LAO ARBITRARILY DETAINS COKE PROTESTING WORKERS

Kilusang Manggagawa ng Coca Cola (KIMACO)-KMU slams the Philippine National Police Talomo station Chief Insp. Ronald Lao for detaining the ten Coca-Cola protesting workers beyond the period provided by law.

The Revised Penal Code mandates the period for which public officers must deliver detained persons to judicial authorities.

The ten workers, who were brutally arrested during their protest on April 2, Monday at 9 in the morning, have been in detention for more than 48 hours without any information being filed in court. Lao’s insistence on not releasing the detained workers is a clear violation not only of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code, but more importantly of the workers’ constitutional right to liberty.

PCI Ronald Lao reasoned that they are waiting for the Fiscal’s order and resolution before making a decision. To this hour, no resolution has yet been made by the City Prosecution Office.

We maintain that neither the PNP nor the Prosecutor’s Office has jurisdiction over the strike of the Coca-Cola workers. This is a
labor dispute, well under the jurisdiction of DOLE. Also, the workers never harassed any individual, obstructed the traffic, and committed illegal acts to warrant their arrest.

This is a case of criminalizing the workers’ legitimate exercise of their right for redress against grievances, right to assembly and protest. The illegal arrest and continued arbitrary detention of the workers are but attempts to silence workers who are standing for their rights and fighting ENDO.

We are currently looking into filing administative charges against PCI Ronald Lao.

We demand the immediate release of the ten striking Coca-Cola workers and an end to Endo and the criminalization of workers’ struggles.#

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