Marking the 6th death anniversary of Crispin "Ka Bel" Beltran
with protests vs EDCA, union busting

 

Plaza Miranda

 

May 20, 2014

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Photos courtesy of Crispin Beltran Resource Center and Kilusang Mayo Uno
as indicated by the filenames
           
     
     
     

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Ka Bel’s 6th death anniv marked with protest vs. EDCA, union busting
20-May-2014

Workers led by national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno marked the sixth death anniversary of Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran with a simple program in front of the labor leader’s bust in Plaza Miranda, Manila protesting the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement and the busting of workers’ unions in the country.

Carrying the theme “Isulong ang Diwa ni Ka Bel! Makibaka para sa Kagalingan ng mga Manggagawa at Kalayaan ng Bayan!” the workers paid tribute to Beltran as a nationalist and as a champion of workers’ rights.

“We have no doubt in saying that if he were alive today, Ka Bel would surely oppose the US military bases’ return to the Philippines through the EDCA and the widespread busting of unions in the country at present. He continues to be an example and inspiration for the Filipino workers and people,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

The workers recalled that Beltran fought for the expulsion of the US military bases in the country, the junking of the US-RP Military Bases Agreement, the rejection of the Visiting Forces Agreement, and against the abuses committed by US troops during their stay in the country.

They also said that had the labor leader been alive today, he would continue to lead protests against the massive retrenchment of workers carried out by capitalists in order to bust unions as in the case of the workers of Pentagon and Express in Quezon City and of Carina, Hoya Glass and NXP in Southern Tagalog.

“National sovereignty and workers’ rights are inalienable concepts for Ka Bel. He devoted most of the years of his life fighting with the Filipino workers and people so that these ideals would be realized,” Labog stated.

KMU also said that Beltran’s life and advocacies provide a stark contrast with those of Pres. Noynoy Aquino, who would surely earn the wrath of the labor leader if he were alive today.

“Beltran was a patriot who detested foreign troops in Philippine soil, while Aquino is a US puppet who opened up the entire country to US troops. Beltran was a champion of workers’ rights who labored to build unions in the country, while Aquino is a capitalist stooge who is presiding over the widespread busting of unions in the country,” Labog explained.

The workers were joined by pro-worker institution Crispin B. Beltran Resource Center, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan chairperson Carol Araullo, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, progressive singer-songwriter Gary Granada, among others.

Reference Person: Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson
Contact information: 0908-1636597
 



Anakpawis Rep. Fernando Hicap
 

 

     
           
     
     
     

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KA BEL

Ang lider ay isang sangkap lamang ng tagumpay,
Ang masa ang siyang tunay na mapagpasiya.
Maraming beses na nating sinabi sa kanila,
Subalit makunat talaga ang kanilang utak,
Ayaw nang talaban ng ating katotohanan.
Iligpit ang lider at tuluyang mawawasak
Ang rebolusyong binabalak, iyan lamang
Ang kaya nilang paniwalaan.

Ulianin ang katarungang atas ng Malakanyang,
Dinaklot ng batas na walang kinamuwangan
Ang lider ng Anakpawis, di-umano’y imbitasyong lang,
Proklamasyon 1017 ang mahigpit na dahilan.
Nang maikandado ang seldang kulungan,
Inakala nilang nalumpo na ang himagsikan,
Kaliweteng party-list di na makagagalaw.

Subalit ang mga manggagawa, lahat ng anakpawis
Na walang pangalan sa mga pabrika at lansangan,
Ang mga pagtutol na isinisigaw, ang pagkakabigkis
Lalong tumitibay—Palayain si Crispin Beltran!
Ang masa, ang masa, pag nabuksan ang isipan,
Uugit ng landas tungo sa kalayaan.
Diwa ni Ka Bel di kayang ihiwalay ng rehas na bakal
Sa sambayang kanyang pinaglingkuran,
Naging sinag ng araw na tumimo sa kamalayan,
At ngayo’y liwanag na nagpupumiglas
Sa dilim at dagim na isinasabog ng Malakanyang.
Loob nati’y tibayan, likumin ang kaliwanagan,
Bukang-liwayway ng ating paglaya’y
Hinding-hindi na mapipigilan!

BIEN LUMBERA
Binigkas sa ika-50 anibersaryo ng kasal nina Ka Bel at Ka Osang
 


MAY ISANG AMA
(Alay kay Crispin B. Beltran
Enero 7, 1933 – Mayo 20, 2008)
— ED MARANAN


                                    1
Mayroong mga amang dahil sa kaabhan
At nasang sagipin ang mahal sa buhay
Di na nga mangingiming sa patalim manangan
Maitawid lamang sa gutom at kahirapan
Ang sakiting asawa’t mga supling na butuhan.

Mayroong mga amang di man nakapag-aral
Sa pagbabatak ng buto’y namumuhay nang marangal
Bagamat laging panganib ang kanilang kasabay
Habang pinatatayog ang mga gusali’t katedral,
Laging andap kung kaylan ang andamyo’y bibigay.

Mayroong mga amang tinawag na tulisan
O rebeldeng tinutugis ng mga pwersang-rehimen
Tagalunsod, tagabukid, dati’y pabrika’t parang
Ang pinaghahanapan ng kanilang ikabubuhay
Hanggang mapa-larangang hanap ay katarungan.

Mayroong mga amang dahil naman sa kawalan
Ng pag-asang makaisod sa sariling lipunan
Naglalayag sa dagat, o nangaglilipat-bayan
Nagtitiis mangulila, sa harap ng kamatayan
O sa pagkakawasak ng sinintang tahanan.

Mayroong mga amang sa labis na pagmamahal
Sa asawa’t mga anak, sa buhay ng kaalwanan
At hangad na maluklok sa luho’t kapangyarihan
Nagiging mga pinunong tiwali at gahaman
Ang tanging mahalaga ay palasyong ‘naipundar’.

Mayroong mga amang naturingang uliran
Binantayog ng pamilya, lubos na hinangaan
May lihim namang lamat, may dugo pa sa kamay
Berdugo ng mga taong wala namang kasalanan
Galamay ng mga imbing nangaghari-harian.

 

                                        2
Mayroong isang ama, taong pangkaraniwan,
Anak ng anakpawis, at dalita ang nilakhan.
Magbubukid, tagalinis, mensahero noong kabataan,
Namasada ng bus at dyipni noong siya’y nag-aaral,
Naging drayber ng taksi, edukasyo’y iginapang.

Isang araw ay umanib sa pambansang kilusan
At nakilalang lider ng maraming samahan.
Kayraming simulain ang kanyang ipinaglaban
Manggagawa’t magsasaka, kalayaa’t karapatan
At ilang ulit ding siyang isinadlak sa kulungan.

Sampung anak sa asawa ang tangi nilang yaman,
Noong una’y dampang giba ang kanilang tahanan.
Nagkaroon ng trabaho’t nalipat ng tinitirhan
Higit lamang sa kubakob, kanya pang ipinangutang…
Hanggang noong umagang nabago ang kasaysayan.

Ang masipag na ama’y umakyat sa bubungan
Palibhasa’y yero’y butas, at panahon ng tag-ulan.
Sa pagkasamang palad, ang ulirang magulang
Nadulas at nahulog, hanggang panawan ng malay—
Buong bayan ang nagluksa, sa kanyang kamatayan.

Sapagkat amang ito’y di amang pangkaraniwan
Nahalal sa tungkuling para sa haring uri lamang.
Tinig niya’t ng kapanalig sa magarang bulwagan
Ng Konggreso’y tila hiyaw para sa sangkatauhang
Kung ilang daang taong nagdanas ng kaalipnan.

Laking gulat ng balana sa tumambad na larawan
Ng payak na tirahang naging sanhi ng pagpanaw
Nitong taong naiiba, sa lahat ng nanungkulan:
Kahit pa man abot-kamay ang di-matingkalang yaman
Ni kusing ay wala mang inangkin o ninakaw.

Ang bayan ay darakila, kung siya ay tutularan:
Haligi na ng tahana’y, sandigan pa ng lipunan.
Magiliw at matapat bilang asawa at magulang
Nakibaka hanggang wakas, at laging nanindigang
Sa lahat ng panahon, ang bayan ay paglingkuran.

 

           
     
     
     
           

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Click here for archival photos and documents of the tribute to Ka Bel in May 2008


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NDFP RENDERS THE HIGHEST HONORS TO CRISPIN “KA BEL” BELTRAN, GREAT HERO OF THE WORKING CLASS AND FILIPINO PEOPLE AND GREAT INTERNATIONALIST
22 May 2008

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and its seventeen allied organizations deeply mourn the death of Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran, great hero of the working class and the Filipino people and a great internationalist in the world-wide anti-imperialist movement. The NDFP conveys its most heartfelt condolences to his wife Ka Osang and their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Ka Bel’s invaluable contribution to the Filipino people’s struggle for national and social liberation is ineradicably carved in the more than sixty years of his militant struggle against foreign and domestic oppressors and exploiters. From the time he joined the resistance against Japanese occupation as a courier for the Filipino guerrilla fighters to his organizing of fellow taxi drivers, organizing militant workers’ federations, opposing the Marcos dictatorship and becoming a political prisoner, then escaping and organizing workers and peasants in the countryside, then becoming the President of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (May First Movement) and the multi-sectoral alliance Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN), to becoming an elected representative in the Philippine Congress, he has compiled a brilliant record of fearlessly fighting for the interests of the working class and the Filipino people.

Ka Bel also distinguished himself as an outstanding internationalist in the world-wide anti-imperialist movement. He attended international conferences and spoke at international demonstrations against imperialist plunder and wars of aggression. He was elected the first chairman of the International Coordinating Committee of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle in 2001. Wherever he went, he made a deep impression on the overseas Filipino communities, the trade unionists from other countries, and parliamentarians and officials of governmental and intergovernmental institutions, thereby winning valuable international support for the struggle of the working class and the Filipino people.

For all his great accomplishments and positions of honor he attained, he remained an unassuming person, closely integrated with the toiling masses and working people, exuding a radiant winning style of leadership. He was fearless and uncompromising in fighting oppressors and standing up for the interests of the people but very amiable to the working people and allies, especially to those suffering from injustice.

His sharp analytical mind has been invaluable to the people’s struggle for national and social liberation, especially at critical times. When those who wanted to derail the people’s struggle aimed to mislead the workers’ movement in the early 1990s, Ka Bel stood like a pillar of strength and wisdom to oppose the renegades and help keep the workers’ movement and the people’s overall struggle in the correct direction.

Ka Bel did not hesitate to show his support for NDFP Chief Political Consultant, Prof. Jose Maria Sison, by attending the hearing of Prof. Sison’s case at the Luxembourg Court. Whenever a delegation of the NDFP visited the Philippines, he would welcome them. When an NDFP delegation visited the Philippines in 2001 to attend an international peace solidarity conference in Manila, Ka Bel and his fellow workers warmly received the NDFP delegation with a rousing candle-lit welcome.

As President of the Anakpawis party list and its representative in Congress, he epitomized the worker-peasant alliance, the firm foundation of the national united front. It is known that after he escaped from the Marcos prison in 1984, he integrated with and helped organize peasants in the countryside.

Ka Bel’s unassuming style of leadership is narrated in innumerable stories of his friends and co-workers. Two instances while he was abroad also demonstrate this characteristic of Ka Bel. After joining several groups that went to Luxembourg for the hearing on Prof. Sison’s case, when the car he was riding in got stuck in a stretch of muddy road, he went down and helped push out the car. His coat and pants got spattered with mud, but he took all this good-naturedly. After being one of the main speakers at the international demonstration in Vancouver, he carried some of the placards and other materials of the demonstration and walked back with the organizers to return them. He did this without much ado. It was all very natural to him.
 


Wherever Ka Bel was, whether in the streets of Hong Kong denouncing the imperialist plunder through the World Trade Organization, in Vancouver exposing the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) speaking to thousands of demonstrators from different lands, in the parliament of the streets in Manila and other parts of the Philippines, or in the halls of the Philippine Congress, his uncompromising stand for the workers and oppressed stood high and strong. His message, clearly shown in the streamers honoring him, with his clenched fist raised and revolutionary determination written all over his countenance, rings loud and clear: “The struggle goes on!”
 

The inspiration of Ka Bel’s life and commitment as a great proletarian fighter will live on in the hearts and minds of those who carry on the struggle and cause he selflessly lived for.

NATIONAL COUNCIL
NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FRONT OF THE PHILIPPINES


 

 

     
     

           
   
       
           

 

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