ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME
Urgent Appeal Update: AHRC-UAU-006-2014

11 February 2014

[Re: UA-191-2006: PHILIPPINES : Another activist killed; union leader faces serious threats]
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PHILIPPINES : A labor leader object of threats and fellow workers shot at while holding a protest

ISSUES: human rights defenders; labour rights
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Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) writes to inform you that a labour leader, threatened in 2005 and 2006, has been shot at, while he and his colleagues, some 100 plantation workers were holding a protest in front of their employer’s home.

UPDATED INFORMATION: (Based on the information received from Kilusang Mayo Uno –KMU-):

In our appeal of June 16, 2006 (UA-191-2006) we reported the forcible entry of armed men into the home of Vicente Barrios. In other incident, he had been hit by a sling shot missile while riding home on a motorcycle. While at work, perpetrators waved their guns at him and threatened to kill him.

In September 2005, Barrios was called for questioning by members of the 28th Infantry Battalion (IB), Compostela town, Compostela Valley . The military accused him of organizing a rebel group, the New People’s Army.

On January 30, 2014, Vicente Barrios was shot at and then held at gunpoint by Jesus Jamero, contractor for the Japanese-owned banana plantation company, Sumifru.

At this time, Barrios was the leader of about 100 Sumifru’s workers who were holding a protest in front of the residence of Jesus Jamero in Compostela Valley , Mindanao . In response to this protest, Jamero came out of his home carrying a gun, and proceeded to shoot at the protestors. However, no one was reported injured at the time.

Groups loyal to Barrios did not take the incident lightly. They immediately reported the incident to the local police; however, the police, instead of arresting Jamero, questioned the workers about holding a protest.

The AHRC is of the opinion that the attacks on Barrios and his colleagues were the result of his advocacy in support of the plantation workers. Barrios is the president of the Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa Suyapa Farm (Namasufa-National Federation of Labor Unions-KMU).

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write letters to the authorities listed below asking for intervention in this case.

The AHRC is also writing letters to the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders calling for intervention in this matter.

To support this appeal, please click here: http://www.urgentappeals.net/support.php?ua=AHRC-UAU-006-2014

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear __________,

PHILIPPINES: A labor leader is the object of threats and fellow workers were shot at while holding a peaceful protest

Name of the victims:
1. Vicente Barrios, President of the Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa Suyapa Farm (Namasufa-National Federation of Labor Unions-KMU).
2. And about 100 members of their union.
Alleged Perpetrators:
1. Jesus Jamero, contractor of the Japanese-owned banana plantation company, Sumifru;
2. Police officers in Compostela Valley , Mindanao .
They were responsible for not arresting Jesus Jamero, for shooting at the protestors; and for not investigating the shooting.
Date of incident: January 30, 2014
Place of incident: In front of the employer’s house in Compostela Valley , Mindanao

I am writing to raise grave concern regarding the renewed attacks on Vicente Barrios, a labor leader. He and his fellow plantation workers have been the object of attacks and ongoing threats on January 30, 2014, while holding a peaceful protest.

I am aware that in June 16, 2006 a group of armed men forcibly entered the home of Vicente Barrios. In other incident, he had been hit with a sling shot missile while riding home on a motorcycle. While at work, perpetrators waving their guns threatened to kill him.

In September 2005, Barrios was called for questioning by members of the 28th Infantry Battalion (IB), Compostela town, Compostela Valley . The military accused him of organizing a rebel group, the New People’s Army.

The latest incident took place on January 30, 2014. Barrios and his fellow workers from the plantation company, were shot at while holding a protest. Also, Barrios himself was held at gunpoint by Jesus Jamero, contractor of the Japanese-owned banana plantation company, Sumifru.

Groups loyal to Barrios did not take the incident lightly. They immediately reported it to the local police; however, the police, instead of arresting Jamero, questioned the workers about holding the protest.

When the event took place, Barrios was the leader of some 100 Sumifru’s workers who were protesting in front of the house of Jesus Jamero in Compostela Valley , Mindanao . Jamero reacted violently to the worker’s peaceful protest. He reportedly came out of his house carrying a gun, and proceeded to shoot at the protesting workers. However, no one was reported injured at that time.

I am aware that the attacks on Barrios and his colleagues were the result of his advocacy in support of the plantation workers. Barrios is the president of the Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa Suyapa Farm (Namasufa-National Federation of Labor Unions-KMU).

I urge you to ensure that this renewed attack on Barrios is promptly and effectively investigated. The police must be held accountable for: not arresting Jamero, for shooting at the workers; and for not investigating the shooting.

Furthermore, I urge you to ensure that Barrios and his family are afforded adequate protection. I trust that you will take appropriate action in this case.

Yours sincerely,

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PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:

1. Mr. Benigno Aquino III
President
Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel
Manila 1005
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 736 1010
Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80

2. Ms. Loretta Ann Rosales
Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quezon City
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 929 0102
Tel: +63 2 928 5655 / 926 6188
E-mail: chair.rosales.chr@gmail.com

3. Police Director Alan LM Purisima
Chief, Philippine National Police
Camp General Rafael Crame
Quezon City , Philippines
Fax +632 7248763
Email: feedback@pnp.gov.ph

4. Ms. Leila de Lima
Secretary
Department of Justice (DOJ)
DOJ Bldg., Padre Faura
1004 Manila
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 521 1614
E-mail: soj@doj.gov.ph

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) (ua@ahrc.asia)

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