Kadamay condemns dispersal, arrest and fake charges against NutriAsia workers and supporters

Press Statement
Reference: Michael Beltran +639554571061, Gloria Arellano, KADAMAY National Chairperson – +639213927457

Kadamay condemns the brutal dispersal of the PNP of the picket line headed by NutriAsia workers and their supporters in Marilao, Bulacan. Instead of addressing the pressing needs of the workers for living wages, job security the authorities resort to violence and ridiculous trumped up charges against activists and workers. The regime’s promise to end contractualization is again proven to be mere lip service as the state prioritizes harming hardworking Filipinos physically and economically.

Reports have yet to be confirmed as to the number of those arrested and injured. As of 5:48 PM, reports to Kadamay are that at least 10 have been injured, three have been taken to the emergency room including one Kadamay member. At the same time, 19 individuals from the NutriAsia workers, Kadamay and Anakbayan (including Secretary General Einstein Recedes) have been taken and detained by the police and are being charged with illegal possession of drugs and firearms.

At around 3:00 PM the local parish was holding a mass for the workers when suddenly rocks started flying in hitting many of the attendees. The rocks came from the ranks of the police who sparked the commotion. Many people, elderly and children fled the scene going into the nearby community. The police pursued and planted drugs on those who were arrested.

Once again, it becomes clear what role drugs have in the Duterte administration. It is a tool to wage a murderous war against the poor as well as a justification for the police to raise the level of repression directed against activists and human rights defenders.

All charges should be dropped and the Duterte government should work towards safeguarding the rights of the workers. However, it has proven to be more interested in viciously curtailing the people’s rights. More than ever it seems that genuine change will come in a country without Duterte and his cronies. We urge ordinary Filipinos, workers, activists, church workers, professionals and others to pledge their support to the NutriAsia strike to amidst the blatant disregard for their rights and welfare. ###