Press Release
June 3, 2019

Hontiveros files resolution to investigate murder of labor organizer

Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros, on Monday condemned the murder of labor leader and fifth nominee of Partido Mangaggawa (PM), Dennis Sequena, who was shot dead in Barangay Bunga, Tanza, Cavite on Sunday.

Proposed Senate Resolution No. 1062 authored by Hontiveros urged the Senate to investigate the killing of Sequena and other labor leaders and organizers.

"I am deeply saddened by the murder of our fellow advocate Dennis Sequena, who lived his life advocating for Filipino workers and their families. We hope that the authorities are doing their best to bring peace and justice to the Sequena family," Hontiveros said

"We have seen a pattern of intentional attacks on our laborers and farmers. We have been unable to protect our workers from the onset of this culture of violence and impunity enabled by the administration," she added.

Hontiveros recalled the 2016 shooting of a PM trade union leader, 35 year-old Orlando Abangan and the 2018 strafing incident in Barangay Bulanon, Sagay City in Negros Occidental where nine (9) workers affiliated with the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW) engaging in a "bungkalan" activity or land cultivation in a hacienda were killed.

"The Philippines is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and is bound to protect the right to life of every human being. The right of our workers to organize themselves to rally for their quality of living should not come at the cost of their freedom and most importantly, their lives," Hontiveros said.

Data by the the Philippine Statistics Authority revealed that the labor force participation rate is at 60.6% of the population. "Majority of Filipino families are of the working class. An attack against our workers is an attack on all of the Filipino people. We must find the masterminds behind these violent ploys, and hold them accountable for their assault on the Filipino people," she said.

"We have a long history of unresolved agrarian and labor issues. As we continue to find solutions that will result in fair and just systems, it is the government's obligation to safeguard the freedom and rights of our workers, and to ensure that in doing so, they are free from all forms of violence," she said.

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