MANILA – Workers, family and friends of the late labor leader Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran gathered today at historic plaza Miranda to commemorate the 11th Death Anniversary of the late labor leader and party-list representative Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran.
The workers called on newly-elected public officials in the recently concluded midterm elections to emulate the life and legacy of Ka Bel in advancing the rights and welfare of the people especially workers.
Crispin B. Beltran or Ka Bel as what comrades called him, was a labor leader and three-time party-list representative, first under Bayan Muna from 2001-2004 then of Anakpawis from 2004-2008, who filed over 130 legislative measures. He was unjustly imprisoned due to “inciting rebellion” during the time of President Gloria-Macapagal Arroyo in 2006-2007.
He worked as a janitor, farm hand, messenger, gasoline boy to sustain his education. He became a labor organizer after taking part in a strike of Taxi Drivers when he was 20. Ka Bel died due to accident while fixing the roof of their house in 2008.
“One of the greatest lessons to learn from late Congressman Crispin B. Beltran is his undying devotion of serving Filipino in the parliament without submerging his principles under the abusive powers,” said Ron Villegas, Executive Director of the Crispin B. Beltran Resource Center (CBBRC).
“Eleven years since Ka Bel passed, workers continue to face policies and other state-enacted laws that oppress the rights of workers making each day an uphill battle,” he added.
Among such policies, he said, include the continuation of the practice of contractualization as well as the lack of a national minimum wage.
“Ending contractualization and having a national minimum wage were policies that Ka Bel devoted his life to advancing. These were also among the campaign promises of President Rodrigo Duterte when he was still a candidate but they are yet to be fully realized,” explained Villegas.
“We hope that the newly elected public officials will enact pro-worker and pro-people policies during their term so they can help ease the life of the poor and the working class,” said Villegas