KMU Chair on DOLE’s ILC Statement downplaying killings

The DOLE’s attempt to evade accountability is outrageous.

On June 7, DOLE undersecretary Ernesto Bitonio Jr, in his report, said that the Philippine National Police reports “do not indicate that the killing was motivated by [Dolorosa’s] alleged union activities,” when he spoke about the extrajudicial killing of BIEN organizer Alex Dolorosa. He questions Dolorosa’s identity despite BIEN repeatedly claiming and campaigning Dolorosa as their organizer.

The Philippine government delegation’s statements desire to downplay the killings and other fascist attacks by saying these are not labor-related.

Such a claim is a spit on the grave of the victims, adding insult to injury of their colleagues and families. There is overwhelming evidence of a trade union and human rights crisis.

The nation and the world are on watch. Our case has been supported by ILC delegates – from trade unions, governments, and employers. Such validation and support make DOLE’s statements even more ridiculous.

The Philippine government fails to address the High-Level Tripartite Mission’s recommendations. Instead, they present themselves as rabid defenders of red-tagging and vilification, threats, harassment and intimidation, arrests and abductions, extrajudicial killings, and other atrocities. If they have an ounce of shame left, they should begin by abolishing the NTF ELCAC.

We enjoin all workers and unionists worldwide to speak up and condemn the Philippine government’s mental acrobatics to absolve itself of its crimes.

Elmer C. Labog
Chairperson, Kilusang Mayo Uno
Member, Philippine Labor Delegation to the International Labour Conference