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Doctors declare ‘Ka Bel’ dead due to severe head injuries

May 20, 2008 11:51am
Labor leader and staunch Arroyo critic passes away

From the parliament of the streets to the corridors of Congress, Crispin B. Beltran never gave up on his aim of promoting the interest of workers.

The 75-year-old Beltran, born in Bacacay, Albay on January 7, 1933, was a long time trade unionist and chairman of the Kilusang Mayo Uno before he became representative of Anakpawis party-list.

He met his end on Tuesday, May 19. He succumbed to severe head injuries after a bad fall from the roof of his house in Bulacan province. Fellow leftist lawmaker Satur Ocampo said that he was once told by Beltran that he'd rather die in a protest-rally on the street, in the company of poor people who want change in the government.

He was a political detainee during Martial Law. He was again detained under the Arroyo administration for more than 15 months from March 2006 to July 2007 through a hospital arrest at the Philippine Heart Center.

Beltran was arrested on February 25, 2006, a day after President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo declared a state of national emergency following a failed uprising against her government.

He was nabbed on charges of rebellion, with authorities enforcing an arrest warrant issued in 1982. That rebellion case, stemming from protest actions over the Bataan Export Processing Zone, was dismissed in 1986.

In June 2007, when he was granted temporary liberty, Beltran returned to the House of Representatives in a fighting mood.

While at the plenary, Beltran, in a fiery privilege speech assailed the Arroyo administration, and defended his right to speak against corruption, unmindful of his recurring heart problem, which often made his blood pressure shoot up.

“I am innocent of the rebellion charge against me. It’s neither a sin nor against the law to speak against graft and corruption and the killing of hundreds of innocent civilians", he said. - GMANews.TV
(Updated 12:15 p.m.) MANILA, Philippines - Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran on Tuesday morning succumbed to severe head injuries while being treated at the Far Eastern University Hospital, hours after he had an accident at his Bulacan home.

In a press briefing, Dr Arnold Corpuz said Beltran was declared dead at 11:48 a.m., shortly after Beltran’s family decided to stop efforts to revive the lawmaker.

"Nagkaroon ng heartbeat but the head injury is very severe, kaya tumitigil ang hinga niya at tibok ng puso (He had heartbeats but his head injury was so severe, his breathing and heartbeat would stop)," Corpuz said.

Corpuz said Beltran's relatives decided "not to resuscitate him anymore" after the fifth attempt to resuscitate him failed. Doctors tried to revive Beltran for two hours.

The doctor said Beltran was already in comatose when he was brought to the FEU Hospital in Quezon City at 9:42 a.m.

In a telephone interview with GMANews.TV, Cherry Clemente, Anakpawis partylist secretary general, quoted doctors as saying that Beltran is already "clinically dead" and "brain dead" even before he was officially declared dead.

"Fixed na 'yung pupils niya. Wala na siyang pulse. Gamot (na ibinigay kay Beltran) na lang ang nagbibigay ng signal sa monitor (His pupils are dilated. He no longer has a pulse. The medicines given to him were the only one that gives signal to the monitor attached to him," Clemente said.

Earlier in the day, Beltran was rushed to the Far Eastern University hospital in Quezon City after falling from the roof of his house in Bulacan province Tuesday morning.

Beltran's daughter Ofelia Beltran-Balleta said the lawmaker suffered least five cardiac arrests since the accident. Quoting attending physicians, Balleta also said Beltran was already declared "brain dead" although still being revived by doctors.

Balleta said Beltran was rushed to the hospital in Caloocan following the accident but was transferred to the FEU hospital around 10 a.m. due to lack of facilities.

Naitakbo kaagad siya sa hospital. Pagdating doon sa North Caloocan Doctor’s Hospital, nag-arrest ang puso niya. Ni-revive siya doon at an-revive naman. Mga 10 a.m., napagpasyahan naming na ilipat siya sa FEU Hospital. Along the way from Caloocan, nag-arrest siya uli. Narevive naman uli siya. While here in the hospital, four times siyang nag-arrest," Balleta said.

Sabi ng doctor… brain dead na rin siya. Humihinga siya kapag sinasaksakan siya ng gamot at nire-resuscitate pero after wards after five minutes, nag-aarrest siya uli. So this time, mukhang hindi na rin kayang i-revive. Ganun kalala," she added as she broke into tears.

Clemente said Beltran went up to the roof of their bungalow house to do some repairs. “Medyo mataas yung inakyat niya, nagdilim daw ang paningin tapos bumagsak sa semento (The roof was quite high. He reportedly lost consciousness and fell on the concrete floor)," Clemente said, noting that Beltran was "hands-on" when it comes to household chores.

Clemente said Beltran’s head and eyes were swollen when he was rushed to the hospital. “He is in critical condition," Clemente said.

Clemente said Beltran was supposed to file Tuesday a bill for the repeal of value added tax on power. "He is preparing to go to Congress but he has to finish some chores first," Clemente said.

Only last July, Beltran was discharged from the Philippine Heart Center after being kept there since early 2006 over rebellion charges. - GMANews.TV
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