Whitehead statement

Opinion & Analysis Mar 1, 2006 at 4:39 pm

Dear President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo:

We were dismayed to hear of the unjustified arrest and detention of Parliament member Crispin Beltran. This action is clearly a violation of the right to legitimate dissent and his immunity to arrest as a member of Congress while this is in session.

We urge you to release him immediately and to stop carrying out measures that restrict the democratic rights of the people. We are also concerned about other threats in recent days against members of the Independent Bloc of progressive party list organizations

We are aware that the constitutionality and legality of Proclamation 1017 are being challenged by members of the Philippine Senate, who have cited non-compliance with the limits and restraints on the use of extraordinary powers.

The Philippine Government is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that it is also a party to all the major Human Rights instruments. It is bound to observe all provisions of these instruments.

Respectfully yours,
Raymond L. Whitehead,
Canadian Visiting Professor at Nanjing Union Theological Seminary

Rhea M. Whitehead,
Canadian Visiting Professor at Nanjing Union Theological Seminary