31 January 2018
STATEMENT OF KILUSANG MAYO UNO ON THE SENSELESS GOVERNMENT CRACKDOWN ON THE LEGAL PROGRESSIVE ORGANIZATIONS
In the nearly two years since Duterte sat in power, the only thing that has been regularized are the threats on the democratic rights of the workers. Through his reckless declarations of going after so-called legal fronts of the New People’s Army (NPA), our member unions and federations across the region have reported leaders and unionists being constantly harassed, publicly threatened, and red-tagged by elements of the fascist military.
Around 1 p.m. in January 29, 2018, combined elements of 66th IBPA & 25th IBPA gathered the residents of Sitio Pogi, Brgy. San Miguel, Compostela, Compostela Valley Province and presented names of civilians who allegedly have links and responsibilities in the revolutionary NPA. Included among those maliciously tagged are union leaders in a banana company, namely Roland Cobrado, Perlita Milallos, and Elmer Atamosa. In that meeting, the soldiers unabashedly called on the residents present to convince the aforementioned union leaders to surrender to the authorities within three (3) days or else be arrested or killed. In the presence of workers, relatives and friends of the leaders, the soldiers proudly declared that they are merely implementing the order of the Commander-in-Chief to go after the leaders of the “legal fronts” of the NPA.
Kilusang Mayo Uno – Southern Mindanao condemns to the utmost this brazen act of the AFP with the blessing of their Commander-in-Chief Duterte. The Compostela area is recognized as a hotspot of labor rights violations by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), and the military’s involvement and intervention in labor-related matters have been constantly documented. Many of our union leaders have faced threats, harassment or death due to their resistance to capitalist oppression. Cobrado, Milallos and Atamosa are known not for being leaders of the NPA but as unfailing resisters against illegal dismissals, contractualization and union busting.
The regime has orchestrated a series of arrests against key leaders of the mass movement in its bid to set the stage for a massive crackdown of the legal Left. Days ago, the leader of the teachers’ union ACT-NCR was targeted for arrest, calls for the surrender of known progressive leaders Sheena Duazo of BAYAN-SMR and Hanimay Suazo of Karapatan-SMR were aired at ABS-CBN’s DXAB and Maayong Buntag Mindanao, and an NPA “surrenderee” . Quiroga was paraded by the military as a coordinator of Anakpawis Partylist. In addition, simulation of lockdown in Davao City and other parts of the country are already scheduled to create a climate of immediate terror threat to condition the people to consent to nationwide martial law.
The workers will not consent but resist all attempts at violating their constitutional rights and rights provided for under international labour laws. The workers hold both the AFP and US-Duterte regime accountable for whatever befalls the three leaders and any other worker or unionist as a result of this senseless government crackdown. This only emboldens us to rally our ranks and strengthen our unity against the terror acts of this regime and uphold the democratic rights of workers and the people. We will continue to fight government fascism as we call for higher wages, regular jobs, and our democratic rights.#
Secretary General-KMU Southern Mindanao Region
Contact #: 09123861000