Labor leaders’ safety sought

MANILA, Philippines – “Pamahalaan, dapat siguruhin ang kaligtasan at kapakanan ng mga manggagawa laluna na ang mga labor leader!”

[The government should ensure the safety and protection of all workers especially the labor leaders!]

This is the reaction of Atty. Joel Odio, founder of the Circle of Advocates for Workers Inc., (CAW) and a member of the Legal Advocates for Worker’s Interest (LAWIN) during an interview with Center for People’s Media (CPM) after another labor leader was gunned down in broad daylight in Banawe street, Barangay Sto Domingo, Quezon City Friday (23 September 2016).

Atty. Odio believes that the assailant of the 64 year old Edilberto Miralles, president of R & E Taxi Transport Union could have been apprehended if only the security guards on duty at the National Labor Relation Commission (NLRC) building had done their part to protect innocent lives.

“Walang akong sinisisi sa nagyaring pagkamatay ni Miralles, pero kung titignan, malaki ang role ng mga guwardiya… dahil parte ng trabaho nila hindi lamang ang magbantay sa mga establisyemento, trabaho din nilang tumulong sa iba laluna kung nakita nilang may mga na-a-agrabyado,” Atty. Odio explained.

[I don’t put blame on them in terms of the way Miralles was gunned down, but if you look closely at it, security guards have a big role in crime prevention and law enforcement. They are not just hired to man a business establishment, their job also is to assist others, especially in case of a life and death situation]

Atty. Odio salutes the administration in its campaign against the illegal drug trade.

But it seems the drug campaign is being abused one way or another. Moreover, due to the series of reported shoot-outs, many news readers have become desensitized .

“Kung immune ka na sa balitang patayan ang tendency nito kahit hindi drug related cases ang nasa isip na nang tao kapag may barilan eh kasong droga pa rin. Kaya ang siste, imbis na tulungan mo ang isang biktima, papanuorin mo na lang, dahil karamihan umiiwas na madamay, ” Attorney Odio said.

[For those who are already desensitized by the series of new killings, the tendency for people even if the case is not drug related, is they would assume it has a drug connection. And instead of assisting or helping a wounded victim, they become merely an observer. The majority would not even bother to help in order to to avoid any involvement]

Atty. Odio also said that Miralles was still breathing after he was shot, and he might have still been brought to the nearest hospital for immediate medical attention.

“Ilang kilometro lang ang layo ng ospital mula sa NLRC, pero walang nakaisip na tulungan o tumulong kay Miralles. Mas nanaig sa marami ang panuorin na lamang si Miralles hanggang sa kanyang huling paghinga,” said Attorney Odio.

[The hospital is just a few kilometers away from NLRC, but no one thought of helping or assisting Miralles. Everyone just stood and watched Miralles until he drew his last breath]

Miralles is the 7th labor leader that has been killed this month by apparent riding in tandem.

Up to now, there is no record from the Philippine National Police (PNP) regarding the arrest of a single assailant or perpetrator.

With further extrajudicial killings potentially yet looming in the country, people have taken to social media with the comments below.

Grace Banzon Teves said, “Bakit kaya under ng admin nya nangyayari? At napaka convenient naman na yung mga against sa EJK yung namamatay?”

[Why did it happen under this admin it all? And it is very convenient that people against EJK are the ones being killed]

Lea Quito on the other hand has this to write, “KANINO PA BA? Sino ba nagbigay ng BLANKET AUTHORITY sa POLICE, maski pa nga CIVILIANS, na “PATAYIN NIYO ang mga adik/user/pusher, NASA LIKOD NIYO AKO!” Kaya FREE FOR ALL na ang ALIBI na adik/pusher yan kaya napatay! Gusto mo Kay PNOY natin isisi???”

[Anyone else? Who gave the blanket authority to the police, even civilians to kill all addicts/users/pushers, I will back you up! That’s why it is free for all and the alibi used, is that they are addicts and pushers, that’s why they have been killed! Do you want to blame it on PNOY?]

Maru Tan had this to share: “Okay lang na maging supporter pero wag naman masyadong FANATICS ! nakikita araw araw ang patayan. naibabalita sa pahayagan ng ibang bansa , may mga video na pruweba pero panay pa rin pagtanggol at palakpak kahit mali?!? yung OFW from saudi na hinarang sa checkpoint at pinatay, addict ba yun? yung scholar na criminology student, addict ba yun? yung 4 at 5 year old na nadamay, addict ba yun? yung babae na naka sakay sa jeep na napagkamalan lang, addict ba yun? Ang mali ay MALI kahit 16M ang bumoto at ang tama ay TAMA kahit na nag iisa ka lang na gumagawa o nagsasabi nito!”

[It is okay to be a supporter, but never of being a fanatic! Every day we see the killing. It is being broadcast on the news internationally, there are videos as proof of evidence but still it (the killing) is being protected and they cheer even if it is wrong! The OFW from saudi who was blocked in a checkpoint and later killed, is he/she an addict? The scholar criminology student, is he/she an addict? Or the 4 and 5 year old that died, are they also an addict? The women on a passenger jeep that was mistaken, is she an addict? Wrong is wrong even if the 16M have voted and right is right even if you’re the only one who is doing it or saying it!]

Meanwhile Gilvie Pioquinto had this in mind: “The problem these days is that all “unexplained” killings are lumped together by these people as EJKs. Riding in tandem/motorcycle-riding shooters have existed long before D30. Even during PNoy administration, madami nga mga riding-in-tandem na killings d ba?”

Jrob Manayam compared the present administration to the previous leadership of PNOY: “It’s so sad, kase walang nangyayareng ganito sa mga previous administrations, very peaceful, walang patayan, walang mga ganitong klaseng pag patay, walang mga namamassacre, grabe ngayon, this is something new…. at walang dapat ibang sisihin, napakasama kaseng tao ni duterte. Wala yang nagawang kahit na anong maganda..pababain na yan! puro ejk lang ang nangyayare…. according sa news.”

[It is sad, because there were no rampant killings during the previous administration, it was very peaceful, no killings, not this kind of killings, no massacres. The situation now is too much, this is something new… And no one is to blame for this, according to the news.


Atty. Odio is convinced that the government should include security guards as a force multiplier that need to be re-trained so that they can be maximized and utilized as an extra hand in enforcing the law; not just be embedded in guarding the building establishments, but more proactive in protecting lives of working Filipinos especially in the case of government facilities.  CPM

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