Workers appeal to Globe Telecom: “Distance yourself from human rights violators”; Clients of Atty. Saladero call for labor lawyer’s immediate release

Members of the National Federation of Labor Unions (Naflu)- Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) today stormed the main office of Globe Telecom in Mandaluyong City to condemn the continued illegal detention and call for the immediate release of Atty. Remigio D. Saladero Jr., a prominent labor lawyer, human rights advocate, and columnist.

Atty. Saladero, chief legal counsel of KMU, is unjustly accused of being a New People’s Army (NPA) look-out who participated in blowing up a Globe Telecom cell site in Lemery, Batangas last August 2008. Illegally arrested in his house last October 23, he is detained at the Calapan City Jail also for charges of murder and multiple frustrated murder for allegedly participating in an NPA ambush in March 2006. He is one of the 72 Southern Tagalog activists facing the same case. Six of them have been nabbed and are in jail.

“Atty. Saladero is taking care of 700 labor cases and regularly prepares pleadings and attends court hearings. He also writes a weekly column for Pinoy Weekly. It is absurd for anyone to claim that he is an NPA, along with other high-profile leaders of legal mass organizations. This is clearly political persecution consistent with the renewed rise of human rights violations under the Arroyo government,” said Wilson Baldonaza, KMU executive vice-president and co-chair of the newly formed Free Atty. Saladero et.al. Coalition.

The coalition is composed of workers federations, church groups, law students, and lawyers campaigning for the freedom of Atty. Saladero, who is a graduate of San Beda College of Law and placed #17 in the 1984 bar exams.

Meanwhile, Antonio Pascual, Naflu-KMU secretary-general, said that Globe Telecom “must distance itself from human rights violators like the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).” The Globe Telecom arson charges vs. Saladero is based on a lone witness, Arvin Leviste, who claims to be a deep penetration agent of the AFP. “Anyone can claim to be a DPA. But no one can claim to have their integrity vouched for by hundreds of workers.”

Among Atty. Saladero’s clients are Naflu-KMU-led unions of Dole Philippines, Pilipinas Palm Oil, Asahi Glass Corp., and Pascual Liner, whose members are grappling with issues of non-payment of wages, labor-only contracting, illegal retrenchment, and union-busting.

His wife Maricel Saladero and spokersperson of the Free Atty. Saladero et. al. Coalition said, “My husband, despite being a victim of Arroyo’s crackdown, continues to serve the poor and marginalized even behind bars. His inmates are lining up to get legal advice. But I am worried for his health and safety because he suffers from hypertension.”

Free Atty. Saladero et. al. Coalition is set to launch protest actions, a dialogue with the Commission on Human Rights, public fora, a benefit dinner, and other activities until Atty. Saladero and other Southern Tagalog activists are freed and their bogus cases junked.

One Response

  1. Sa lahat ng taong naging sanhi sa perwisyo sa buhay ni Atty. Saladero please hear this:

    Mga wala kayong sustansya! kahit anong gawin ninyong paninira kay Atty. ay alam kong katotohanan pa rin ang mangingibabaw. Isa ako sa mga taong makapagpapatunay kong ano ang pagkatao ni Atty. Saladero. Madalas ko syang nakakasama sa mga seminars sa grupo namin at madalas ko rin syang makakwentuhan. Mahirap paniwalaan ang mga ipinaratang nyo sa kanya. Kung alam nyo lang na kahit ang pagkaing isusubo na lang nya ay binibigay pa nya sa higit na nangangailangan. Di nya inaalintana kung may bagyo man na makapag-attend ng hearing upang punan ang mga obligasyong kanyang hinahawakan upang makatulong ng lubos sa mga taong kagaya namin na naghihikahos. Masakit lang po talaga ang katotohanan kung anuman ang naisulat o nababanggit ni Atty. sa kanyang mga column pero “bato bato sa langit” lang po. Uulitin ko lang po, kaya kayo nag-rereact dahil “TOTOO” lahat ng kanyang sinasabi.

    For my personal HERO Atty. Remigio Saladero, Jr, ang wika nga ni Martin Luther King, Jr. “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convinience, but where he stands at time of challenge and controversy.”. Asahan nyo po ang aming suporta Atty. GOD IS WATCHING.

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