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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Fascism: Deadlier Than Covid-19

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Justice for Ka Dandy and all victims of state fascism!
The International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) Philippines condemns the assassination of Dandy Miguel, president of Lakas ng Nagkakaisang Manggagawa ng Fuji Electric-OLALIA-KMU and vice president of Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan (PAMANTIK-KMU) last March 28, 2021. Ka Dandy was also a member of the National Council of Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU). OLALIA and PAMANTIK are member organizations of the ILPS from the Southern Tagalog region of the Philippines.
The murder of Ka Dandy comes at the wake of the slaughter of nine activists in the Southern Tagalog region three weeks ago on the dawn of March 7, dubbed the “Bloody Sunday” by human rights groups and people’s organizations. This was preceded by the arrests of Ramil Corcolon and Arnedo Lagunias on March 4. Corcolon was president of the San Pablo City Water District Employees Association (SPCWDEA) and secretary general of the Water System Employees Response (WATER), while Lagunias was Secretary of the Honda Workers Union (Lakas Manggagawang Nagkakaisa sa Honda-OLALIA-KMU).
In the province of Laguna alone, where Ka Dandy was murdered, harassment of union officers has escalated since January this year as KMU-affiliated unions have reported several instances of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) operatives approaching their union officers, threatening them to disaffiliate from KMU.
Ka Dandy’s death marks the third time an officer of PAMANTIK-KMU was killed extrajudicially, after the deaths of Nestle Cabuyao workers union president Diosdado Fortuna in 2005 and RFM union leader Rey Malaborbor in 2019. He is also the second labor leader from the Southern Tagalog region slayed this March. Ka Dandy participated in the walkout of the workers of Fuji Electric in assertion of proper health and safety measures in their workplace during the pandemic, and in the successful conclusion of the Fuji Electric union’s collective bargaining agreement (CBA).
The Southern Tagalog region’s history of genuine, militant, and nationalist unionism has constantly invited state-enforced crackdowns against its union members and labor leaders. Nesting factory enclaves and export-processing zones, the region houses multinational and transnational corporations that have made the Philippines part of its global assembly line. The owners of these corporations have built their wealth on the backs of the working class — corporations and big businesses continue to rake in massive profits despite the pandemic, while the working class and the rest of the toiling masses are made further vulnerable by the lack of job security, inhumane working conditions and have been left to fend for themselves during Duterte’s draconian lockdown.
The Duterte regime is far more interested in enriching the pockets of his allies in the landlord and big comprador bourgeoisie class and in perpetuating its power through his daughter and political minions than solving the health and economic crises ailing the country. The capital and nearby provinces are again placed under more rigid protocols due to the spike in Covid-19 cases, without mass testing and sufficient vaccines. Duterte is determined to cripple the mass movement in the Philippines through instigating the armed forces to kill dissenters and critics for their alleged communist links in a frenzied attempt to extend his rule beyond 2022. Fascism, prior to the pandemic and beyond it, proves to be deadlier than the Coronavirus. It condemns activists to their deaths via state-perpetrated “tokhang-style” murder and the toiling masses to theirs through starvation and wanton neglect.
We must be alarmed at the precarious state of human rights in the country. Impunity, red-tagging, and the vicious attacks against civil liberties and democratic rights must end. The ILPS Philippines calls on the international community for support against the Duterte regime’s murder spree. Duterte and his cronies must be held accountable for the thousands of lives lost in extrajudicial killings and his drug war.
Justice for Ka Dandy and all victims of state fascism!
Defend Southern Tagalog!
Stop the killings!
Oust Duterte!

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