Ka Bel, who represented the Partylist Bayan Muna from 2001-2004 and Anakpawis from 2004 until his death, died in after he fell while repairing the roof of their house during a storm in May 20, 2008.

Balleta explained that Beltran’s record was never tainted with profiteering, graft, and corruption scandals.

“If the candidates really are for genuine change as they claim, then they must learn to stand alongside the workers and the farmers, advocating genuine land reform and national industrialization. Ka Bel never compromised these principles, and he was willing to defend them despite criticism, harassment, and the risk of personal safety,” said Balleta.

With the workers for labor day

Ka Bel’s daughter added that the unveiling of the militant lawmaker’s relief on labor day very timely, for it was the latter’s favorite holiday.

“Since he became a labor leader during the seventies, the only times when Ka Bel missed the Labor Day rally were the times he was locked up in jail,” said Balleta.

“It is as if my father has again joined the workers for our rally today. I also know that the memory of Ka Bel lives in the everyday struggle of workers for genuine social change,” said Balleta. ###

Reference:

Ofel Beltran-Balleta, 09174181165, cbbrc@yahoo.com

 

Mayor Lim, Sen. Chiz Escudero and Rep. Satur Ocampo
           
     
     
     

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Labor leader’s bas relief unveiled at Plaza Miranda
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view/20100501-267546/Labor-leaders-bas-relief-unveiled-at-Plaza-Miranda

 

By Tarra Quismundo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 20:29:00 05/01/2010

Filed Under: Labor, Sculpture
 

MANILA, Philippines -- Various factions within the political opposition united under the labor banner on Saturday when politicians crossed parties to join militants in memorializing Crispin Beltran, revered as an icon of the labor movement two years after his accidental death.

 

A bas relief of Beltran was unveiled at Plaza Miranda in Manila, a public square where he stood countless times to speak of the plight of the country's underpaid labor sector and fight for their welfare.

 

The event was held Saturday morning just before militants mobilized for the annual labor day march to Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila under the sweltering heat of the afternoon.

 

The affair brought together politicians from different colors of the opposition: Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo and Gabriela Rep. Liza Maza, both guest senatorial candidates under the orange banner of the Nacionalista Party, the yellow Liberal Party's reelectionist Mayor Alfredo Lim, and currently “partyless” but long time oppositionist Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero.

 

“When it comes to the interest of the labor sector, the urban poor, in a way, Ka Bel was able to relate to all people, whatever color they are,” said Beltran's daughter, Ofel Beltran-Balleta.

 

“Especially with the elections coming, we took this opportunity to bring together everyone who respected Ka Bel,” she said.

 

A gift from the Manila city government, the bas relief by renowned sculptor Julie Lluch was affixed on one of the massive pillars on Plaza Miranda, placed above a marker unveiled on his first death anniversary last year.

 

Beltran-Balleta said Lim offered to make a memorial for Beltran soon after her father passed and later funded the separate installation of the marker and bas relief.

 

“Now, we will see him every day. We can't say that Ka Bel has left us. Even if it's just a sculpture, he is there and his family and the people will be able to see him,” she told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Beltran died on May 20, 2008, when he succumbed to head injuries after a bad fall from the roof of his house. The 75-year-old labor leader was fixing a leak on the roof of his Bulacan home when he slipped and fell face first some 14 feet to the ground.

 

He was on his third term as sectoral representative at the time of his death. A staunch critic of the Arroyo administration, Beltran had survived incarceration following his role in massive protest actions at the height of calls for the President Macapagal-Arroyo’s ouster in 2005 and 2006.

 

In Saturday's unveiling, a wreath bearing red ribbons -- the color representing the militant fight -- was offered on Beltran's memorial. Smaller floral arrangements with yellow and orange ribbons were also placed on the makeshift stage.

 

“Ka Bel as a person was very likeable, especially on a personal basis. You have to respect his very strong bias for labor and know that he would not give up. But even when he hit hard, he remained humane,” said Ocampo, a militant leader who many times marched alongside Beltran.

 

For Beltran's widow Rosario, the Plaza Miranda bas relief means more than just a memorial. It's a daily revival of that day in November 1956 when she met Beltran, the cabbie, in the same square.

 

They married 10 days later and had 10 children together.

 

“A while ago, I had a flashback and thought I could not afford not to keep coming back here. He is here,” said a smiling Rosario in Filipino.

 

“On the 20th, his death anniversary, we will see each other again. My joke is that I hope I'll see Ka Bel again standing here,” she said.

Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim
Anakpawis Rep. Joel Maglunsod
KMU Chair Elmer Bong Labog
Ka Osang, widor of Ka Bel
           
     
 
     
           

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  • Audio: Crispin Beltran's Life and Legacy Honored at Plaza Miranda ...

    21 May 2009 ... Rosario Beltran, the widow of the late labor leader Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran, extols the legacy of her husband during the unveiling of the ...
    www.bulatlat.com/.../audio-crispin-beltrans-life-and-legacy-honored-at-plaza-miranda/ -

     

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    Kodao Productions | Facebook

    2 May 2010 ... Crispin "Ka Bel" Beltran was unveiled by the city government led by Mayor Alfredo Lim. Family, relatives and friends of Ka Bel were present ...
    www.facebook.com/pages/Kodao..

               
         
               
               
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    Unveiling of Ka Bel’s relief marks opposition’s Labor Day
    http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20100502-267605/Unveiling-of-Ka-Bels-relief-marks-oppositions-Labor-Day

    By Tarra Quismundo, Tina Santos
    Philippine Daily Inquirer
    First Posted 00:59:00 05/02/2010
     

    MANILA, Philippines—Politicians from various shades of the opposition united with activists on Saturday under the workingman’s banner to memorialize Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran, an icon of the Philippine labor movement.

    A bas-relief of Beltran, who died in 2008, was unveiled at Plaza Miranda in Manila, where he stood during Labor Day commemorations to speak of the plight of underpaid workers and fight for their welfare.

     

    A gift from the Manila city government, the bas-relief by sculptor Julie Lluch was affixed to one of the massive pillars at Plaza Miranda, above a marker unveiled on Beltran’s first death anniversary last year.

     

    The unveiling was held in the morning, before activists mobilized for the annual Labor Day march to Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila.

     

    Members of militant, labor and urban poor organizations took part in the afternoon march, which was marked by the burning of a life-size effigy of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in a detention cell.

     

    The effigy, dubbed “Kulungan ni Gloria,” symbolized the workers’ desire to make Ms Arroyo accountable for their “sufferings” under her administration, according to Wendell Gumban, media liaison of the labor coalition Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU).

     

    Another highlight of the Labor Day commemoration was the workers’ assessment of Ms Arroyo’s nine-year term and the presentation of the labor agenda to candidates for the presidency.

     

    The demonstrators said record-high unemployment, depressed wages and grave abuse of workers’ rights characterized the Arroyo administration.

    “These conditions should be overturned by the next government,” they said.

     

    At the center

     

    The unveiling of the bas-relief brought together politicians from varying colors of the opposition—Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo and Gabriela Rep. Liza Maza, both guest senatorial candidates of the Nacionalista Party; the Liberal Party’s Alfredo Lim, the reelectionist mayor of Manila; and currently “partyless” Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero.

     

    “Even when Ka Bel was alive, he was at the center of the people of any [political] color he was talking to. When it came to the interest of the labor sector, the urban poor, Ka Bel was able to relate to all people, whatever color they were,” said Beltran’s daughter Ofel Balleta.

     

    “Especially with the elections coming, we took this opportunity to bring together everyone who respected Ka Bel,” she said.

     

    Balleta said Mayor Lim offered to make a memorial for her father soon after he passed away, and later funded the separate installation of the marker and bas-relief.

     

    “Now we will see him every day. We can’t say that Ka Bel has left us. Even if it’s just a sculpture, he is there and his family and the people will be able to see him,” Balleta told the Inquirer.

     

    Beltran died of head injuries on May 20, 2008. Then 75, he was fixing a leak on the roof of the family home in Bulacan when he slipped and fell head first to the ground.

     

    He was then on his third term as a party-list lawmaker.

     

    A staunch critic of the administration, Beltran had survived incarceration following his involvement in massive protest actions at the height of calls for Ms Arroyo’s resignation in 2005 and 2006.

     

    Bias for labor

     

    At the unveiling, a wreath bearing red ribbons—the color representing the militant struggle—was offered along with smaller floral arrangements with yellow and orange ribbons.

     

    “Ka Bel as a person was very likeable, especially on a personal basis. You have to respect his very strong bias for labor and know that he will not give up. But even when there were times that he hit hard, he remained humane,” said Ocampo, who had many times marched beside Beltran.

    Renato Reyes, secretary general of the militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), said this year’s presidential candidates should look up to Beltran who made no compromises and never wavered in his advocacy.

     

    “He’s an icon of the labor movement; he’s recognized whatever your affiliation may be, whatever your labor union. That’s the spirit of Ka Bel—uncompromising, principled, steadfast, a simple man. That should be emulated even by the ‘presidentiables,’” Reyes said.

     

    Beltran’s widow Rosario said the bas-relief would be not only a memorial to her husband but also a daily revival of that day in November 1956 when she met him, then a cabbie, in Plaza Miranda.

     

    They married 10 days later and had 10 children together.

     

    “A while ago, I had a flashback and thought I could not afford not to keep coming back here. He is here,” the widow said, smiling.

     

    “On the 20th, his death anniversary, we will see each other again. My joke is that I’ll see Ka Bel again standing here,” she said.

     

    No labor agenda

     

    KMU chair Elmer Labog said that while all the presidential candidates were claiming to be pro-poor and promising to end poverty and corruption, no one had presented a concrete, long-term agenda for the labor sector.

     

    “We want to hear [how they will] address low wages, joblessness, labor migration, poor working conditions and violation of labor rights and standards,” he said.

     

    The demonstrators also called on the candidates to back legislation on a significant wage increase for workers, promote workers’ rights, and reverse laws promoting contractual and flexible labor, among others.

     

    Bayan’s Reyes said that apart from making a firm commitment to raise workers’ wages and increase their benefits, the next president should also reverse Ms Arroyo’s economic policies, including what he described as “the oppressive value-added tax.”

     

    “This is Ms Arroyo’s last Labor Day. She should have made it meaningful by giving the workers additional wages, not an additional day off,” Reyes said. “The next President should do better by addressing labor demands.”

     

    Malacañang has declared May 3 a nonworking holiday as part of its “holiday economics” program.

     

    “This move just shows the lack of respect the administration has for the significance of International Labor Day,” Labog said. He said the labor sector did not recognize the May 3 holiday.

     

    Police said the commemoration of Labor Day was generally peaceful.

     

    At around 10 a.m., various groups converged at Blumentritt corner Sta. Cruz, Quirino corner Taft Avenue, and Plaza Moriones in Tondo before proceeding to Liwasang Bonifacio for the main program at 2 p.m.

     

    As of 3 p.m., Manila policemen estimated the crowd at 6,000 to 8,000. But protest organizers put the figure at 20,000.

     

         
         
         
         
         
               
               

     

    Morong 43 on May 1 and unveilling of Ka Bel's bas relief

     

    Sa ilalim ng matinding init ng araw sa paghahanda para gunitain ang pagkilala ng Pandaigdigang Araw ng Paggawa ay nauna na ang pamilya ng 43 manggagawang pangkalusugan sa Plaza Miranda kabilang sa mga dadalo sa gaganaping "Unveilling Relief"sa pagkilala sa aitng bayani ng manggagawa na si Crispin "Ka Bel "Beltran.

    Naging makulay ang daloy ng programa dahil nagmistulang parada ng mga artista, hindi lang sa dami ng tao sa Plaza Miranda ay mayroon ding banda, at mas nakatawag pa ng pansin ay ang pagdating ni Senator Chiz Escudero na animo'y instant celebrity dahil walang patid ang pagpakuha ng picture ng mga tao sa tabi ni Senator Chiz, Cong. Satur Ocampo at Cong. Liza Maza.

    Natigil na lang ito ng mag umpisa na ang programa at nang magsalita na si Mayor Fred Lim.Hindi ko rin pinalampas ang sarili ko na magpakuha ng picture kasama si Sen.Chiz at Cong.Satur,at sa pagtapos ng programa ay sama-sama na ang mga pamilya ng 43 Health Workers sa pagpakuha na rin ng piktyur nila, at nagpasya na kaming tumungo sa Camp Capinpin para dumalaw.

    Gaya ng nakagawian na namin sa araw-araw na pagdalaw, pagkadating namin sa Camp Capinpin ay agad magpalista ang mga kamag anak para sa takdang oras ng pagpasok ay handa na ang lahat.Ngunit ni isa ay walang nilista ang pangalan para sa mga dadalaw, una, wala raw dalaw sa araw na iyon dahil nasa "Red Alert" ang mga sundalo dalawang araw na, Abril 30,at Mayo 1,sa madaling salita ay walang dalaw.

    May bahid ng lungkot at katanungan ang mga mukha at kaisipan ng mga pamilya. Habang ipinaliwanag ni jigs ang mga iyon at kaunting palitan ng mga kuro-kuro, sanhi na rin ng maraming katanungan, naging mabilis ang aming paningin ng may lumabas na isang pick up na may kinukunan ng video at ang kasunod nito ay ang bus na laging ginagamit na sasakyan para sa mga 43 Health Workers at mga sundalo na naka convoy sa "6 X" at iilang sasakyan ng mga official na kasali sa convoy. Dahil na rin siguro sa sobrang sabik na ng pamilya na mailipat ang mga kaanak ay mistula na rin kaming mga jungle fighters na agad-agad sumakay sa aming "high powered" na sasakyan, kabilang na ang sasakyan ng Health, at sasakyan ng isang pamilya pa kung kaya ay apat kaming nakasunod sa convoy, apat din ang sasakyan ng mga officials bago kami ang nasa likod nila.

    Dahil na rin sa karanasan ng mga pamilya, nagdeklara na rin kami sa sarili namin ng "Red Alert" mode nga ang paghabol namin sa convoy para iwas kami maisahan sa gitna ng daan patungong Camp Bagong Diwa Sa Bicutan,Taguig.

    Malaking naitulong ang pito na nabili ko sa gilid sa Camp Crame, habang kami ay nakabuntot sa convoy ay kanya kanya kaming diskarte na huwag masingitan ng ibang sasakyan, wala pa naman din kaming hazard light noon at kami ay panghuli sa hanay, Kung kaya ay ginamit ko na ang aking pito sabay ng pag senyas ng aking kamay upang umiwas o tumabi ang mga sasakyang gustong makipag unahan sa amin.

    Sa loob-loob lang namin ay kami rin ay sobra ang tawa sa mga sarili namin, bagmistulang "Red Alert" nga dahil sa nakakabingeng ingay ng pag pito, hanggang sa gumawa kami ng maliit na plakard na Free the 43 Health Workers at iniharap namin sa mga sasakyang dumadaan sa tabi namin para malaman ng katabing sasakyan na 43 health workers na nga ang sinusundan namin, hanggang sa makarating sa gate ng Camp Bagong Diwa.

    Tamang tama din sa araw ng Pandaigdigang Araw ng Paggawa, isang tagumpay ang paglunsad ng "fasting for the 43" sa loob ng 14 na araw ay nakamit ang layunin na mailipat na sila mula sa pasista at mga torturer na kamay ng jungle fighters sa Camp Capinpin na minsan ay napangahasan ko ring napasok sa kabila ng higpit sa pagpapasok ng dalaw lalong lalo na sa hindi kaanak.

    Matapos ang hakbang -hakbang na tagumpay para sa "43 Health Workers" ay ibang mukha naman ng mga panggigpit ang atin pang paghandaan sa darating pang mga panahon,at ang mahalaga,naging matagumpay ang araw ng Mayo Uno!!Mabuhay ang 43 Health Workers!!!!!!!

     

         
               

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