Workers declare May 28 as National Day of mourning and protests; Anakpawis to give Ka Bel a hero’s burial


NEWS RELEASE
May 24, 2008

Public invited to join funeral march and protests
Workers declare May 28 as National Day of mourning and protests;
Anakpawis to give Ka Bel a hero’s burial

“People from all walks of life mourn the death of our beloved Ka Bel
and many extol his exemplary life and works as a genuine leader of the
masses. He devoted more than six decades of his life for the cause of
workers, peasants and the poor. It is natural to treat him as a hero
and a martyr deserving of highest honors and salute. Ka Bel is worthy
of a hero’s burial, we will give him that tribute,’ said Anakpawis
Secretary General Cherry Clemente in a press conference as Kilusang
Mayo Uno and Anakpawis declares May 28 as National Day of Mourning and
Protest.

“Aside from the grand funeral march on May 28, chapters of Anakpawis
as well as Ka Bel’s supporters in the local and international people’s
movement will hold local tributes and protest actions demanding the
ouster of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, ” said Anakpawis Partylist
Spokesperson Joel Maglunsod,

Hero’s burial

“We are inviting the public to visit Ka Bel and join the funeral march
and protests on May 28. His colorful and victorious life will serve as
an inspiration for all poor people and toiling masses working to
achieve changes in the social system. We will continue to protest
against the oppressive and corrupt government that Ka Bel fought for
his entire life. The most valuable tribute that we can give Ka Bel is
to continue the national fight to oust the US-Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
regime.” Clemente said.

Ka Bel’s remains were flown to Legaspi City via PAL early this
morning. From the city airport, about 1000 members of Anakpawis and
Kilusang Mayo Uno Bicol welcomed him. A mass was held at the
Redemptorist Church followed by a motorcade to the Big Dome Gymnasium
Central Bacacay, Albay where the late labor leader and Congressman
will lie in state until tomorrow, May 25.

Clemente said that prior to Ka Bel’s demise, his original schedule
included a trip to Bicol to attend the regional conference of labor
groups there and a short vacation with his daughter Ofelia and her
family in his hometown in Bacacay. “His colleagues at Anakpawis and
the Beltran family ensured that Ka Bel’s last wish is granted.”

By Monday, Ka Bel and his family will return to Manila for two more
days and nights of wake and tributes at the IFI Cathedral before he
lies to rest at the Angel of Meadows Memorial and Nature Park in
Angat, Bulacan on Wednesday, May 28.

Those who cannot join the protest and marches on Wednesday are
encouraged to make symbolic actions in their own little ways. They can
wear or hang red and black ribbons as a sign of sympathy and tribute
to Ka Bel’s heroic life,” Clemente said.

People’s representative in Congress

“Sectors and ordinary people who are resting their hopes on Ka Bel and
his struggle for reforms within the legislative system will not be
totally orphaned. Ka Rafael Mariano will immediately take his seat as
Anakpawis Representative in the Lower House and will continue what Ka
Bel has started in the 14th Congress. Like Ka Bel, Ka Paeng will
continue to fight within and outside the legislative system.”

Anakpawis Partylist is waiting for the resolution to be issued by the
COMELEC En Banc meeting appointing Mariano as the next Anakpawis
representative. “We are also hastening Ka Paeng’s oath taking so he
can represent Anakpawis in the final deliberations and plenary voting
on the extension of Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program which we are
opposing, along with other farmer groups advocating for genuine land
reform. ###

References: Cherry Clemente, Secretary General, 0921-7283859
Mau Hermitanio, Public Info Officer, 0926-4469017

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