He may have been detained for almost seven months now, but Ka Bel is not letting his captors off the hook. Clad in a red barong and escorted by fully-armed Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel, detained Anakpawis (AP) Congressman Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran personally filed a case against his captors at the Office of the Ombudsman in Quezon City, on September 18.
By LISA ITO
He may have been detained for almost seven months now, but Ka Bel is not letting his captors off the hook.
Clad in a red barong and escorted by fully-armed Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel, detained Anakpawis (AP) Congressman Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran personally filed a case against his captors at the Office of the Ombudsman in Quezon City, on September 18, charging former PNP Director-General Arturo Lomibao, several other PNP officials, and city and state prosecutors for violation of his parliamentary immunity from arrest and for arbitrary detention.
Named respondents alongside Lomibao were P/Csupt. Wilfredo D.V. Dulay, Sr., P/Ssupt. Zoilo Madrazo Lachica Jr., P/Supt. Perfecto R. Marin, Police Chief Inspector Rino V. Corpuz, Police Insp. Honesto G. Gaton, SPO1 Arnold J. Casumpang; Quezon City Prosecutor Claro Arellano, First Asst. Prosecutor Meynardo Bautista, Second Asst. Prosecutor Mercedes Peñamora, Asst. Prosecutor Ben dela Cruz; and Department of Justice (DOJ) Prosecutors Emmanuel Velasco, Rosalina Aquino, Aileen Marie Gutierrez, Irwin Maraya, Maria Cristina Rilloraza, and Chief State Prosecutor Richard Anthony D. Fadullon, and Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito R. Zuno.
Out of detention—for an hour
Beltran was allowed by the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150 to temporarily leave the Philippine Heart Center (PHC), where the 73-year old solon is confined under heavy police custody, to file the case.
Accompanied by PHC medical staff and personnel from the PNP Custodial Center, Beltran left the PHC in an ambulance at around 9:30 a.m. Upon arriving at the Office of the Ombudsman a few blocks away, Beltran proceeded to file the case accompanied by Atty. Amylyn Sato of the Public Interest Law Center, his wife Rosario, AP Rep. Rafael Mariano, Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo and Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) leaders.
A protest caravan staged by the KMU and the Free Ka Bel Movement (FKBM) accompanied Beltran to the Ombudsman’s Office and held a short program outside as the solon went through the filing procedures.
Beltran was transported back to the PHC after filing his complaint at around 10:30 a.m.
Penal Code Violations
In his complaint, Beltran charged Lomibao and his co-respondents of violating his parliamentary immunity as a duly-elected member of the House of Representatives, guaranteed by Article VI, Section 11 of the Constitution.
Beltran and his lawyers reiterated that he was illegally arrested without a warrant and while Congress was in session, saying that these offenses were punishable under Articles 125 and 145 of the Revised Penal Code.
Beltran also charged the police officials named in the complaint with arbitrary detention, for jailing him for more than eighteen (18) hours before the formal charges against him were filed.
“Remarkably, and as the records bear out, I was unlawfully arrested without a warrant at 10 A.M. on 25 February 2006, but it was only on 27 February 2006 at 2:45 P.M. that the Information charging me with inciting to sedition was filed in court,” Beltran noted in his complaint.
Immunity from arrest ignored
Beltran contended that his arrest was illegal right from the start.
The solon was arrested by police operatives at around 10:10 a.m. on February 25, 2006 at San Jose del Monte, Bulacan. Upon arriving at the headquarters of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Camp Crame, Beltran’s lawyers asked his captors for the basis of his arrest. Instead, they were shown a 21-year old warrant dated October 7, 1985 for inciting to rebellion, in a case which had already been been archived and effectively dismissed by QC RTC Judge Edgardo Tutaan back in 1988.
To cover up for their blunder and to detain him further, Beltran’s captors and the other respondents conspired to concoct another case against him, this time for inciting to sedition, he asserted.
Despite the lack of formal charges, Beltran was subjected to a sudden inquest proceeding for allegedly inciting to sedition at around 10 p.m. on February 25 at the Quezon City Hall of Justice by Prosecutor de fla Cruz.
Beltran, this time, said that his continuing detention on the charge of inciting to sedition under Article 142 of the Revised Penal Code was punishable by not more than six years of imprisonment and was therefore covered by parliamentary immunity from arrest.
The inquest prosecutor, however, rejected this defense and dismissed Beltran’s immunity from arrest, thereby prolonging his detention.