By ALDWIN QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — Anakpawis chapter in Cordillera, together with various sectors, vowed to continue the fight of the late Anakpawis Partylis Representative and Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) Chairman Emeritus Crispin Beltran.
“The workers of the region like their colleagues in the various regions together with their allies in the various sectors of society will neither forget nor give up the struggle the late Representative Ka Crispin Beltran embraced and fought for all through his life,” Anakpawis Cordillera regional coordinator Micheal Cabangon said.
May 20 marked the fifth death anniversary of Beltran, fondly called Ka Bel by his colleagues in the movement. Beltran died on May 20, 2008 at a hospital in Quezon City due to severe head injuries. He fell while he was repairing the roof of their house in preparation for the coming rainy season that year. He was 75 then.
Cabangon said that activities commemorating Beltran were held in different parts of the country.
Cabangon said Beltran had fought for over half of his life to lead the Filipino people in advancing their basic rights to decent living and a better society.
Cabangon said they will never let go of the words of Beltran expressing his determination of forwarding his cause. Beltran once said “if helping the poor is a crime, then I plead guilty as charged”. Beltran had said this twice when he was jailed during the administration of Marcos and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
The Marcos and Arroyo administrations persecuted Beltran and filed trumped up charges against him due to his strong opposition to the anti-people programs and policies. Cabangon said these were etched in the history of Filipino people’s struggle against oppression and for genuine democracy.
Cabangon added that Beltran is an activist for over five decades, a labor hero to the workers, peasants, urban poor and other marginalized sectors, a true defender of the toiling masses and staunch critic of privatization, deregulation and other destructive policies of globalization.
“Ka Bel left a legacy for the activists of today especially the new ones to serve as a shining example to emulate as they continue the struggle,” he said.
According to Cabangon, it is truly a challenge after the recently concluded elections to continue the fight of “Ka Bel”. He added that the winners of the 2013 political race should be true to their promises to prioritize the welfare of the workers and their families once they will take their posts. He said politicians should be ashamed and fulfill their promises just as Ka Bel who sacrificed a lot until his very last breath for the sake of the people. Northern Dispatch