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Union leader killed, 2 wounded in EMI-Yazaki

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Reference: Luz Baculo, PAMANTIK Secretary-General
Mobile No: 09193198268

Barely six months after the failed ambush of EMI-Yazaki workers’ union president Gerry Cristobal, his successor was ambushed in front of the company gates in Imus, Cavite at 6:15 AM today.

Labor leader and organizer Jesus Buth Servida just came out from Gate 2 of EMI-Yazaki when motorcycle gunmen fired .45 caliber shots on him. He died instantly with still undetermined number of bullets fired on him. Two of his co-workers were also wounded. Joel Sali and a still unidentified companion were brought to the hospital.

Servida assumed presidency of the 7,000-strong workers”’ union in EMI-Yazaki after the failed assassination of union president Gerry Cristobal on May 1, 2006 by confirmed police gunmen. However, the management of the Japanese-owned company illegally terminated Servida after a collective bargaining agreement between the union and management was signed.

Meanwhile, the militant Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan (PAMANTIK-KMU) or Solidarity of Workers in Southern Tagalog expressed condolences to the bereaved family of Servida. PAMANTIK condemned in highest possible terms the killing of Servida and the wounding of 2 other unionists.

“We see that the government has done nothing to look into the matter of all these killings of our union leaders and members. Ironically, it has even gone worse in the past weeks and months,” said Luz Baculo, PAMANTIK secretary-general. (see related news)

Baculo added, “As it happened to the failed murder of Cristobal, it is by no doubt the military and the police who have a hand on this incident.”

Baculo said that PAMANTIK believes that the surveillance and killings will not stop, stating the insincerity of the Philippine government to prevent and solve such appalling activities inflicted against unionists. “The Philippine government’s implementation of the United States’ so-called campaign against terrorism has arbitrarily and ridiculously defined trade unions as terrorist organizations.”

“The surveillances and killings of unionists are themselves terrorist activities, sowing alarm and fear to workers mostly in export processing zones to discourage them from forming their unions and fight for their legitimate rights,” said Baculo.

AFP operatives arrested for surveillance and harassment

In related news, 3 operatives of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) were nabbed by barangay tanods while a labor organizer reported for blotter in Barangay Dita, Santa Rosa, Laguna on December 4, 2006.

Joycee N. Rosales, a 24 year-old labor organizer was reporting for blotter how she was followed and harassed by 2 unidentified men, when she saw the stalkers in front of the barangay hall. The barangay tanods immediately arrested 3. The suspects were identified as Nilo V. Enciso, Noel Samaniego and Mark Ryan Lopez. Despite their refusal to present identifications, they were forced to show their ID’s confirming them to be members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. One 2-way radio handset and a .45 caliber gun were seized from the military operatives. They did not deny following Rosales.

Rosales reported, “I was followed from an office. When I rode a jeep, one of them also got into the same jeep, while another one was tailing us with his motorcycle. From there, I knew I was downrightly being followed.”

“In my intent to get rid of my stalkers, I got down to a subdivision, knocked to one of the doors to allow me entry as I said I fear for my life because I am being followed. One kind-hearted woman permitted me. Surprisingly, one of my stalkers tried to knock and barged into the door. By offering her cellphone, I was allowed by the woman to contact my companions and help me to get out.”

Around 15 workers came to Rosales’s rescue and immediately went with her to formalize her report to the nearest barangay outpost in the area. It was while she was doing her blotter report when she spotted her stalkers boldly watching them from across the street.

The barangay tanods turned the suspects to the police.