Elmer has recently been identified and "red tagged" a process of victimisation and targeting by the PNP and military.
On Wednesday 6th October the Australian Unions hosted by UnionsWA International Committee/SIGTUR held an open meeting inviting supporters to attend via Zoom to hear a report on the repression of unions in the Philippines. Elmer Labog, Chairperson of KMU, a Philippines union federation of over 115,000 members spoke and responded to questions.
Elmer talked about the Duterte Government's use of unlawful violence and killings in its war on drugs that has also targeted unionists and other civil society leaders as a way of silencing dissent. Elmer has recently been identified and "red tagged" a process of victimisation and targeting by the PNP and military.
A broad-based coalition including the KMU and other unions as well as civil society organisations has been formed to counter these measures and raise awareness. As the Philippines is now heading towards a national election, and Duterte himself cannot be a Presidential candidate for election, the KMU and others are working on industrial as well as electoral strategies to counter these repressive measures.
Below is a short video interview that Elmer gave on his 2020 visit to Perth, covering some of these issues.
Two unions based in Laguna reported repeated threats, harassment, and intimidation from NTF-ELCAC agents frequenting unionists’ homes.
This being the sixth month of the Bloody Sunday massacre in Southern Tagalog on 2021 September 7, Kilusang Mayo Uno filed a complaint before the International Labor Organization (ILO) regarding the trade union and human rights violations of the Duterte regime, particularly the killing of workers.
The complaint detailed the various cases of attacks on workers since Duterte came to power. To this day, 56 workers had been killed and hundreds had been arrested on trumped-up charges. (A copy of the complaint is attached below.)
The Bloody Sunday brutal attacks on activists in the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, and Rizal. In separate but synchronized police and military operations, trade union organizer Manny Asuncion was killed while unionists Steve Mendoza and Mags Camoral were arrested. Less than two weeks later, union leader Dandy Miguel was gunned down on his way home from work.
Red-tagging, harassment, and intimidation of workers and unionists, primarily carried out by the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), had since persisted. Two unions based in Laguna reported repeated threats, harassment, and intimidation from NTF-ELCAC agents frequenting unionists’ homes.
Union members were urged to disaffiliate their unions from the progressive federations and cut ties with KMU. Attached herewith is the timeline of attacks and details regarding the situation of the Wyeth Philippines Progressive Workers Union- DFA-KMU.
In line with our #DefendOurUnions campaign, we will be launching particular actions for #StandWithWyethWorkers. We are requesting urgent support.
What you can do:
1. Post statements and messages of support for the campaign on your social media pages or website. We request you to send a copy of your postings to email@example.com
2. Host online discussions or post infographics/ explainers to help with information dissemination to amplify the campaign. Please share the campaign with your network of labor advocates and rights organizations.
3. Send a letter to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Philippines requesting immediate action on the violation of the freedom of association.
4. Send material or financial support to the campaign. This may be sent through the KMU bank account, Paypal, or other arrangements. For further information, you may contact firstname.lastname@example.org or through our Viber or WhatsApp account at 0961 769 6822.
Stop the attacks on workers! No to union infiltration!
NTF-ELCAC, out of our communities and workplaces!
Uphold freedom of association! No to forced disaffiliation!