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

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