- An alliance of labor organizations condemned the recent killings of labor union leaders and community organizers
- Seven labor organizers were killed in different parts of the country this September alone
- The labor groups asked DOLE Sec. Silvestre Bello to convene the Tripartite Industry Peace Council and help stop the killings
An alliance of workers federation and labor organizations condemned the recent killings of labor union leaders and community organizers.
The group NAGKAKAISA, composed of over 47 labor organizations, expressed their concern that the killings could escalate into something bigger. This month alone, seven labor organizers were killed by still unknown assailants, including those who may have possible links to the military.
The latest killing involved 64-year old Edilberto Miralles who served as the former president of the R&E Taxi transport service labor union. He was shot right in front of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) in Quezon City last September 23; right before he was scheduled to attend a labor hearing.
Less than a week earlier on September 17, Partido Manggagawa community organizer Orlando Abangan was shot dead while he was on his way to his home in Talisay City, Cebu.
Four farmers, Emerenciana Mercado-De la Cruz, Violeta Mercado-De Leon, Eligio Barbado, and Gaudencio Bagalay, who were all members of the Alyansa ng mga Mamamayang Nagkakaisa were killed while they were tilling part of a farm that is currently being disputed. Witnesses claimed they saw the gunmen delivered by a helicopter that was seen hovering above a military camp in Nueva Ecija.
Another peasant leader, Danggayan Dagiti Mannalon ti Isabela chairperson and Isabela provincial chapter head of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas Ariel Diaz was shot by three unknown men in a farm in the same province.
The group condemned the killings and called for Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello to immediately convene the Tripartite Industry Peace Council (TIPC); a high-level body composed of representatives from government, labor, and employers, to stop the killings and to prevent the possible curtailment of workers’ rights through the silencing of labor organizers.