BIEN, CWS, and CTU Condemn AFP-PNP Negros Occidental Raids!

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[pushAUX.com] Dumaguete City, Negros Island. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) conducted raid operations under the Regional Task Force Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict 6 (RTF-ELCAC 6).

The raids were supported by court issued search warrants that referred to violations involving Republic Act 10591 (otherwise known as the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Law). Thank you Judge Cecilyn Burgos Villavert, of the Regional Trial Court Branch 89… located in Quezon City, which is 800 kilometers away from Dumaguete, for helping out.

Fifty-five individuals, 14 of which were minors, were rounded up; those under the age of 18 were turned over to the Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) in Bacolod City.

An astounding 732 firearms were seized.

According to reports, 40 alleged members of Komiteng Rehiyon-Negros, Cebu, Bohol and Siquijor (KR-NCBS) were included in those arrested, during what was describe as “Combat related training and indoctrination.”

Those collared were brought to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Negros Occidental Provincial Field Unit (PFU), pending the filing of pertinent charges.

Oppression on the Rise!

Local BPO Industry Employees Network (BIEN), the Washington-based Communications Workers of America (CWA), and the Council of Trade Unions (CTU) publicly condemned the arrest of Mary Anne Villasica-Krueger, a prominent union organizer.

Chris Shelton, CWA President

“The arrest of Anne Krueger and larger raids and retaliation against union and progressive organizers are unacceptable and the latest evidence of the effort to silence and intimidate those seeking to improve the lives and conditions of Filipino workers. CWA strongly condemns the raids and arrests and stands in solidarity with Anne and her family and all those arrested in what appears to be a crackdown on workers exercising their human rights. We call on other international observers, including multinational corporations operating in the massive BPO industry in the Philippines, to use their voices to call for Anne’s release as soon as possible and to speak out against the climate of fear and retaliation targeting workers that is on the rise in the Philippines under the government of President Rodrigo Duterte.”

CTU commits to help with the legal costs of defending those arrested.

Richard Wagstaff, CTU President

“It appears that the arrests are politically motivated as many of those arrested have questioned publicly President Duterte’s hostile anti-worker policies… We know that one of those arrested, Anne Krueger, regional organizer for the BPO industry employee network (BIEN) – the union for call center workers – was among one of those arrested on false pretenses. Krueger has spoken out publicly about the human rights abuses happening under President Duterte’s administration… The New Zealand union movement is asking Kiwis to show international solidarity by chipping in to assist these human rights defenders with their legal costs.”

According to the military, Mary Anne Villasica-Krueger is a CPP-NPA member, functioning as the Deputy Secretary for Cultural Propaganda of the KR-NCBS, and as a Deputy Secretary for Social Media; The military also alleges that she is a former political instructor of the NPA’s Sandatahang Yunit sa Platun (SYP) of the Southern Luzon Regional Political Committee.

(pushAUX: Villasica-Krueger was a former chair of the BPO Industry Employees Network, BIEN – an organization whom the authorities believe to be functioning as an extension of the Kilusang Mayo Uno. In any case, read more at Prospect.org for the back story! Click THIS!)