Defend Our Unions! Defend Southern Tagalog!

Erhalten von der Gewerkschaft KMU

Series of harassment

Since January of this year, affiliated unions and union officers of Kilusang Mayo Uno were harassed by state forces and assets of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC). Most of these unions are in ecozones in Laguna, a province just south of Manila.

 

Nagkakaisang Manggagawa ng Supreme- NAFLU-KMU in Bulacan

In January, after a series of visits in factory vicinity, police forces conducted surveillance near the Alcophil Metal Inc. plant. On February 1, union president Eliseo Taping’s photo was placed on a banner outside the company premises, tagging him as an NPA recruiter, calling for his ouster from the union and termination from Alcophil.

OPTODEV Workers’ Union- NAFLU-KMU in Laguna

In January, a union officer of OWU-NAFLU-KMU was being sought by a suspected NTF-ELCAC asset. Later in the same month, another agent visited his residence area to verify his address with the neighbors.

 

Nexperia Philippines Inc. Workers’ Union-NAFLU-KMU in Laguna

In March, a union officer of NPIWU-NAFLU-KMU was visited in her home by two (2) persons who introduced themselves as NTF-ELCAC assets. They told the officer is “infiltrated” by the CPP-NPA-NDF. They texted her on March 8.

 

Wyeth Philippines Progressive Workers’ Union-DFA-KMU in Laguna

In March, a union officer of WPPWU-DFA-KMU was visited by elements claiming to be from the Office of the President. He was asked to agree to their union’s disaffiliation from KMU.

 

Another case of attack on labor advocates include Otto de Vries, lay missionary and labour rights’ advocate researcher of Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER), who has been tagged by the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) to be ‘engaging and participating in activities of communist-terrorist groups fronts.’ This led to the termination of Otto’s permanent resident visa and order from the Bureau of Immigration for Otto to immediately leave the country.

 

Illegal arrests

On March 4, two (2) union leaders were arrested by the Philippine National Police- Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) using search warrants issued by the Laguna Executive Judge Divinagracia Bustos-Ongkengko.

 

Ramir Corcolon, President of San Pablo City Water District Emloyees Association (SPWCDEA) and Secretary General of Water System Employees Response (WATER), was arrested in his home in San Pablo City, Laguna Province. He is currently detained at Camp Vicente Lim.

 

Arnedo Sanggalang Lagunias, former Secretary of Honda Workers Union or Lakas Manggagawang Nagkakaisa sa Honda-OLALIA-KMU, was arrested from his home in Laguna. The police alleged to have found a  45-cal handgun and explosives during the ‘search’. Lagunias reported filed a complaint at the Commission on Human Rights last 2020 for threats and harassment by elements of Regional NTF-ELCAC.

 

On March 7, tagged as ‘Bloody Sunday’ by activists and human rights’ advocates, a series of illegal raids, arrests and killings conducted by state forces left nine (9) killed and four (4) arrested in the Southern Tagalog region, just south of Manila.

 

Elizabeth “Mags” Camoral, former union president of F.tech Philippines Manufacturing Inc. and member of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN)-Laguna, was arrested in the headquarters of Defend Yulo Famers. She was charged…

 

Eugene Eugenio, member of Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE)-Rizal and former president of a public sector union, was arrested in his home in Antipolo, Rizal.

 

Esteban “Steve” Mendoza, executive vice president of the Organized Labor Association in Line Industries and Agriculture (OLALIA)-KMU, was arrested in a dawn raid in his home in Cabuyao, Laguna. He is currently detained at Camp Vicente Lim with Camoral and Lanzanas.

 

Arrested on the same day include 61-year old Nimfa Lanzanas, staff of human rights group Kapatid-Timog Katagalugan and paralegal aide of political prisoners; urban poor organizer Joan Efren; and one (1) unidentified individual. 

 

Killings

Following Duterte’s pronouncement to disregard human rights in a ‘kill-them-all’ order just last week (March 5), the March 7 ‘Bloody Sunday’ led to the killing of nine (9) activists in the Southern Tagalog region, one of which was a union leader.

 

Emmanuel “Manny” Asuncion, coordinator of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN)-Cavite and former Chairperson of Solidarity of Cavite Workers (SCW), was slain at the office of Workers’ Assistance Center in Dasmarinas, Cavite by police forces.

 

Others who were killed on the same day include couple activist and environmental defenders Chai Lemita-Evangelista and Ariel Evangeslita in Batangas province; members of Dumagat Tribe and indigenous peoples’ rights activists Puroy and Randy Dela Cruz in Rizal province; urban poor activists Abner Esto, Edward Esto, Melvin Dasigao and Mark Lee Bacasno also in Rizal province. 

 

Kilusang Mayo Uno condemns these series of attacks on trade unions, human rights’ advocates, and activists. The “counter-insurgency” program of the NTF-ELCAC, and pattern of manufacturing search warrants, planting of fake evidence such as guns and explosives, and dawn raids employed by state forces have led to a humanitarian crisis in the Philippines.

 

On March 15, trade unionists and human rights advocates will be holding a press conference and filing at the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to condemn the series of attacks and preempt further plans of state forces to impinge on trade union and human rights in the Philippines.

 

We call for justice for the victims of the ‘Bloody Sunday’ killings. We call for the immediate release of the detained unionists and activists. We call to stop the attacks and killings in the Philippines!

 

What you can do:

 

  1. Issue statements of support for the unions under attack, illegally detained, and families of killed unionists and activists.
  2. Join the social media protest from March 12-15, 2021. Post pictures and statements on your individual and organizational social media pages with the hashtags #DefendOurUnions, #DefendSouthernTagalog, #StopTheAttacks, and #HandsOffTradeUnionsPH, and tag our Facebook page (facebook.com/KMUinternational) and Twitter account (@kilusangmayouno).
  3. Write to the Philippines’ Supreme Court and Department of Justice to investigate the use of search warrants, filing of manufactured charges, arbitrary arrests, and detention of unionists.
  4. Petition the Philippine government to accept the International Labor Organization High Level Tripartite Mission that could investigate the cases of trade union and human rights violations in the Philippines.
  5. Lobby your respective governments to take action to urge the Duterte administration to respect human rights in the Philippines, and withdrawn support and funding for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
  6. Contribute to the legal and campaign funds of the Defend Our Unions! Defend Southern Tagalog campaign.

 

We extend our gratitude to all who have expressed their solidarity and support for this campaign. We hope to continue this campaign to end trade union and human rights violations in the Philippines.

#DefendOurUnions
#DefendSouthernTagalog

#StopTheAttacks

#HandsOffTradeUnionsPH