Today, we mourn the loss of a hero. Crispin Beltran, or “Ka Bel” as he was known by the Filipinos. He passed away on May 20, 2008, after a fatal fall while trying to prepare his house for the rainy season.
The Philippines was blessed by this living hero for many years. Pickets, dialogues, strikes and demonstrations were strengthened by his mere presence, his faith and courage. He battled many trials in his life as he to the yoke with the Filipino masses against oppression poverty, government corruption.
During his younger years, he was imprisoned with other militant leaders fighting against the Marcos dictatorship. Undaunted by the prison bars and illness, he continued through his wife, who delivered his words of solidarity to barricades and other mass meetings. Age and health did not stop him nor allowed the flame for democracy and equality to wane in his heart.
Ka Bel was a labor leader. He fought for just wages. He fought for the workers’ rights. He is the chairperson of the militant Kilusang Mayo Uno. He was the current representative of the partylist, Anakpawis. He devoted his life to pursuing people’s rights to land reform, job security, and human rights. Even as a lawmaker his statement of assets and liabilities was reported to be just a little over P27, 000 pesos, making him the poorest congressman. The manner of his death is a testimony to the simple life he lead though he was surrounded by corruption.
The Innabuyog-Gabriela and Gabriela Women’s Party is among the millions of lives he has touched and is forever grateful to the service, the leadership through the path to genuine democracy. He has provided us with the tools to rebuild our lives as we continue to destroy modern-day slavery in the country. He showed us the way to fight for our just rights. He helped build the pillars of this modern-day revolution. We, from Innabuyog will never forget his efforts and works
With Ka Osang, his wife and his children, the Innabuyog-Gabriela and Gabriela Women’s Party Filipino women, know that we will never be alone in this journey for a dignified life and the stand for the truth.
Ka Bel, your death is not the end of your legacy. You will forever remain in the hearts of the toiling masses. Your story shall be heard by children of generations to come, continuing to inspire and produce new revolutionaries. Your lessons are forever burned in the pages of our books. Your name is engraved in our revolution and your roar will forever resound in the battle against tyranny, poverty and corruption. And as you rest, know that the revolution you started will never lose its essence.
We love you, Ka Bel.
We will miss you!
Fight for Peace, Justice and Genuine Democracy! #