30 October 2011
The labor group Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) accuses the Philippine Airlines (PAL) management of hiding behind the ghost of a “goons-provider” it hired to free itself of any responsibility from the expected violent outcome of its planned clearing operation of PALEA’s protest camp.
PM’s accusation came after PAL denied any involvement from the goons’ Saturday attack on PALEA’s protest camp which resulted to the death of one bystander and physical injuries to at least eight PALEA members who valiantly defended the camp.
The labor group had been supporting PALEA in their fight against mass layoff and contractualization. It likewise accused PAL owner Lucio Tan, whom it denounces as the real economic saboteur, of using his money and influence in getting favorable decisions from all branches of government.
“The Saturday attack was well planned from the recruitment stage to the actual dispersal operations. Of course the bright minds of Estelito Mendoza won’t allow PAL President Jaime Bautista to do the actual recruitment of thugs from depressed communities. Like the service providers that were contracted out by PAL to replace its regular workers, the formation of a demolition team to break PALEA’s camp-out was likewise outsourced to a qualified goons-provider,” stated PM Secretary General Judy Ann Miranda.
Miranda disclosed that PALEA had in fact been informed by a reliable source of the possible attack, prompting the union to file a blotter at a nearby police station informing the authorities of an imminent danger, a day before the actual attack happened. (See attached copy of the blotter).
“Paid and armed with obviously supplied batons and security shields, goons did strike on Saturday. And according to witness accounts, they were being commanded by a security personnel inside a van parked along the MIA road,” said Miranda.
Miranda added, “PAL was very quick to distance itself from the incident upon learning of the bungled expedition by the goons-provider. It even blamed PALEA for a security guard’s own fault of trying to use a fire extinguisher against the protesters just to conceal its behind the scene involvement in the whole operation.”
PAL, Miranda said, should not be allowed to evade culpability from the injuries suffered by PALEA members, as well as to the death of a bystander who suffered a heart attack in the midst of the melee.
The labor group called on all concerned government agencies to conduct thorough and impartial investigations of the incident.