Despite the government’s claim that the martial law only targets the terrorist Maute group, workers of Shin Sun Tropical Corporation in Compostela Valley fell victim to the atrocities of the Duterte administration’s military rule in Mindanao.
On May 26, day 2 of martial law implementation, elements of the Philippine Army’s 66th Infantry Battalion forcibly occupied and camped inside the Shin Sun packing plant. The following day, May 26, these soldiers barged in the picket line of striking Shin Sun workers outside the plant and threatened to kill them if they would not end their almost 2-month strike against the Korean-owned banana company’s practice of contractualization and union busting.
“We strongly condemn these atrocities against workers. Instead of fighting terrorism, Duterte’s martial law is being used to sow state-terror to suppress Filipino workers’ and people’s legitimate and just demands,” Kilusang Mayo Uno secretary general Jerome Adonis said.
The labor leader added that the attack against Shin Sun workers “could serve as a prelude to further suppression of other workers’ strikes in Mindanao and sends a chilling effect on workers asserting their legitimate demands against contractualization and for a significant wage hike”.
Adonis called on President Duterte to lift the martial law in Mindanao claiming that it is now being used by warmongers and fascists in the military as a license to justify their gross human rights violations, curtailment of democratic rights and suppression of legitimate workers’ and people’s struggles and demands.
“If Duterte wants to combat terrorism, he should go after the US who formed and has been funding these terrorist groups and not the workers and other civilians who are now being victimized by the state terrorism sowed by his military,” Adonis said.
KMU meanwhile called on Filipino workers to strongly oppose Duterte’s martial law and assert their democratic rights against the atrocities and state terrorism committed by state security forces.
“We call on Filipino workers to stand up for our rights and strongly oppose Duterte’s martial law. We cannot allow Duterte’s draconian rule to curtail our rights to assert our legitimate demands under the guise of the US-backed war against terrorism.” Adonis said.