Media Release
13 March 2019

(KMU to EU, UN and other international organizations) Conduct high-level mission to Philippines, uncover brutal truth of Duterte dictatorship

The Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) labor center condemned the latest press briefing conducted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO). The press briefing opened with a video of the recent tour conducted by the Philippine government to meet with officials of the European Union (EU), European Parliament and European Commission. PCOO undersecretary Lorraine Badoy gave the introduction while AFP deputy chief of staff for civil military operations Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. led the press briefing.

“We urge the EU, UN, Belgian government and all international organizations to conduct a high-level mission to the Philippines. It is the only way to verify the claims of Duterte’s black information team led by Gen. Parlade. What you will find is that the so-called “muddled human rights narrative” that mass organizations have “internationalized,” to use the military official’s words, is the actual brutality of the Duterte government,” said Jerome Adonis, KMU secretary-general. “Pres. Duterte is a dictator. The facts can speak for themselves,” he added.

Parlade also mentioned KMU as an example of a communist-terrorist organization. “Unionists are not terrorists. Our members and families know that we are struggling for workers’ rights, social justice, democracy and lasting peace,” he said.

“The military’s list of communist-terrorist organizations is actually a death list. It points out which organizations are actual targets of military operations. Naming KMU as an example means Pres. Duterte and the military have darker plans for its leaders and members,” he said.

“For the past months, the military has been forcing KMU union members in Mindanao to surrender as rebels. As if it is not enough that workers have to do eight hours and more of hard labor for meager wages, they are now being forced to falsely state that they are armed rebels. The military issued threats of imprisonment and violence against families if the unionists refuse to sign the fake surrenderee statement,” Adonis said.

“At the same time the unionists in Mindanao are being forced to sign that they are disaffiliating from KMU. The result is the dissolution of the union and the end of all activities related to the campaign for wage increase and regularization of contractual workers,” he added.

The press briefing also mentioned that the international solidarity work of Filipino mass organizations is a scam. It downloaded the list of organizations which attended the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) 5th International Assembly to show that the international network of leftist organizations is wide.

“KMU is a founding member of ILPS. Workers organizations will testify that what was discussed during the 5th International Assembly and in all gatherings of ILPS were about people’s issues. The only scam here is Duterte’s terrorist campaign. The forced surrender campaign among unionists is just one of the money-making activities of the military,” he said.

KMU also lambasted Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) undersecretary Lorraine Badoy for the role of her office during the European tour and the press briefing. “Badoy and the rest of the government team are trying to malign internationally and locally mass organizations that have a good track record of serving the Filipino people. KMU as a national labor center and other people’s organizations are not traitors to the country,” Adonis said.

“If there is anyone betraying the Filipinos, it is President Duterte. All attempts to cover-up the crimes he committed against the Filipino people are bound to fail,” he said.

“The information that the PCOO has given out in Europe and during today’s press briefing are information from a state terrorist. They contain the list of the state targets of massacre and extra-judicial killings. The communist-terrorist list is a dictator’s death list,” he said.

KMU is set to conduct a protest action in front of the Department of National Defense on March 15 at 10:00 AM to denounce the red-tagging activities of Armed Forces of Philippines (AFP) in accordance with the Whole of Nation Approach, an order issued by the President.

Reference: Jerome Adonis, secretary-general, KMU