A labor organizer of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) was shot dead Friday, September 29, allegedly by operatives of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG).
According to reports, the PNP-CIDG men reportedly entered the house of Jude Thaddeus Fernandez with a search warrant. The officers claimed Fernandez fired on the law enforcers, forcing them to draw their firearms and shoot back.
“We deliberately refute this narrative. Fernandez is a labor organizer and he does not bear arms,” said KMU in a statement.
The killing of Fernandez is a “human rights violation” that continues in the form of enforced disappearances, illegal arrests, intimidation and harassment, added KMU.
Fernandez was known to have organized workers in communities to campaign for wage increases and other workers’ rights since martial law years, KMU said.
The remains of Fernandez are currently being retrieved and will be turned over to relatives.
KMU called on the International Labour Organization (ILO), Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and other relevant agencies to respond to the killing of Fernandez “to attain justice.”
“The attacks against organizers and unionists are attacks on the legitimate campaigns of the workers and the people for wage increases, regular jobs, freedom to unionize and other people’s rights,” said KMU.