ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-045-2014

28 March 2014
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PHILIPPINES : Overt surveillance on a labour leader

ISSUES: Human rights defenders; Threats and intimidation
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Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) writes to inform you that a labour leader has been under surveillance. The person concerned is actively involved in the campaign for justice for the illegally dismissed workers of Toyota . The perpetrators introduce themselves as agents of the National Bureau of Investigation.

CASE DETAILS: (Based on the documentation by Defend Job Philippines -DJP-)

On 18 March 2014 at 2pm, Ed Cubelo’s nephew, Mark Christopher (MC) Nolos, informed him that a man was looking for someone from Toyota .

Ed told his daughter, Jenny, to go downstairs to check and then followed her because it might be a mail messenger who occasionally delivers letters or documents from the International Labour Organization or from other institutions who regularly send him letters such as members of the Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation Workers Association (TMPCWA), union of Toyota Motor Workers.

When Ed was downstairs he saw a man, age 45-50 years old, with tough and big body. The man was talking to Jenny and to Mark. The man asked Jenny if there was someone from Toyota in their house. Jenny asked the man for the name of the person he was looking for. Then another man of the same physique went near at the gate of the house.

Ed asked the two men what they wanted. Then the man called another man who was standing at the store and another one went near at the gate. There were four men wearing civilian clothes but armed with pistols who were standing in front of the gate. Ed was worried that these men might shoot him. The four men gave Ed an angry look. Then the two men asked again if there is somebody from Toyota in their house. Ed asked again for them to say who they were looking for and the men answered with different names, and appeared to be guessing.

Ed then asked the men who are they and they answered that they were from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). Then the men once again asked if there was someone from Toyota in the house. Ed replied that there is no such person living there. When the men asked yet again Ed replied that there had been someone who was formerly from Toyota . Then one man asked for the name of that person. Ed replied that the person’s name was Ed. Then the man firmly said “Ahh, it’s you! Yes, it’s you.” Ed did not reply anymore. The four men kept on looking at Ed while slowly moving away from the house. Ed then told his nephew to close the gate. The men were still looking at him.

Ed asked his nephew to watch the men to see where they went. He also asked Jenny to go up and check how many men there were. Ed also watched the men walking at the corner of Levi Mariano High Way . One man crossed the street while the three other men were talking to each other.

Then Jenny and Mark went after the men. One man rode a motorcycle while the three rode an old Toyota car with plate number JSJ238. More than a week before the incident, four men were also caught doing surveillance during a protest action of TMPCWA and Defend Job Philippines at the Department of Labor and Employment, Intramuros, Manila on March 5, 2014

Ed Cubelo believes that this recent incident aims to stop him, TMPCWA and Defend Job Philippines in the continuing campaign for justice for the 237 illegally dismissed workers of Toyota . It also aims to stop the strengthening and broadening unity of other workers who have the same experience and struggle against precarious work and all forms of persecution such as in Philippine Airlines, ABS CBN, Advan Shoes, Print Town , Pepsi Cola, Carina Apparel and others.

This incident happened a day after a successful protest caravan against contractualization and persecution and for the right to freely form unions and for justice. The caravan was initiated by TMPCWA, Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU NCR), Alliance of Nationalist and Genuine Labor Organisations (ANGLO KMU NCR), Nagkakaisang Manggagawa sa Print Town, Bleustar Workers Labor Union (Advan Shoes), University Hotel Workers Union, Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (KADAMAY NCR), Tambuli ng Mamamayan and Defend Job Philippines. The caravan went to Toyota Motors main plant in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, Carina Apparel Main Plant and Print Town/Inquirer Group Plant in Binan, Laguna, Main office of Print Town/Inquirer Group, Toyota Bel-Air Dealer Store, Supreme Court, Department of Justice, Court of Appeals at culminated the protest in front of the Department of Labor and Employment.

The Defend Job Philippines has denounced the recent harassment to Ed Cubelo and believe that this is part of the criminalization of trade union leaders and human rights defenders. The DJP said that those people defending economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights are always subject to criminalization and political persecution.

Previously, Renante Gamara, Roy Velez and Amelita Bravante of KMU NCR, Randy Vegas at Raul Camposano of COURAGE are facing trumped up charges. Gamara, Vegas and Camposano are currently detained. Such fabricated charges are also experienced by many human rights defenders from various sectors. The DJP is highly concerned that this harassment against Ed Cubelo will lead to another fabricated charges and warrant of arrest or possible his extrajudicial killing.

According to the data of KARAPATAN, there had been 11 victims of extrajudicial killings since January 2014. They documented 169 victims of extrajudicial killing starting July 2010, from when BS Aquino assumed presidency, to December 2013.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Sometime in year 2000 at the height of organizing and struggling for a union inside Toyota factory, Ed Cubelo first experienced threat, harassment and intimidation. Armed men who identified themselves as PSG or Presidential Security Group went to his house and asked for his whereabouts. It was followed sometime in 2007 and 2008 by persons riding in tandem motorcycles roaming around at his place and looking for him.

Also, sometime in 2008, the 202nd infantry unifier brigade camped beside the office of TMPCWA in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Every day, the military were looking for Ed and other leaders of the union. During the International Labor Organization High Level Mission in the Philippines on 2009, the harassment against Ed Cubelo and to TMPCWA was one of the major agenda of the mission. Months after the ILO HLM, a recommendation to the Philippine Government was issued to ensure the safety and protection of Ed Cubelo and TMPCWA against all forms police and military harassment, criminalization and persecution.

SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please write letters to the concerned authorities listed below expressing your concern about this case.

The AHRC is also writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights defenders.

To support this appeal, please click here: http://www.urgentappeals.net/support.php?ua=AHRC-UAC-045-2014

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear __________,

PHILIPPINES: Overt surveillance on a labor leader

Name victim: Ed Cubelo, President Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation Workers Association (TMPCWA) and Education Officer, Defend Job Philippines
Alleged Perpetrators: Unidentified men who identified themselves as agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)
Date of incident: 18 March 2014 at 2pm
Place of incident: 1482 Elephant St. , Barangay Post Proper Southside, Makati City

Ed told his daughter, Jenny, to go downstairs to check and then followed her because it might be a mail messenger who occasionally delivers letters or documents from the International Labour Organization or from other institutions who regularly send him letters such as members of the Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation Workers Association (TMPCWA), union of Toyota Motor Workers.

When Ed was downstairs he saw a man, age 45-50 years old, with tough and big body. The man was talking to Jenny and to Mark. The man asked Jenny if there was someone from Toyota in their house. Jenny asked the man for the name of the person he was looking for. Then another man of the same physique went near at the gate of the house.

Ed asked the two men if what they wanted. Then the man called another man who was standing at the store and another one went near at the gate. There were four men wearing civilian clothes but armed with pistols who were standing in front of the gate. Ed was worried that these men might shoot him. The four men gave Ed an angry look. Then the two men asked again if there is somebody from Toyota in their house. Ed asked again for them to say who they were looking for and the men answered with different names, and appeared to be guessing.

Ed then asked the men who they were and they answered that they were from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). Then the men once again asked if there was someone from Toyota in the house. Ed replied that there is no such person living there. When the men asked yet again Ed replied that there had been someone who was formerly from Toyota . Then one man asked for the name of that person. Ed replied that the person’s name was Ed. Then the man firmly said “Ahh, it’s you! Yes, it’s you.” Ed did not reply anymore. The four men kept on looking at Ed while slowly moving away from the house. Ed then told his nephew to close the gate. The men were still looking at him.

Ed asked his nephew to watch the men to see where they went. He also asked Jenny to go up and check how many men there were. Ed also watched the men walking at the corner of Levi Mariano High Way . One man crossed the street while the three other men were talking to each other. Then Jenny and Mark went after the men. One man rode a motorcycle while the three rode an old Toyota car with plate number JSJ238.

More than a week before the incident, four men were also caught doing surveillance during a protest action of TMPCWA and Defend Job Philippines at the Department of Labor and Employment, Intramuros, Manila on March 5, 2014

Ed Cubelo believes that this recent incident aims to stop him, TMPCWA and Defend Job Philippines in the continuing campaign for justice for the 237 illegally dismissed workers of Toyota . It also aims to stop the strengthening and broadening unity of other workers who have the same experience and struggle against precarious work and all forms of persecution such as in Philippine Airlines, ABS CBN, Advan Shoes, Print Town , Pepsi Cola, Carina Apparel and others.

This incident happened a day after a successful protest caravan against contractualization and persecution and for the right to freely form unions and for justice. The caravan was initiated by TMPCWA, Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU NCR), Alliance of Nationalist and Genuine Labor Organisations (ANGLO KMU NCR), Nagkakaisang Manggagawa sa Print Town, Bleustar Workers Labor Union (Advan Shoes), University Hotel Workers Union, Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (KADAMAY NCR), Tambuli ng Mamamayan and Defend Job Philippines. The caravan went to Toyota Motors main plant in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, Carina Apparel Main Plant and Print Town/Inquirer Group Plant in Binan, Laguna, Main office of Print Town/Inquirer Group, Toyota Bel-Air Dealer Store, Supreme Court, Department of Justice, Court of Appeals at culminated the protest in front of the Department of Labor and Employment.

According to Defend Job Philippines they denounce the recent harassment to Ed Cubelo and believe that this is part of the criminalization of trade union leaders and human rights defenders. DJP said that those people defending economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights are always subject to criminalization and political persecution.

Previously, Renante Gamara, Roy Velez and Amelita Bravante of KMU NCR, Randy Vegas at Raul Camposano of COURAGE are facing trumped up charges. Gamara, Vegas and Camposano are currently detained. Such fabricated charges are also experienced by many human rights defenders from various sectors. DJP is highly concerned that this harassment against Ed Cubelo will lead to another fabricated charges and warrant of arrest or possible his extrajudicial killing.

I urge you to conduct an effective investigation in order to identify and to hold to account those responsible in conducting overt surveillance on Ed Cubelo. Also, ensure the safety of the victim and his family. They must be afforded with adequate security and protection promptly.
Furthermore, I asked you to ensure that the allegations against the agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the government’s special investigation body under the authority of the Department of Justice (DoJ), could have been involved in his surveillance, be effectively investigated by a credible and impartial investigating agency.

I trust that you will take appropriate action in this.

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

5. Atty. Virgilio L. Mendez
Director
NBI Building Taft Avenue ,
Ermita, 1000 Manila
PHILIPPINES
E-mail: director@nbi.gov.ph
Fax: +63 2 5256895

Thank you.

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

AHRC Philippines page: http://www.humanrights.asia/countries/philippines

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