Philippines: Stop Trade Union Repression! Unionizing is a Right! Free Our Unionists!

The Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) on behalf of all its member federations and allied unions in the Philippine labor movement ask the international labor rights community and all human rights advocates to help us in our own efforts to denounce, resist, and fight against the Philippine government’s infamous scheme to outlaw progressive unionism and arrest unionists, workers, and their supporters.

Under Duterte, unionism — organizing, asserting the right to collectively bargain and to launch strikes against management abuses and exploitative company policies have become criminal acts.

Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) and other people’s organizations and human rights advocates are calling for the release of KMU Negros Regional Coordinator Noly Rosales, 21 workers of Ceres Transport Company and others arrested after the simultaneous raids in Bacolod City last October 31, and Alma Moran, secretariat of Manila Workers Unity and Ina Nacino, Kadamay Manila Coordinator who were arrested in November 5.

We ask our colleagues and allies in the international labor movement to support us at this very critical period when Filipino workers and progressive unions are being targeted for arrest and even extrajudicial killing.

Call for support:

1. Send letters of appeal to free trade unionists at the address below.  

2. Participate in a coordinated social media action on November 16, International Day against Trade union Repression.  Post a solidarity message in social media with any of the following calls and hashtags. 

Pres. Duterte, Stop Trade Union Repression in the Philippines!

Unionizing is a Right!

Free Our Unionists!  

#FreeOurUnionists  #UnionizingIsARight  #StopTURepression


Illegal arrests of Unionists in Negros and  Manila

KMU vehemently condemns another round of arrests in Tondo, Manila right after the October 31 arrest in Negros, Visaayas last October 31.

Today, November 5, 2019,  two unionists were arrested with another activist in Bayan Manila office Tondo.

The unionists arrested are Alma Moran, secretariat of Manila Workers Unity and Ina Nacino, Kadamay Manila Coordinator.

The police narrative is that there are guns and bombs in the said office, as what the government has peddled in the raids of offices in Negros.

In October 31, 57 were arrested in Negros, including KMU Regional Coordinator Noly Rosales, and 21 workers who are at the KMU office during the raid.

Majority of those arrested in Negros are workers, as 21 employees of the Ceres Transport Company were staying at the KMU Office after holding a consultation with KMU regarding their working status with the company. The 21 bus workers include Charlie Lozada, Randy Dumadiego, Gerry Lacson, Ernesto Dodoyco, Richard Escarda, Joubert Villamor, Jessie Pagjonasan, Rolando delos Reyes, Mario Aguilar, Geovanie Moradas, Ryan Doza, Tamil Aiko, Joe Mesememese, Richard Sahod. The other seven have yet to be identified.

Most of the Negros 57 were charged with illegal possession of firearms and ammunition (42), illegal possession of explosives (41) and for the regional leaders, another charge of human trafficking (6), according to the concluded inquest proceedings in Bacolod City.

The police fabricated a story that the 57 were training for the rebel group New People’s Army, because flags, megaphones and other campaign paraphernalia were found at the KMU office. Even the company IDs of the workers are being linked for their supposed ‘training.’

“The Duterte government is lying. The police has been using this storyline whenever they conduct illegal searches and arrests among activists. They say that the unionists were in possession of some kind of firearm and explosives during their arrest. These are lies,” said KMU chairperson Elmer Labog. “There is now a de facto martial law in the Philippines,” he added.





You may send letters of appeal to the following government addresses:

Hon. Rodrigo Roa Duterte
President of the Republic
Malacañang Palace,
JP Laurel St., San Miguel
Manila Philippines
Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80, 784-4286
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968
E-mail: Send message through

Hon. Cecilyn E. Burgos-Villavert
Executive Judge
Regional Trial Court Branch 89
Room 119, Quezon City Hall of Justice, Mayaman St., Diliman, Quezon City
Phone: (02) 8924 3912

Lt. Col. Jovie Espenido
Deputy Director for Operations
Bacolod City Police Office
Magsaysay Avenue, Barangay Taculing, 6100, Bacolod, Negros Occidental
Phone: (034) 435 5001

Col. Romeo Balleros
Negros Occidental Provincial Police Office
Aquarius Street, Barangay Estefania, Camp Alfredo Montelibano Sr., Bacolod, 6100

Brig. Gen. Jose Napoleon Coronel
Crime Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)
Camp Rafael Crame, Quezon City

Lt. Gen. Noel Clement
Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, EDSA, Quezon City
Phone: (02) 8911 6001