Crispin Beltran — 1933-2008

Crispin Beltran, died on May 20 from an accident in Manila, Philippines. He was 75.

Crispin Beltran was known as Ka Bel by his many comrades and many more class conscious workers in the Philippines, in the Asia Pacific region and in the world.

Ka Bel was elected to parliament as a representative of Anakpawis. But to us he will always be remembered as the person who led the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) Labour Centre through many difficult years and many hard struggles. He established a tradition of uncompromising militancy and devotion to the working class.

Ka Bel was against imperialist war and he was for the unity of working people across borders.

He was a political and industrial leader in the Philippines workers' movement, and he was known and respected by many unions, workers' parties, and labour movement organisations across the world.

Ka Bel was treated very badly by the Philippines government many times and he was jailed. However he never lost his strength, his political consciousness, his perspective or his ability to organise.

Ka Bel will be sorely missed by his family and his friends, by his comrades in many countries, by the KMU and all its affiliated unions, by the activists in Anakpawis, Bayan and International League of People's Struggle, by the many workers who knew him or relied on his work in parliament, in union conferences and in workers' assemblies.

We send our deepest condolences to Ka Bel's family and to all his friends and comrades.

Farewell Ka Bel, we continue the struggle for the rights of all workers.

[This was written on behalf of the Australia-Asia Workers' Links and is reprinted with permission of the author. Visit http://aawl.org.au.]