Ka Bel: A Modern-Day Prophet against Modern-Day Slavery


Dear Friends,

From May 21 (7pm) to May 27 (am), Ka Bel will lie in state at the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI)* – National Cathedral, Taft Avenue Manila.

Ka Bel: A Modern-Day Prophet against Modern-Day Slavery

A True Champion of Workers’ Rights

Like Jesus Christ and the Prophets who denounced injustice, oppression and slavery, Ka Bel is worthy of emulation for being a modern-day prophet against the chains of modern-day slavery in our times.

Though his leftist ideology was incompatible with the beliefs of traditional churches, the life of Ka Bel proved to be even more meaningful than those of the Christians who remained silent and passive in the face of social injustice.

Contrary to the Philippine Constitution’s provisions on social justice and the Church’s Social Teachings on the value of human work, the dignity of labor and workers’ rights are grossly disregarded in the name of profits for big business and the corrupt government. Labor leaders and striking workers are killed, imprisoned and subjected to brutal police and military dispersals in the picketlines. We need many more modern-day prophets in the face of these realities of modern-day slavery.

Ka Bel proved to be a true champion of workers’ rights even in the face of persecution under the Marcos dictatorship and the current Arroyo regime. For six decades, Ka Bel’s life was consistently devoted for workers’ rights and dignity. He championed the people’s cause for genuine land reform, just living wages, job security and other fundamental human rights.

Over the years, while ‘yellow unions’ and their opportunist leaders have entered into self-serving deals with greedy capitalists and the corrupt government, the name of veteran labor leader CRISPIN ‘KA BEL’ BELTRAN was never tainted by a single act of corruption or compromise to serve personal interests. And while in Congress, he was never tempted to abuse his position and channel public funds for personal gain.

We church people have been challenged to march with Ka Bel and struggling workers who wished to reclaim the dignity of labor and workers’ rights. As we now offer prayers and join the Filipino people in rendering the highest tribute to a dearly beloved champion of workers and people’s rights, we pledge to keep the spirit of Ka Bel alive as we continue marching with the people.

Tuloy ang laban Ka Bel!

Tuloy ang laban para sa lupa, sahod, trabaho at karapatan!

Tuloy ang laban para sa katotohanan, katarungan at pagbabago!

Patalsikin ang papet, pahirap at pasistang rehimeng US-Arroyo!

Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR)

May 20, 2008

* The IFI is a Philippine national church founded by patriot Gregorio Aglipay, labor leader Isabelo de los Reyes and other nationalist Filipinos.

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