Leung Kwok-Hung, more popularly known as Long Hair, is a member of the HK
Legislative Committee. He was also active during the campaign for the
release Ka Bel in 2006 - 2007.
chairperson of Gabriela Women's Party - HK, delivers the closing
remarks and challenges Filipinos abroad to heed the call of Ka Bel to
never give up in the struggle.
Vicky Cabantac, chairperson of
Migrante Sectoral Party - HK, relates Ka Bel's defense of the rights of
migrant workers as a member of the House of Representatives.
20 May 2008
For reference: Dolores Balladares
Tel. No.: 97472986
A champion of Filipino workers at home and abroad
HK OFWs mourn Ka Bel's passing, extol his life
We mourn his death. Even more, we extol his life.
Filipino workers in Hong Kong condole with the family, friends and
colleagues of Cong. Crispin "Ka Bel" Beltran for his passing. We grieve
for the loss of the much-loved and respected Ka Bel.
Ka Bel is the epitome of a people's servant. His simple life and long
record of upholding the rights of the Filipino workers - both at home and
abroad - shows his devotion to the working class and other oppressed
He never wavered in his principles and he never let go of the peoples'
struggles. Even when he was elected as congressman, he was never tempted
by the powers and riches that his office could have brought him. He
remained militant, uncompromising in principles and immersed with the
people he served.
Until the end, he was a true unionist, a real activist, and a genuine
patriot for the Filipino people's cause for freedom and democracy.
The support of Ka Bel to the plight of Filipinos abroad can never be
denied up to his time as a member of the House of Representatives.
When he served as vice chairperson of the Committee on Labor and
Employment, Ka Bel was one of the staunchest advocate for OFW rights
inside the Congress. He came to Hong Kong several times as invited speaker
to major events of the United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK)
as well as to seek audience with the OFWs for our demands.
Thus, in the First Filipino Women Migrant Workers' Summit in HK in 2006,
more than 100 organizations united in a resolution against his arrest and
incarceration that time for concocted charges against him by the Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo government. Even after his release, he was a constant
target of political harassment by the GMA regime.
His message then was clear: never give up. We never will.
Ka Bel has always been with the poor and has never let go of carrying the
voice of the people.
On Sunday, Filipino workers in Hong Kong shall hold a mass and a program
as tribute to Ka Bel. There will also be program within the week to be
attended by local trade unionists, human rights advocates and other local
people who recognize the contribution of Ka Bel to the struggle of the
Filipino people as well as his strong solidarity to people in other
Ka Bel shall always be remembered in the people's struggles. It will be so
among the Filipino migrant workers in Hong Kong.
Message of Tribute
for Ka Bel from Filipino Migrants in Hong Kong
We mourn his death. Even more, we extol his life.
Filipino migrants in Hong Kong pay the highest tribute to a true leader,
champion and hero of the working class – our beloved Crispin “Ka Bel”
Beltran. We extend our deepest and sincerest condolence to Ka Osang and
their children for the loss of a husband and a father.
We are one with all Filipino freedom fighters in grieving for his death.
Ka Bel is the epitome of a peoples servant. His simple life and long
record of upholding the rights of the Filipino workers both at home and
abroad shows his devotion to the working class and other oppressed
In the times Ka Bel was with us in Hong Kong, we were always warmed by his
smiles, ready jokes and easy camaraderie with everyone. He was selfless in
sharing what he new and sincere in knowing the plight of migrant workers
and of our work.
We owe it to Ka Bel for bringing the voice of the Filipino migrants inside
the Congress. When he served as vice chairperson of the Committee on Labor
and Employment, Ka Bel was one of the staunchest advocate for OFW rights
inside the Congress.
During the time of his arrest and eventual detention, we strived hard to
contribute to the pressure for his release. We deeply-appreciated how he
took time and effort to send us a video message after he was freed.
Ka Bel will always be remembered. A family man, a respected and honest
statesman, a man for the others, a man that lived up to his class – Ka Bel
will always be an inspiration for everyone, be it in the Philippines or
abroad, working towards a truly free and democratic society and for a
world without oppression and exploitation.
We shall miss Ka Bel. For the service he gave and the life he lived, we
will take into our hearts his message: Never give up.
He never did and we never will.
United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK);
Migrante Sectoral Party – HK (MSP-HK); Gabriela Women’s Party – HK (GWP-HK);
Abra Tinguian Ilocano Society (ATIS); Cordillera Alliance – HK (Corall-HK);
Filipino Migrant Workers Union (FMWU); United Pangasinan in HK (UPHK);
Mission for Migrant Workers (MFMW); Bethune House Migrant Women’s Refuge (BHMWR);
Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM)
ANG MATANDANG HANGAL NA
NAGKUMPUNI NG BUBONG
Tula ni Marlon Torres
matapos ang ilang araw
at magdamag na pagbayo ng unos,
isang pitumpu't limang taong
ang umahon sa bubong ng kanyang bahay.
nangunyapit sa hagdan ang isang kamay,
ang isa'y sa martilyo't alkitran;
tinataya ang panimbang,
di yata't marupok ang aluminum na baytang
o sadyang mahina na
ang buto't kalamnan ng matandang
ang unang saboy ng
larawa't liwanag ng umaga.
kumalang ang magaspang at ugating kamay
sa 'di pa gasinong mainit na bubungan.
nilapat ang bitbit.
at waring isang umagang pagdarasal,
sinisipat ng kanyang malamlam nang paningin
sa yerong sahig
ang kahit ga-butil na butas.
"alkitran lang ang katapat n'yan!"
pabulong n'yang bulas.
nakaluhod na dumadais,
muli pang umaapuhap
sa mainit na sahig
ng mga siwang,
ng mga pakong awang.
makailang pukpok ay paghingal
malakas ang pintig sa sentido.
hihinga ng malalim.
at muling maglalapat ng alkitran
pupukpok sa mga siwang at dugsungan.
sumisidhi ang pintig,
bumubukal ang pawis
sa kat'wang malaon nang hinalit magpagal.
papanaog na sa hagdan,
bitbit ang martilyo
nawalan ng panimbang.
sa labing-apat na talampakang taas,
semento ang sumambot,
nabitawan ang martilyo
tinakasan ng ulirat
at pinanawan ng hininga
ang lalaking sa katandaa'y
nagpilit magkumpuni ng bubong.
hindi na marahil tatagas
ang tubig sa bubong.
hawak ng kanyang mga anak
upang muling magkumpuni
sakaling ula't bagyo'y muling bumunghalit.
(Nilikha noong 25 Mayo 2008 sa Cabuyao, Laguna. Binasa bilang bahagi ng
pagtatanghal ng Kulturang Ugnayan ng Makabayang Sining Anakpawis (KUMASA)
sa huling gabi ng parangal ng 27 Mayo 2008.)
26 May 2008
Norman Uy Carnay
Chairperson, UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK Country Information Officer,
Tel. No.: (852) 97472986 Tel. No.: (852)
“A man of service and true internationalist”
Filipino migrants and HK locals pay tribute to
“For his life and his work, we shall always remember Ka Bel.”
This was declared by Dolores Balladares, chairperson of the United
Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK) as more than a hundred
Filipino migrants and local HK people paid tribute yesterday, May 25, to
Cong. Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran of Anakpawis Partylist at Chater Road.
The said tribute was co-organized by UNIFIL, the Bagong Alyansang
Makabayan (Bayan) in HK nand the Gabriela Women's Party - HK (GWP-HK).
“Ka Bel is a man of service and a true internationalist. He was a
champion of the working class, defender of Filipino migrants’ rights and a
hero of the toiling masses,” said Norman Carnay, country information
officer of Bayan-HK.
The prayer-service was officiated by Fr. Dwight dela Torre of the
Philippine Independent Church (PIC) in Hong Kong. The tribute featured
speeches, songs and testimonies that extolled the life of Ka Bel as a
unionist, a legislator who has never been swayed by the lures of riches
and power, and an international figure in workers’ and peoples’ movements.
“Ka Bel for Filipino migrants is a much-respected congressman, fellow
worker and leader. He always made it a point to carry the voice of us
overseas Filipinos inside the halls of the congress,” Balladares
Congressman Beltran used to be the vice chairman of the Committee on Labor
and Employment at the House of Representatives.
Among those who attended the event were members of the UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK,
GWP-HK, Migrante Sectoral Party – HK (MSP-HK), PIC, Abra Tinguian Ilocano
Society (ATIS-HK), Cordillera Alliance (CORALL-HK), Filipino Migrant
Workers Union (FMWU), United Pangasinan in HK (UPHK), Filipino Community
Services and Information Network (Filcomsin) and the Alliance of
Progressive Labor – HK (APL-HK).
Running priest Fr. Robert Reyes also delivered a message and a poem.
Also present in the tribute were Hon. Leung Kwok-Hung also known as “Long
Hair” and a member of the HK Legislative Committee, Elizabeth Tang of the
HK Confederation of Trade Union (HKCTU), Jackie Hung of the Justice and
Peace Commission of the HK Catholic Diocese, Bruce Van Voorhis of the HK
Campaign for the Advancement of Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines
(HKCAHRPP), human rights lawyer John Jack Clancy and other locals who have
known Ka Bel.
“Ka Bel is an honorable man,” said Leung. He praised Ka Bel for
proving that genuine service to the marginalized is possible for
Leung also hit the Philippine government for arresting Ka Bel and putting
him through physical hardships. The activist legislator actively
participated for the release of Ka Bel when he was arrested.
“It can even be called as murder,” he remarked adding that the
repressive actions of the Philippine government may have contributed to
the deterioration of Ka Bel’s physical health.
Clancy for his part said that Ka Bel with the clenched fist will always be
the image imprinted on him. “He never bowed down to capitalists,
landlords and other oppressors. This is the lesson he left us,” he
“Emulating Jesus' teaching,
Ka Bel stood firm fighting for Justice until the end of his life,”
remarked Hung. She said that no justice exists in the Philippines. “If
there is (justice), Ka Bel would have suffered less,” she added as she
also criticized the GMA government’s previous imprisonment of Ka Bel.
Van Voorhis delivered the message of the HKCAHRPP. In the fact-finding
missions to the Philippines organized by the HKCAHRPP in 2006 and 2007,
the cases of Ka Bel and the Batasan 5 were part of the highlights of their
“Ka Bel touched many people’s lives with his principles, simple ways,
honesty, and unwavering commitment to serve the people. We honor him today
and remember him always,” Balladares said.
Finally, Cynthia Tellez of Gabriela Women’s Party – Hong Kong (GWP-HK)
challenged Ka Bel’s colleagues at the Philippine Congress to emulate his
example of honesty and service.
“He was a defender of those whose interests are disregarded such as
those of Filipinos abroad. As we face unending hardships, we call on more
people to take the path that Ka Bel paved and his fellow representatives
from progressive partylists continue to follow – that of selfless service
for the people’s dream of truly free, democratic and just Philippine
society,” she stated.#