Murder of Union Leader: Antonio Petalcorin; Letter to the President of The Philippines

Keywords : Human and trade union rights Protest letters

Dear Mr President:

The African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUCAfrica) expresses its shock at the recent murder of Antonio “Dodong” Petalcorin, President of
the Davao City-based Network of Transport Organizations (NETO), an affiliate of the National
Confederation of Transportworkers’ Union (NCTU)-Alliance of Progressive Labour (APL). His
name is now added to an ever-growing list of trade unionists murdered for their union activity in
the Philippines.

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Letter in PDF

At about 8:00am on 2 July 2013, Dodong Petalcorin was shot three times in the chest by an
assassin as he was leaving his home for the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory
Board (LTFRB). The assassin sped off on a motorcycle that had been waiting nearby.

Two other APL leaders were murdered previously this year. Following the May 2013 elections,
Romy Almacin, a Municipal Councilor and transport leader was shot to death in broad daylight.

His murder is believed to be related to his campaign against graft and corruption and illegal
logging in that municipality. Emilio Rivera, former Chairman of an independent transport
workers’ organization, Matina Aplaya Transport Cooperative (MATRANSCO), was murdered on
25 January 2013 near the offices of the LTFRB. It is believed his murder was linked to his
campaign to expose corruption at the LTFRB and to oust its director. In neither case has the
state arrested or prosecuted those responsible for these crimes. This is wholly unacceptable.

Last April 2013, a grenade was lobbed into the home of another transport union leader but
fortunately did not explode.

ITUC-AFRICA calls upon your government to act immediately to identify and prosecute the
material and intellectual authors of these crimes. Further, it is obvious that violence against
trade unionists is a serious and growing problem in the Philippines. We urge the government to
work with the trade unions to develop a plan to ensure that trade union rights are respected and
that trade unionists at risk of reprisals for their legitimate activity are provided the protection
necessary to carry out their work.

Sincerely,

Kwasi Adu-Amankwah

General Secretary

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