Kilusang Mayo Uno condemns the most recent case of extrajudicial killing among workers and unionists.
On September 29, around 4 pm, elements of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) shot dead Jude Thaddeus Fernandez, a labor organizer of KMU. Based on reports, the PNP CIDG was purportedly serving a warrant of arrest when Fernandez fought back (“nanlaban”), which caused them to fire at Fernandez until he was killed and declared “dead on the spot.” We deliberately refute this narrative.
Fernandez is a labor organizer and he does not bear arms. He was organizing among workers in communities to enjoin them to campaign for wage increases and other workers’ rights. He began working as a unionist during the Martial Law of Marcos Sr.
Fernandez is the 72nd victim of labor-related killings since 2016, and the fourth after the January 2023 ILO High Level Tripartite Mission. Similar brutal methods have been employed in the killing of fellow unionists Dandy Miguel, Manny Asuncion, Alex Dolorosa and many others. Under the whole-of-nation approach, the spate of human rights violations continues in the form of enforced disappearances, illegal arrests, intimidation and harassment.
The killing came at a time of the resounding call from workers and the people for wage increases, their outrage against unbridled corruption in the government, and intensifying human rights violations.
Ultimately, the attacks against organizers and unionists are attacks on the legitimate campaigns of the workers and the people for wage increases, regular jobs, freedom to unionize and other people’s rights.
The remains are currently being retrieved and will be turned over to relatives. The fact-finding mission will continue to uncover the truth behind this brutal killing.
We call on all workers and the people to strongly condemn the brutal killing of Jude Fernandez and all forms of violence perpetrated by the Marcos Jr. regime. We call on the International Labour Organization, Commission on Human Rights and other relevant agencies to swiftly respond and act to attain justice.
Let us fervently protest against the intensifying attacks on our rights!
JUSTICE FOR JUDE FERNANDEZ!
STOP THE ATTACKS ON WORKERS AND THE PEOPLE!