For Danah, the struggle is far from over.
“Jude Thaddeus Fernandez was organizing workers in communities to enjoin them to campaign for wage increases and other workers’ rights. He is a labor organizer and does not bear arms.”
Bayan ST asserted that the QCPD is “wasting funds” through its actions. Kyle Angelo Salgado pointed out that the QCPD “had a videoke session during the SONA protest, insulting the rights of citizens to peacefully protest while wasting people’s funds.” More recently, the QCPD also “gave platform to a gun-toting ex-cop through a press conference.”
The ongoing militarization in Tuy is only the latest in the 59th IB’s “reign of terror in Batangas,” according to Tanggol Batangan.
Human rights group Defend Southern Tagalog hopes that the latest Petition for Review could be granted, “to show that the Department of Justice actually understands the meaning of justice.”
The union has described the lay-offs as a “gross violation” of their Collective Bargaining Agreement, and “a clear-cut case of union busting.”
Despite the setbacks, however, workers in the Southern Tagalog region have continued to assert their rights and fight back. For Mario Fernandez and his fellow unionists in TEPWU, it meant meeting state forces head on. This meant actively challenging attempts to tag them as “communist sympathizers.”
“Who are Ka Eden and Ka Eddie? They are good Christians, good Samaritans, and good revolutionaries. They followed the Christian example and dedicated their lives to solving inequality in our society.”
“It is unacceptable that Camoral has been waiting for more than two years for a fair trial. This situation mirrors the ‘working’ justice system in the Philippines, where delays, postponements, and excuses have become the norm.”
The circumstances of Buiza’s arrest echoes the simultaneous police and military operations conducted last March 7, 2021, which resulted in nine deaths and six arrests across the Southern Tagalog region, dubbed ‘Bloody Sunday’. Six of the victims and three of the arrests happened in Rizal province.
The call comes from concerns of “possible bankruptcy of 4,584 sugarcane planters [and] less work for more than 10,000 sugarcane field workers.”