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Trade unionist killed in the Philippines

31 March, 202135-year old trade union leader Dandy Miguel was killed on 28 March in Calamba city, after taking cases of extrajudicial killings to the Commission of Human Rights. His death adds to the more than 50 trade unionists that have been killed since Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte came to power in 2016.

Dandy Miguel was shot eight times by unknown assassins while riding a motorcycle home from his workplace. Just before, Miguel had lodged a complaint with the Commission of Human Rights, criticizing extrajudicial killings of nine labour and NGO activists on 7 March, also called Bloody Sunday, in Calabarzon.

The Bloody Sunday happened after Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte openly called on security forces to gun down communists if they carried guns. But all of the victims were unarmed rights activists and community organizers attached to legal organizations.

“The assassins of Miguel must be arrested and brought to justice immediately. The family of Miguel and other victims must be entitled to state remedy and reparation,”

says IndustriALL general secretary Valter Sanches.

“IndustriALL joins the calls of the Commission of Human Rights that all crackdowns against human rights defenders, such as illegal arrests, harassment and terrorist tagging of trade unionists in the country, must end.”

Last year, the Council of Global Unions staged a global day of action against the extrajudicial killings and red-tagging of trade unionists in the Philippines. The Philippine government has yet to respond.

Miguel was president of Fuji Electric Philippines Union and vice chair of Pamantik-KMU, affiliated to IndustriALL through MWAP.

MWAP spokesperson Julius Carandang, says:

“We vehemently condemn the killing of Miguel, who was fighting for workers’ rights in the province. His murder is further proof of a widespread culture of impunity and a hostile climate for independent trade unionism in the country.

“The anti-terrorism law, the national task force to end local communist conflict has enabled the military, police and followers to label trade unionists and unarmed activists as terrorists. We join unions in the country to fight against violence and lawlessness.”

An ILO high-level mission on the killings of trade unionists is still pending due to the Covid-19 pandemic.