18 November 2010
The Executive Board of Public Services International is appalled and deeply saddened to learn of the killing of Brother Carlo “Caloy” Rodriguez on 12 November 2010. At about 5.30 on the afternoon of 12 November, an unidentified assailant, reportedly riding in tandem on a motorcycle, shot Brother Caloy four times: twice in the back, once in the arm and once in the neck.
Brother Carlo “Caloy Rodriguez” was the President of the Water District Union, an affiliate of the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE) in the Laguna district of the Philippines. He was 41 years old. Brother Caloy was a strong and forceful advocate against neoliberal policies that prioritize privatization, liberalization and de-regulation over the basic human and labour rights of the people and, in particular, of the fight against the privatisation of water services in the Philippines. It is reprehensible that in the struggle to keep water public, a struggle that goes hand in hand with the struggle for basic access to water for the poor, Caloy lost his life.
We send our sincere condolences to his family and his fellow trade union activists. We strongly condemn this murder and call on President Aquino to ensure the perpetrators of this crime are brought to justice.
The Philippines is reputed to be the second most dangerous country in the world for trade unionists after Colombia. It is troubling to learn that Brother Caloy is one of 22 victims of extra-judicial killings in the Philippines, since the new president, Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, took office earlier this year. We remind the government of the solemn promise to uphold human rights, which it made prior to the elections.
PSI supports the Filipino people’s right to oppose the privatization of their public services and will continue to denounce forcefully the continuation of such repressive practices as the killing of Caloy Rodriquez. We call for an end to these extra-judicial killings and call on President Aquino to ensure the perpetrators of this crime are brought to justice. These human and trade union rights violations and the resulting culture of impunity must end.
Adopted by the PSI Executive Board