IN HONOR OF CRISPIN "KA BEL" BELTRAN
ON HIS FIRST DEATH ANNIVERSARY
By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
International League of Peoples' Struggle
May 20, 2009
The ILPS wholeheartedly participates in honoring Crispin "Ka Bel" Beltran as a
great leader of the toiling masses, sincere and patriotic servant of the people,
on the occasion of the commemoration of his first death anniversary.
The member organizations of the ILPS join in the commemoration at Ka Bel's
tomb at AMMAN Park, in the parade to Manila, in the program at Plaza Miranda,
in the fun run and photo exhibit, cultural presentation and other activities of
various organizations until May 28.
We are happy that Ka Bel is being honored by the city of Manila with a marker
at Plaza Miranda and the declaration of May 20 as Crispin Beltran Day. We hope
that before his second death anniversary the book in his honor shall have been
published and the building in his name and memory shall have been built in
The ILPS takes pride in having had Ka Bel as first chairperson. During his term,
he pursued the anti-imperialist and democratic line of the people of the world
against monopoly capitalism and all reaction. He had long and rich experience
in the struggle of the toiling masses nationally and internationally.
Ka Bel had always been firm in his objective to free the toiling masses from
oppression and exploitation. He devoted his mind and skills to advance this
objective. He wished passionately that under the leadership of the working
class national freedom, democracy and socialism would be achieved.
Let us always cherish and propagate Ka Bel's exemplary life, spirit and deeds
as a priceless legacy to inspire and guide the current and succeeding generations.
Let us ensure every year and every day ways of preserving and enhancing Ka
Bel's legacy through study and action.
Ka Bel has broad relevance and influence. This is widespread among the
impoverished classes. This extends to the middle social strata. Even among
the enlightened sections and elements of the upper classes. All recognize
him as a sincere and true defender of the rights and interests of the toiling
masses and as a firm and heroic servant of the people.
He suffered vilification, threats to life, imprisonment and other tribulations
and difficulties in the course of fierce of struggles during and after the Marcos
fascist dictatorship. But these tempered and steeled him even more as a
servant of the proletariat and the entire people. He proved so many times
that he was not afraid of the oppressive and exploiting classes and their
He escaped from imprisonment during the time of the fascist dictatorship and
he joined the armed struggle of the people in the countryside. He returned
to the labor movement after the fall of Marcos. He was also with me in
establishing the People's Party in 1986. With full courage, he led the KMU
after the kidnapping, torture and murder of Rolando Olalia and his driver.
Everyone admires Ka Bel because of his courageous and conscientious service
to the people and his simple style of living until the end of his life.
He was an outstanding fighter for the rights and interests of the working
class and the people. In the trade union movement, he became the union
president of the taxi drivers and eventually the chairman of the largest Philippine
labor center, the Kilusang Mayo Uno (May First Movement). He was in the forefront
of strikes and other concerted activities of the working class as well as in the protest
mass actions on vital issues in the so-called parliament of the streets.
He excelled as a member of Congress by pushing measures to uphold, defend and
promote the rights and welfare of the toiling masses and by exposing the acts of
treason, human rights violations and corruption of the Arroyo ruling clique. Thus,
respected institutions accorded to him awards and honors. He received the
award, Congressman of the Year for three consecutive years (2003-2004-2005)
and thus became installed in the Hall of Fame. He was honored as the Filipino of
the Year by the Free Press in 2005.
Not only in the Philippines but in the whole world, the people know the record
of struggles, sacrifices and achievements of Ka Bel. Written in history are his
contributions to the struggle of the working class to achieve a new and better
world of greater freedom, democracy, social justice, progress and peace.
Long live the memory and legacy of Ka Bel!
Advance the new democratic revolution of the Filipino people!
Long live the anti-imperialist solidarity of humankind!