September 4, 2018
KMU-SOUTHERN MINDANAO DENOUNCE LATEST AFP ATTACKS ON UNIONISTS AND FARMERS IN COMVAL
The Kilusang Mayo Uno Southern Mindanao denounces the attacks on two union leaders of the Sumifru Packing Plant this week, which shows that the Duterte regime is intensifying attacks on union workers.
Victor Ageas, Board of Director of Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa Suyapa Farm (NAMASUFA-NAFLU-KMU) was ambushed by motorcycle-riding gunmen on September 4, 6:30 am while he was bound for work at Sumifru Packing Plant 340 at Purok Uno, Barangay Osmeña. Ageas evaded his assailants who opened fire at him six times.
The attack came a day after workers of Sumifru in Compostela staged a protest action against the company for refusing to recognize them as their regular employees and to negotiate for collective bargaining agreement.
Ageas already received threats during July 26 when two bonet-wearing men went to his house to look for him and left since he was not around.
Another union leader, Melodina Gumanoy, Secretary of NAMASUFA-NAFLU-KMU, was a target of motorcycle-riding men last Aug 30, 2018, She was on on her way to work in Packing Plant 250 of Sumifru at Purok 8, Brgy. Osmeña, Compostela when she saw her attackers. She was able to hide in a nearby house to evade her attackers.
The attacks on workers-unionists have intensified in Compostela Valley after President Duterte declared the Communist Party of the Philippines a “terrorist” organization and then maliciously tagged KMU and other progressive organizations as legal fronts of the Communist Party. Since February this year, the 66th and 25th IBPA in Compostela and Monkayo amplified their vilification and harassments against unionists in the said area and intimidated workers and residents in forced surrender schemes.
The attacks in Compostela are not only against the workers but also on the peasants as scores are being killed. The latest fatality from the farmers were couple Gilbert and Jean Labial, members of Compostela Farmers Association, who were gunned down last August 19, 2018 in Bango, Compostela, after attending the wake of Rolly Panebio, a fellow CFA member and security personnel of the Salugpongan Learning Center in Bango.
KMU holds the AFP and President Duterte accountable on these blatant violation of the workers’ economic and political rights. KMU believes that these attacks are the Duterte government’s move to protect the business interests of Sumifru and mining companies in the area.