INDEPENDENT NEWS

Philippines: government crackdown targets unions

Published: Wed 6 Nov 2019 08:31 AM
The ITUC has condemned a new wave of police repression of Philippine trade unionists. The offensive was launched when police simultaneously raided three premises of human rights and trade union organisations, arresting and detaining 57 people members of labour and civil society organisations. Repression operations are ongoing.
In the evening of 31 December 2019, bus workers were holding a union meeting in Bacolod city, capital of the province of Negros Occidental, when the building was raided. Elsewhere in the city, eight people, including four children, were held at gunpoint by police. Witnesses there reported that non-uniformed men entered the property and planted firearms. All 43 adults arrested were charged with the illegal possession of firearms.
Further raids are ongoing, and more trade unionists could be targeted in the coming hours and days. Faced with this abuse of power, trade unions are taking precautionary measures to safeguard their members’ safety.
“Under the cover of being tough on crime, this government is targeting human and trade union rights defenders as part of a deliberate political strategy that relies on the suppression of people’s rights and freedoms,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow.
This latest crackdown occurs amid a broader climate of government repression in the Philippines. The ‘war on drugs’ has been responsible for a reported 27,000 extra-judicial killings since it was launch by President Duterte in 2016. Both the ILO and the United Nations’ Human Rights Council have resolved to send high level missions to probe into the human rights situation following widespread reports of extra-judicial killings and repression of trade-unions and their members.
While the government has recently pledged to investigate the killings of 43 trade unionists in a meeting with the ITUC in August, no progress has been reported and the government is yet to accept the ILO mission to the country, while the violence against activists continues with impunity.
“The rule of law is paramount and security services must treat everyone with impartiality. What we are seeing in the Philippines is a blatant appropriation by the ruling party of government forces to undermine labour organising and, more generally, to attack voices of dissent in order to consolidate its political power.
“The international union family will not less this go. We are demanding that the government stop the killing and repression of trade unionists and receive the ILO mission to investigate the situation as a matter of urgency,” said Burrow.
Further information:
UNI Global Union condemns police raids and arrest of Anne Krueger in the Philippines
Read this article online
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) represents 207 million members of 331 affiliates in 163 countries and territories.
Follow us online, on Twitter and on Facebook

Next in World

Decade ending 2019 likely to be hottest on record
By: UN News
Gordon Campbell on the recent upheavals inside Iran
By: Gordon Campbell
UN emissions report: World on course for spike
By: UN News
Tongan PM 'Akilisi Pohiva dies, aged 78
By: RNZ
Hottest November on record: NIWA climate scientists
By: NIWA
Government funds to continue investing in fossil fuels
By: RNZ
COP 25: Pacific nations demand greater commitments
By: RNZ
Leaders urged not to COP out of climate action in Madrid
By: RNZ
Bridges condemns climate protest vandalism at his office
By: RNZ
Climate change lens on major Government decisions
By: New Zealand Government
Green economy not to be feared
By: UN News
Sustainable Development Goals
By: United Nations
Is the world ready to end the coal era?
By: United Nations
COP25 Launchpad for Significantly more Climate Ambition
By: UNFCCC
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media