The Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER) strongly condemns the killing of Dandy Miguel, Union President of Lakas ng Nagkakaisang Manggagawa ng Fuji Electric.
“We condemn in the strongest terms these crackdown against trade unionists and labor rights advocates especially in Southern Tagalog. It has not been one month since the Bloody Sunday happened which killed nine activists including labor organizer Manny Asunscion and the arrest of 6 others. A few days before, Arnedo Lagunias of the Honda Workers Union was arrested in Laguna, and now another labor rights defender falls victim to extra-judicial killing,” says Rochelle Porras, Executive Director of EILER.
Miguel is also the Vice-President of the Pagkakaisa ng mga Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan under the Kilusang Mayo Uno (PAMANTIK-KMU).
On the same night, caskets that bore pictures of activists and human rights advocates killed by state forces were anonymously installed in the Boy Scout Circle in Quezon City and the Guadalupe bridge in Makati despite the curfew. This morning, there were also incriminating banners posted by uniformed men in the makeshift shed built by protesting workers under the Samahan ng mga Manggagawa sa SLORD Development Corporation along Road 10 in Navotas City. Alcophil Workers Union President Eliseo Taping was also red tagged through posters scattered on walls outside of the factory in Candido, Valenzuela.
“The crackdown is meant to sow fear among the public by vilifying unionists and labor rights defenders who are actively promoting workers rights amid the pandemic and lack of efficient response from the government,” said Porrras.
EILER noted that the killings of unionists create ripe conditions for the unbridled imposition of anti-labor policies. Ka Dandy, along with other unions and federations have been long campaigning for additional aid and wage relief for workers affected by the pandemic.
“Ka Dandy was shot while wearing a t-shirt that bore the calls ‘SAHOD, TRABAHO, KARAPATAN, IPAGLABAN!’ which he fought so valiantly for. He was a hardworking and dedicated defender of labor rights, and he was killed for it,” Porras ended.
EILER calls on all labor advocates locally and internationally to condemn these recent spate of harassment and killings of trade unionists and rights defenders. The Duterte administration must be held accountable for its absolute disregard for workers’ rights.
Union President Dandy Miguel of Lakas ng Nagkakaisang Manggagawa ng Fuji Electric – OLALIA – KMU was killed in Calamba, Laguna, on Sunday, March 28. He was shot eight times by unknown gunmen.
Miguel is also the Vice Chairperson of PAMANTIK-KMU and was among the organization leaders who filed complaints before the Commission on Human Rights in connection Bloody Sunday deaths of nine activists during the deadly police-military operations on March 7.
Miguel was wearing a T-shirt that bore “Sahod, Trabaho at Karapatan, Ipaglaban!” (Fight for wage, jobs and labor rights!) the night of his killing. (Photo from KMU Twitter).