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Philippines: Labor organizers, activists n Southern Tagalog among first victims of Duterte "kill-them-all" order

By staff |
March 7, 2021
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Fight Back News Service is circulating the following March 7 statement from the militant labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (May First Workers Movement).

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.