BY ABNER BOLOS
Gitnang Luson News Service
Posted by Bulatlat.com
Alarmed by the unabated killing of political activists, world labor leaders will visit the country next month to investigate killings of labor leaders and organizers and repression of the labor sector.
San Fernando, Pampanga—Alarmed by the unabated killing of political activists, world labor leaders will visit the country next month to investigate killings of labor leaders and organizers and repression of the labor sector.
Angie Ladera, Workers’ Alliance in Region III (WAR3) chairperson, said some 30 delegates from 12 countries including the United States, Belgium, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Bangladesh and Nepal will fan-out to Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, Negros island and the southern Mindanao region.
Dubbed the International Labor Solidarity Mission (ILSM), the delegation will conduct fact-finding missions on specific cases and work areas from May 2-5 and will present their finding to the public on May 7.
Ladera, a former president of the 3,000-strong International Wiring Systems Employees Unions (IWSEU), told GLNS that in Tarlac, the murder of Ricardo Ramos, former Central Azucarera De Tarlac Labor Union (CATLU) president, the recent killing of United Luisita Workers’ Union (ULWU) leaders Tirso Cruz, as well as the killing of Bayan Muna-Tarlac secretary general Florante Collantes and Tarlac City councillor Abelardo Ladera will be given special attention.
In Bulacan, the mission will investigate the murders of Federico de Leon, provincial chairperson of the Anakpawis (Toiling Masses) party, Rogelio Concepcion, union president of Solid Development Corp. and Francisco Paraon, who was illegally detained, interrogated and tortured on Christmas day last year, Ladera said.
“To date not a single perpetrator of the 71 murders and abductions that occurred since last year have been arrested and brought to justice,” Ladera said. “But it is clear to our people that the Arroyo government and his henchman in Central Luzon, Gen. Jovito Palparan are to be blamed for the killing of civilians and leaders of people’s organizations.”
The mission is organized by the Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER), Center for Trade Unions and Human Rights (CTUHR) and the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT).
Mission organizers said that the delegates who will visit the CALABARZON (Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon) growth area in Southern Tagalog will interview community leaders and workers.
The killings of Nestle Philippines union president Diosdado Fortuna, Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) national council member Napoleon Pomasdoro and Honda Workers’ Union president Romeo Legazpi, among others will be investigated, mission organizers said.
In Negros island and southern Mindanao, the mission will study the plight of sugar and banana plantation workers, respectively. They will also look into the killing of at least four (4) leaders of the National Federation of Sugar Workers, a KMU affiliate in the sugar industry.
The country ranks 5th among the world’s biggest banana producers and 66,561 has. are planted to banana in southern Mindanao. Giant transnational corporations such as Dole, Del Monte and Unifrutti operate in the region.
The mission will investigate reported cases of militarization and human rights abuses in the region. Gitnang Luson News Service / Posted by (Bulatlat.com)