Philippines: Drop the charges against union leaders
Warrants of arrest have been issued for three of Kilusang Mayo Uno’s National Council members and one of its regional leaders. Roy Velez (KMU-National Capital Region chairperson), Amelita Gamara (KMU-NCR deputy secretary-general) and Ronald Ian Evidente (KMU-Negros spokesperson) have all been charged of fabricated crimes in connection with the activities of the rebel group New People’s Army.
Meanwhile, Hermenegildo Marasigan (vice-chair of the Pagkakaisa ng mga Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan or Pamantik, KMU’s Southern Tagalog chapter) was charged in relation to an alleged scuffle that broke out in an anti-militarization protest in Laguna province.
The accusations against them are false.
Criminalizing trade-union leaders is an act of harassment to hinder them from carrying out their trade-union activities. It is part of the Philippine government’s counterinsurgency program called Oplan Bayanihan, which hinders workers from practicing their right to freedom of association.