New series of concocted charges: US-Arroyo regime’s desperate attempt to persecute and criminalize leaders

Member unions, organizations, and provincial alliances under the leadership of Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan (PAMANTIK-KMU) and Organized Labor Associations in Line Industries and Agriculture (OLALIA-KMU) condemn to the highest terms US-Arroyo regime’s new rounds of harassment, employing its courts, police and military, pressing false charges against and arbitrarily arrest known leaders and members of progressive organizations in Southern Tagalog.

Along with the warrant of arrest issued by the Mindoro Oriental Regional Trial Court against Atty. Remigio Saladero, Jr., board chairman of Pro-Labor Legal Assistance Center, concocted charges of murder and multiple frustrated murders were also filed against 74 leaders and members of progressive organizations following the alleged bombing of a Globe cell site in Batangas in 2006. Included in the 74 are Romeo Legaspi, Luz Baculo, Emmanuel Asuncion, and Emmanuel Dioneda, all officers of various trade union organizations in Southern Tagalog.

Romeo Legaspi is the chairman-elect of PAMANTIK-KMU and OLALIA-KMU. He is also the incumbent regional chairman of Anakpawis Partylist-Southern Tagalog and the union president of Lakas-Manggagawang Nagkakaisa sa Honda Cars Inc. (LMNH-OLALIA-KMU).

Luz Baculo is the secretary-general of PAMANTIK-KMU, Emmanuel Asuncion, counsel to Solidarity of Cavite Workers, and Emmanuel Dioneda, executive director of SEC-registered Labor Education Advocacy Development Response Services, Inc.

Both Legaspi and Baculo are also national council members of Kilusang Mayo Uno (May First Movement).

The courts were supposed to be, as they claimed, the civilized world’s battle arena of right and reason. However, the anti-people and anti-worker stance of the US-Arroyo regime had now formally seeped into the partiality of the legal courts charging leaders and activists en masse of false accusations. And reason and civil liberties have been enslaved and regressed back to the Dark Ages-ala Arroyo.

In the days following the release from court, police are expected to serve the arrest warrants. However, armed military operatives, both in uniform and plainclothes, frequented the vicinities of OLALIA office located in a subdivision in Cabuyao. Subdivision residents even expressed alarm in the scenes forewarning a Gestapo-style arrest or any classified operation other than arresting.

With the new rounds of fabricated charges, red baiting, and eventual arrests of leaders and activists, the US-Arroyo regime aggravates the already worse situation of the poverty-stricken Filipino masses by attempting to silence their leaders and advocates for genuine freedom and democracy.

To the labor sector, the government is in hot pursuit to criminalize legitimate labor organizations, unions, issues and demands. The current political persecution and repression of labor leaders and activists are reminiscent of Marcos’ crackdown of labor leaders in the 80’s, differing only in breadth and severity. Marcos had to declare Martial Law in order to take full control of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the government. Currently, Gloria Arroyo imposes a de facto Martial Law, using the government for her ill-motives and whims while in utmost servitude to foreign monopoly capitalists, local big landlords and comprador big bourgeoisie.

Arroyo is hell-bent in clinging to Malacañang as evident of her machinations over almost all government institutions and using underhand moves such as political killings against labor leaders and activists. However, the workers and the people shall not tolerate the rule of irrationality, injustice, and impunity. The workers and the people shall thwart all attempts of the US-Arroyo to further exploit the masses.

Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan (PAMANTIK-KMU)

Organized Labor Associations in Line Industries and Agriculture (OLALIA-KMU)

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