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33 of 144 labor leaders killed around world in '07 from RP

January 6, 2008 1:06am

At least 33 of some 144 labor leaders killed around the world last year were Filipinos, militant party list Rep. Crispin Beltran (Anakpawis) said Saturday.

Beltran, in a statement posted on Congress' Web site (www.congress.gov.ph), said this prompted him to file House Resolution 299 seeking an investigation on the matter.

"Labor leaders and activists in the Philippines are being killed, abducted and subjected to surveillance, harassment, intimidation and grave threats," Beltran said.

The investigation will also look into the continued surveillance, harassment and forced disappearance of labor leaders and labor rights advocates nationwide particularly in Central Luzon, he said.

In seeking the investigation, Beltran also noted more than 800 cases of beatings and torture of trade unionists and labor activists in the country.

He said the figures came from the 2007 annual Survey of Trade Union Rights Violations released by the International Trade Union Confederation.

"These acts of rights violations against labor leaders and labor rights advocates are allegedly perpetrated by elements of the Armed Forces and the Philippine National Police, local police forces and private security forces," Beltran said.

He added that "despite strong pressure from the labor sector, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) have not acted on these incidents of violations against workers, labor leaders and labor advocates."

Beltran sought the immediate approval of the resolution to protect the civil and political rights of labor leaders, labor advocates and Filipino workers in general.

Reps. Satur C. Ocampo (Bayan Muna), Teodoro CasiƱo (Bayan Muna), Liza L. Maza (Gabriela) and Luzviminda C. Ilagan (Gabriela), co-authored the resolution. - GMANews.TV