Tagaytay 5 dares PNP on Cavite labor killings

December 18, 2006 at 11:25 am | Posted in Campaigns | Leave a comment

We, the Tagaytay 5, condemn in the strongest possible terms the cold-blooded murder of Jesus “Buth” Servida, former president of the EMI-Independent labor union and the frustrated murder of Joel Sale and two other former active union officers of the EMI labor union last December 11, 2006 in front of the EMI factory in Imus, Cavite. We bring to the gates of the Cavite PNP and the Office of the Provincial Governor the responsibility for their failure to avert this latest outbreak of industrial violence that has plagued the EMI factory in the last two years.
As we mourn the untimely yet violent demise of Pangulong Buth, we dare the top leadership of the PNP, namely Director General Oscar Calderon and PRO-CALABARZON C/Supt Nicasio Radovan to get to the roots of the intermittent violence in EMI, identify and immediately ferret out the murderers and key operators of this dastardly act. Sacking and reassigning the inept and alibi-prone police officers of the Cavite PNP will not be enough to solve the spiraling industrial-labor violence in the province. Getting to the bottom and placing the cold-blooded murderers behind bars may help solve the problem.
Allow us to respectfully refresh the memories of the gentlemen of Camp Crame, Camp Vicente Lim, and Camp Pantaleon Garcia that almost two years ago, on January 12, 2005, Cris Abad, executive vice president of the EMI union was also shot dead in front of the factory after Abad made known his plans to resign from the yellow union and join the genuine labor union, then led by Gerry Cristobal, due to financial anomalies involving the officers of their pseudo-federation, the Kapatirang Kristong Manggagawa, Inc. (KKMI).
The same day that the Tagaytay 5 were abducted by PNP and Navy operatives on April 28, 2006, Gerry Cristobal himself was ambushed by bonnet-wearing assassins led by PNP SPO1 Romeo Lara of the Imus Police. Cristobal survived to tell who his assailants were. In a swift whitewash, Cavite PNP Intelligence Officer Supt Rhodel Sermonia reversed Cristobal and maliciously imputed that it was Cristobal who ambushed Lara and attributed Cristobal’s near-death to an old family feud!
We cannot, by whatever stretch of imagination, accept the latest hogwash being offered by Cavite PNP Director Benjardi Mantele that Servida’s murder was fuelled by “business rivalry.” Pangulong Buth’s murder is definitely union and factory-related, even if he was retrenched from EMI since January 2006. The yellow pseudo-federation KKMI cannot accept their dismal defeat in the last June 2006 certification election, wherein the 4,000-strong union members resoundingly dumped the corrupt, pro-management KKMI union, and voted for a genuine independent union. Pangulong Buth, together with Pangulong Gerry and other genuine union officers played crucial leadership roles in the most trying times of union building from 2003 until their victory in the 2006 CE. Also, the Capitolio-backed yellow pseudo-federation cannot readily accept the grave loss over millions of pesos in union funds.
Furthermore, there are politically powerful forces entrenched in the provincial capitol who would never have wanted a genuine, militant union in EMI, one of the biggest and oldest Japanese investment in Cavite and CALABARZON region. They are the same politicos who had blatantly implement the “no union, no strike” policy in the province for the past five years that has led to the flagrant busting of no less than 25 unions, closure of more than 20 factories, and retrenchment of more than 12,000 workers in the Cavite Economic Zone, Gateway Business Park, First Cavite Industrial Estate and Carmona People’s Technology Center. Just to state the obvious, the provincial capitol’s “no union, no strike” policy is the root of the industrial violence, which continues to this day, in EMI and elsewhere in the 21 industrial garrisons in Cavite.
Even as we condole with Pangulong Buth’s loved ones, we cannot just watch helplessly from our prison cells as the murderers and their handlers butcher our leaders and union officers without compunction and go scot-free after every gangland-style hit. We, therefore, call on all civic-minded organizations and pro-people political leaders all over the province to assist the family of Pangulong Buth and the EMI independent union in ferreting our the murderers and their masterminds, whoever they may be, and put them before the bar of justice.
14 December 2006
The “Tagaytay 5”
Riel Custodio Michael Masayes Axel Pinpin Aristides Sarmiento Enrico Ybañez

Reference: Laura Sarmiento


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