A policeman pointed his rifle at me. I could not do anything then they started hitting me and pointed a big knife at me. Then they brought me to a corner and began choking me.
By RUTH LUMIBAO and MENCHANI TILENDO
MARILAO, Bulacan – NutriAsia workers once again formed their picket line today, June 16 to assert their right to strike after they were violently dispersed by members of the Philippine National Police on June 14 where scores were injured and arrested.
The police, armed with long firearms, however prevented the workers from reclaiming their picket line.
One worker, Florencio Nucup was arrested by the police while tension escalated between the police and the striking workers. A policeman choked and pointed his rifle at Nucup. He was later on released to his co-workers and supporters and were given first aid by the medics on the ground. He has lacerations on the neck and contusions in his face due to police beating.
“Tinutukan po ako ng pulis eh pagpasok namin. Eh wala na po akong nagawa, tapos pinagsusuntok na po ako tapos tinutukan ako ng kutsilyo.. balisong po.. tapos dinala po ako sa gilid, pinagsasakal po ako. (A policeman pointed his rifle at me. I could not do anything then they started hitting me and pointed a big knife at me. Then they brought me to a corner and began choking me.) NutriAsia worker Florencio Lucop #SupportNutriAsiaWorkers #BoycottNutriAsia pic.twitter.com/So03EFd27y
— Einstein Z. Recedes (@Enteng_Itneg) June 16, 2018
Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago, ACT Teachers Party Rep. France Castro, Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Arlene Brosas as well as Kilusang Mayo Uno secretary general Jerome Adonis were at Marilao to support the workers. They also communicated with Labor Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod over the phone and said that Maglunsod gave a go-signal for workers to continue their strike but policemen would not budge.
The Makabayan bloc also said the NutriAsia management ordered the Bulacan Provincial Police to prevent the workers from reclaiming their picket line.
At the area, several men in civilian clothes were seen carrying metal pipes and were positioned behind Marilao policemen. The policemen also cocked their rifles threatening to shoot the NutriAsia workers.
An update from Kabataan Partylist said that DOLE Central Luzon Director Ma. Zenaida Angara-Campita and Commission on Human Rights Head for Investigation – Region 3 Elmer Mañego later on arrived NutriAsia Manufacturing Compound after receiving reports about the situation of the striking workers.
Elago also vowed for a congressional investigation regarding the incident.
Meanwhile, the 18 workers who were arrested during the violent dispersal have not been subjected to inquest proceedings. Illegal assembly was filed by the local police and NutriAsia management against the workers.
(UPDATED: June 16, 2018; 9:37 p.m.)
Video from Einstein Recedes’ Twitter account.