This is a quick follow-up on the piece I blogged last week about the accidental death of Rep. Crispin Beltran, a celebrated Filipino activist and politician.

Last Saturday, 24 May, Bayan-Ontario, Migrante-Ontario, and other Filipino human rights groups had a memorial to his memory at the University of Toronto. I wanted to share some images of this event.

Ka Bel, as he was popularly known, was imprisoned twice in recent memory: first by Marcos for almost two years before he “self-released” himself [his words] in 1984, then by Gloria for over a year in 06-07 (when the Supreme Court dismissed charges against him). He was one of the few politicians who actually believed that serving the people was a part of the job.

In the 13th Congress, Ka Bel was the partylist representative with the most number of bills and resolutions filed, all together 130, and a nearly perfect attendance until his arrest in 2006. He was awarded Filipino of the Year and Most Outstanding Congressman for four consecutive years from 2002-2005, and in 2006, was adjudged part of the Congressional Hall of Fame.

He died at age 75 fixing his own roof, with less than $1200 in assets.

It was an honour to have spent some time with him. He will be missed…

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Also see my post: After Arroyo, Then What?!?

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