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Detained Philippine solon questions' judge's decision to pursue rebellion raps

by Rep. Crispin Beltran Sunday, Jun. 11, 2006 at 10:15 AM
crispinbeltran@gmail.com

MANILA--The lawyers of Anakpawis (Toiling Masses) Congressman Crispin Beltran have asked Presiding Judge Encarnacion Jaja Moya of the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 146 to reconsider her earlier Commitment Order, asserting that this "short and sweeping order...dismissed the fundamental issues [raised by the Prosecution] and [resulted] to serious injustice and far-reaching implications to the life and liberty of a 73-year old sickly legislator".

From the Office of Congressman Crispin Beltran

Room 602 South Wing, House of Representatives,

Batasan Hills, Queson City, Philippines



NEWS RELEASE

June 9, 2006

Detained Philippine solon questions' judge's decision to pursue rebellion raps

MANILA--The lawyers of Anakpawis (Toiling Masses) Congressman Crispin Beltran have asked Presiding Judge Encarnacion Jaja Moya of the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 146 to reconsider her earlier Commitment Order, asserting that this "short and sweeping order...dismissed the fundamental issues [raised by the Prosecution] and [resulted] to serious injustice and far-reaching implications to the life and liberty of a 73-year old sickly legislator".

Through a MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION filed earlier this morning, June 9, Atty. Romeo Capulong, Atty. Amylyn Sato, and Atty. Rachel Pastores asserted that the "Honorable Court erred and violated the Constitutional rights of Cong. Beltran to due process and to be Presumed Innocent until proven guilty when it evaded and refused to rule on the fundamental issues raised by the defense in the Motion for Judicial Determination of Probable Cause."

Beltran was illegally arrested by the Philippine National Police (PNP) on February 25, a day after President GLoria Macapagal-Arroyo declared a "state of emergeny" in the Philippines to suppress the massive street protests calling for her resignation. Beltran has been charged with inciting to rebellion by the Philippine government.

Atty. Capulong stressed that "the Court erred when it found probable cause and issued a Commitment Order without allowing and fixing bail against Cong. Beltran despite the defects and infirmities of the case for the Prosecution".

These defects and infirmities included the "utter lack of admissible and credible evidence to support such findings", the "illegality of the warrantless arrest of Cong. Beltran on February 25, 2006, the "invalidity of the inquest proceeding conducted by the public prosecutors on Februry 27, 2006 for failing to comply with the mandatory requirements of the Rules and thereby violating Beltran's Constitutional Rights to due process", and for "implicitly denying Beltran's Constitutional Rights to Bail despte the fact that the evidence for the Prosecution is not strong".

Capulong stresed that Judge Moya's May 31 "two-paragraph order finding Probable Cause has no leg to stand on and violates Beltran's Constitutional rights". He said that Beltran "raised several valid, relevant, and fundamental issues which the court should have addressed and resolved, noting that the hearing on the issue of Probable Cause extended over a period of almost three months the issue of probable cause extended over a period of almost three months from the time Cong. Beltran filed his motion on March 3, 2006 in the sala of Judge Jenny Lind Aldecoa-Delorino of Branch 137.

"Unfortunately, the court disposed of these fundamental issues through the mere expedient of a short and sweeping order, albeit resulting to serious injustice and far-reaching implications to the life and liberty of a 73-year old sickly legislator," the MR said.

"It is respectfully submitted that this astonishingly curt order that sweeps all issues aside, impairs the constitutional right of the accused to due process and presumption of innocence, raises questions and doubts about the integrity of the order itself, and erodes public and litigants' trust in our judiciary," it stated.

In this light, Beltran appealed that Judge Moya's order dated May 31, 2006 "be reconsidered and set aside and Cong. Beltran be forthwith released" or that the constitutional right to bail be granted in a reasonable amount".



Beltran's lawyers also filed a Motion to Strike Out [the] Sham Motion filed by the Prosecution on June 7, 2006.

"By accident and sheer luck, Congressman Beltran's counsel discovered that the public prosecutors surreptitiously filed an Ex-Parte Motion To Admit Attached Amended Information on 7 June 2006 without informing or furnishing undersigned counsels with a copy thereof and without setting it for hearing," Capulong stated in the Motion.

Beltran's lawyers pointed out that "this Ex-Parte Motion is prohibited by the provisions of Rule 15 of the Rules of Court" and attempts to insert "Amended Information [which] adopts a new theory and makes allegations of new matters, acts and events which this court, through the Honorable Judge Jenny Lind Aldecoa-Delorino already ruled in her Resolution dated 4 May 2006 as a violation of the due process rights of Cong. Beltran".

"We believe it is our duty as officers of the court to state for the nth time that the public prosecutors, in surreptitiously filing this Ex-Parte Motion without notice to the accused, without furnishing undersigned counsels with a copy thereof and without setting it for hearing, committed another act of deception which undermines the orderly administration of justice and public trust and confidence in the integrity of the proceedings," Capulong said. ###

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