Philippines

In a raid in the office of labor institution Workers' Assistance Center, police shot dead Manny Asuncion
After Duterte pronounced in a gathering his desire to kill all communists, state forces launched coordinated attacks against unionists and activists in Southern Tagalog. In separate operations in the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas and Rizal. Eight were arrested and five were killed on March 7, Sunday.
 
In a raid in the office of labor institution Workers' Assistance Center, police shot dead Manny Asuncion, Cavite provincial coordinator of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) Cavite. 
 
In Laguna, two unionists and a human rights worker were arrested. 
 
Steve Mendoza, executive vice president of the Organized Labor Association in Line Industries and Agriculture (OLALIA KMU) was arrested in a dawn raid of his home in Cabuyao. Police forcibly entered by destroying the gate of the house.
 
Elizabeth "Mags" Camoral of BAYAN Laguna, and former union president of F-Tech was also arrested in the Defend Yulo Farmers headquarters in Cabuyao.
 
Nimfa Lanzanas of human rights group Kapatid-Timog Katagalugan, and a paralegal aide of political prisoners was arrested while she was with her grandchild.
 
Killed in Rizal were Michael Dasigao and Makmak of Sikkad Montalban. Two peasant leaders in Montalban, Rizal were also arrested today.
 
The whole family of fisherfolk leaders Chai Lemita-Evangelista, Ariel Evangelista, and 10-year old son Raymart Evangelista were arrested in their home in Nasugbu, Batangas. Later today, the bodies of Chai and Ariel were found dead, while their son was able to escape. 
 
The spate of killings, arrests and other attacks presents a human rights emergency that merits the attention of the entire Filipino people and the international community. We call for support for the victims of the attacks on trade union and human rights.
 
#DefendOurUnions
#StopTheAttacks
#StopTheKillings
#JunkTerrorLaw
We call on our colleagues in the various trade unions, rights defenders and freedom-loving people in the Philippines and worldwide to call for the release of Filipino unionists Ramir Corcolon and Arnedo Lagunias, and condemn these latest attacks on Philippine trade unions.
Two Filipino union leaders were arrested this morning, March 4, 2021 by elements of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) by virtue of search warrants issued by a Laguna Executive Judge.
 
The police raided the residence of Ramir Edriga Corcolon and abducted him thereafter at around 4:30 am today, March 4, 2021 in San Pablo City, Laguna Province. Corcolon is the President of the San Pablo City Water District Employees Association (SPCWDEA) and the Water System Employees Response (WATER) Secretary General.
 
According to witnesses, Corcolon’s home was forcibly entered early this morning by elements who identified themselves to be from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP).  He is brought to Camp Vicente Lim in Laguna.
 
The residence of Arnedo Sanggalang Lagunias was also raided today, March 4 around 6:00 am. He was forcibly being taken to Camp Vicente Lim.  The police alleged to have found a 45-cal handgun and explosives during the ‘search.’
 
Lagunias was Secretary of the Honda Workers Union (Lakas Manggagawang Nagkakaisa sa Honda-OLALIA-KMU). He was instrumental in launching the workers’ protest in 2019 when Honda Philippines suddenly announced the closure of its main plant in Laguna. Hundreds of Honda workers were dismissed by the company.  Lagunias earlier reported that he is being threatened and harassed by elements of the Regional Task Force to End Local Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC) particularly by Sgt. Romy Aragon last year, and he filed his complaint among other union officers at the Commission on Human Rights in November 2020.
 
Corcolon and Lagunias are union leaders who consistently stood and fought for Filipino workers’ rights.  The search warrants used against them are almost identical and were issued by the same Laguna Executive Judge Divinagracia Bustos-Ongkeko, supposedly to search for rifle grenades, obviously to be used in a raid to plant fake evidence against them.
 
Search warrants were also used in the Bacolod Raids leading to the arrest of Ceres Bus workers and KMU Regional Secretary General Noli Rosales in November 2019; and in the Metro Manila raids in December 2020 which led to the arrest of the HRDay7. The search warrants used in Bacolod City, Quezon City, Mandaluyong City and Manila City in these said incidents were all issued by Quezon City Executive Cecilyn Burgos-Villavert. Rosales and the HRDay 7 all now face trumped up charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives, and are unjustly detained.
 
We call on our colleagues in the various trade unions, rights defenders and freedom-loving people in the Philippines and worldwide to call for the release of Filipino unionists Ramir Corcolon and Arnedo Lagunias, and condemn these latest attacks on Philippine trade unions.
 
Release Ramir Corcolon and Arnedo Lagunias!
Free Our Unionists!
Defend our Unions!
Stop the Attacks!