Drop false charges vs labor leaders, organizers – group

WORKERS led by labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno joined a march to Mendiola this morning to call for the immediate junking of trumped-up charges against labor leaders and organizers, condemning the Aquino government for continuing the practice of harassing labor advocates through false charges.

The labor center singled out cases related to an alleged April 29 ambush of the New People’s Army in Labo, Camarines Norte, over which two organizers of government employees have been imprisoned and two labor leaders based in Metro Manila have been ordered arrested by the courts.

“The filing of trumped-up charges against our leaders and organizers is harassment plain and simple. The cases that were filed against them should be junked immediately because their mere existence is an injustice,” said Nenita Gonzaga, KMU vice-chairperson for women’s affairs.

“The Aquino government is using the courts not to uphold justice for private and public sector workers, but to deny them justice. It is using a favorite tactic of the previous government in harassing labor activists and in hindering them from carrying out their activities,” she said.

Randy Vegas and Raul Camposano, organizers of the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees or Courage have been imprisoned in Daet, Camarines Norte since Dec. 3 over five counts of murder, one count of theft and one count of frustrated murder.

Meanwhile, Roy Velez, chairperson of KMU-National Capital Region, and Amelita Bravante, KMU-NCR deputy secretary-general, have been ordered arrested by the courts over a multiple murder case.

“The ease with which the military can simply file false charges against activists and have them imprisoned is revolting. The courts are party to this injustice with their snail-paced action on these charges,” Gonzaga said.

“The widespread and systematic violation of workers’ and people’s rights in the country could only emanate from a policy formulated at the top of the military and the government. We hold Pres. Aquino responsible for these violations of trade-union and human rights,” she added.

The labor leader also called for the junking of the government’s internal peace and security plan named Oplan Bayanihan, which she said is already responsible for many violations of trade-union and human rights under the Aquino government.

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