Militant labor group Defend Jobs Philippines has told military and police forces to keep out of government agencies and stop spreading fake news against union leaders and labor unions in the public sector.
The group demanded the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) officials conducting black propaganda operations inside government offices to just go back to their barracks instead.
The group lambasted the AFP and PNP after receiving reports that a series of orientations and forum were being conducted by elements of the Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (TF-ELCAC) in various government offices.
The Confederation for Unity Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE) reported that an orientation of the TF-ELCAC was conducted at the National Housing Authority office in Quezon City.
“Such desperate move of the present government of red-tagging and maliciously identifying union leaders and members among the ranks of public sector as ‘communists’ cause alarm as it sends a dangerous signal in terms of their safety and to our workers rights to self-organization and freedom to join and form unions,” said Thadeus Ifurung, Defend Jobs Philippines spokesperson.
“TF-ELCAC and the Duterte government’s Executive Order No. 70 put the lives of unionists in various government agencies to danger as it use blanket labeling of union members and leaders as ‘communists’ and ‘communist terrorist groups’ ,” the group said.
Defend Jobs Philippines also slammed the “Marcosian tactic” being implemented by the Duterte government and insisted that establishing organizations in the public sector were never and will never be a criminal nor terroristic act.
“Fighting for regularization and for a national minimum wage for government workers and employees were just and legitimate calls and must not be equated to crimes and act of terrorism. Instead of red-tagging unions in the public sector, the government could have just addressed and resolved these issues once and for all,” said Ifurung.
“Militaristic and fascist approach in dealing dissent and addressing the aspirations of our workforce in the bureaucracy will never be acceptable. Our military and police personnels have no room in civilian and government offices,” Ifurung also said./Stacy Ang