BWI condemns assassination attempt against Filipino labour leader

"We cannot keep our silence in the face of the impunity that so-called police operations create for labour and all decent society," said Michael C Mendoza, president of ALU-TUCP.

The BWI strongly condemns the assassination attempt against labour leader Mr. Jessielou Cadungog earlier this week in Cebu, Philippines.

The BWI affiliated Associated Labor Unions (ALU) have received information that the Philippine National Police are admitting responsibility for the attempt, identifying Cadungog as a “person of interest” allegedly involved in the drug trade.



“The culture of vigilante justice that has developed around the drug war in the Philippines is having a toxic effect on human rights and workers’ rights in the country," said BWI's general secretary Ambet Yuson. “We condemn these attacks on trade unionists and other activists, whose lives are being put in extreme danger without any evidence, due process under the law or democratic rights. This must end.”

The gunman was killed in the encounter; however, it was only after his accomplice was taken into custody that the police attempted to portray the events as a legitimate police operation. ALU has issued a strong statement noting that Mr. Cadungog had recently won a local government election to become councilor of Barangay Tejero. They called on the National Bureau of Investigation to assume jurisdiction of the case so that an independent investigation could take place.

At the BWI 4th World Congress that was held in Durban in December 2017 a resolution was passed condemning extra-judicial killings in the Philippines. It called for the administration to “end, investigate and punish perpetrators of extrajudicial killings”.

National President of ALU-TUCP Michael C Mendoza said, “We cannot keep our silence in the face of the impunity that so-called police operations create for labour and all decent society. Particularly when they act as Judge, Jury and Executioner. This will have a chilling effect on our democracy and create a climate of fear. Let us join hands to go to the bottom of this sad and tragic affair.”