Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Funeral/protest march tom for slain Cavite union organizer as more groups call for action on killings



Slain Cavite union organizer, Dennis Sequena, is to be buried tomorrow with his family and colleagues holding a funeral and protest march. International and local labor and human rights groups have called on government for action on his killing.

Sequena, vice chair of the Cavite chapter of Partido Manggagawa (PM) and also a partylist nominee of the group in the last elections, was shot and killed last June 2 while meeting a group of workers.

The funeral march will start tomorrow 9:00 am from the community of Workersville in Brgy. Punta, Tanza where he was killed and end in the Sta. Cruz Memorial Park in the same town. Last Sunday, scores of worker activists and community leaders attended a tribute to Sequena where he was honored as a “hero of epza workers.”

Aside from local workers’ groups like PM, Sentro and the Nagkaisa coalition, international labor and human rights organizations are calling on Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello to resolve the spate of killings of labor and human rights activists.

The International Trade Union Confederation representing 207 million workers in 163 countries has formally sent a letter to Bello and asked him to convene the National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council to investigate the fatal shooting of Sequena. The Business and Human Rights Resource Center and the International Labor Rights Forum also issued statements condemning the killing of Sequena. The two international labor rights both worked with Sequena on issues workers rights of workers in the Cavite ecozone.




June 11, 2019


Media Advisory: Funeral & protest march for slain Cavite union organizer tom


Monday, June 10, 2019

Intl, local groups ask Bello to act on killing of Cavite union organizer



International and local labor groups are asking Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello for action on the killings of labor leaders after the fatal shooting of a union organizer in Cavite during a meeting of workers.

“We deplore the ongoing violence and assassinations targeting labour and human rights defenders in the Philippines. Extrajudicial killings must be stopped and the environment of impunity must come to an end. It is the responsibility of the government of the Philippines to ensure that the lives and personal security of workers and activists must be guaranteed and that they are able to exercise their basic rights without threats and fear,” stated Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). The ITUC represents 207 million workers in 163 countries.

The ITUC letter to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello arose from the fatal shooting of Dennis Sequena, provincial leader of the Partido Manggagawa (PM) in Cavite, while meeting a group of ecozone workers last June 2.

The labor coalition Nagkaisa earlier called on the Department of Labor and Employment for urgent response on the death of Sequena.

“We demand action from Secretary Bello to stop the series of extra-judicial killings of labor activists and trade unionists. As Labor Secretary, he must raise a voice against these killings. And we ask him to immediately convene the National Tripartite Monitoring Body (NTMB) which has the mandate to probe labor-related EJK’s,” stated Rene Magtubo, PM national chair.

The NTMB was formed in response to the recommendation of the International Labor Organization High Level Mission (ILO HLM) in 2009 to investigate violations of the freedom of association and killings of trade unionists.

Yesterday, scores of workers attended a tribute to Sequena at his wake in Workersville, Tanza, Cavite. He was honored a “hero of epza workers.” Epza is the popular term for the Cavite Economic Zone in Rosario which is the largest export processing area in the country.

Sequena is to be buried on the morning of June 12. Hundreds are expected to participate in the funeral march which will also be a protest to seek justice for his killing.


June 10, 2019

Monday, June 3, 2019

Group calls on Bello to act on killings of labor leaders


The group Partido Manggagawa (PM) called on Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello for action on the continued killings of labor leaders a day after the fatal shooting of a union organizer in Cavite during a meeting of workers.

“We demand action from Secretary Bello to stop the series of extra-judicial killings of labor activists and trade unionists. As Labor Secretary, he must raise a voice against these killings. And we ask him to immediately convene the National Tripartite Monitoring Body (NTMB) which has the mandate to probe labor-related EJK’s,” stated Rene Magtubo, PM national chair.

The labor coalition Nagkaisa has likewise called on the Department of Labor and Employment for urgent response on the death of Sequena. The NTMB was formed in response to the recommendation of the International Labor Organization High Level Mission (ILO HLM) in 2009 to investigate violations of the freedom of association and killings of trade unionists.

“The shooting of Dennis while he was conducting a labor rights seminar is a particular blatant act of violence against workers exercising their freedom of association. This should not be happening 10 years after the ILO HLM,” Magtubo insisted.


Sequena is a National Council member of PM and vice chair of its provincial chapter in Cavite. He is the second PM labor activist killed since 2016. Orlando Abangan, PM-Cebu leader and informal worker organizer of the labor center Sentro, was shot and killed in September 2016.

Earlier, Victoriano Embang, president of the sugar workers association of Hacienda Maria Cecilia, Isabela in Negros Occidental was shot and killed in December 2012. Rolando Pango, a farm worker leader in Binalbagan, Negros Occidental was ambushed in November 2014. Both Embang and Pango were PM leaders involved in helping workers embroiled in labor and agrarian disputes.

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) named the Philippines as one among the worst countries in 2018 for trade unionists due to systematic violations of labor rights and the continued killings of worker leaders.

June 3, 2019