Last October 3rd, a known Philippines labour organiser and activist, Emmanuel “Manny” Asuncion, was ordered arrested, in the Southern Tagalog region, the Philippines, along with a number of other people. Manny Asuncion is on the Board of Trustees of the Workers Assistance Center (WAC).
WAC has been part of the GoodElectronics network from the very beginning. WAC beliefs this is again another attack of the Arroyo government on the labour movement and leaders of people’s organisations in the Philippines by using pseudo-legal means. WAC has formulated a strong-worded urgent appeal.
Manny Asuncion faces multiple murder and frustrated murder charges. WAC is most concerned about the lack of due process; the arrest warrant was issued and the charges were filed without any preliminary investigation being conducted.
WAC beliefs this is again another attack of the Arroyo government on the labour movement and leaders of people’s organisations in the Philippines by using pseudo-legal means. WAC has decried the accusations and formulated a strong-worded urgent appeal calling upon the Philippines government to:
1. Unconditionally drop all the criminal charges against Manny Asuncion and the other labour activists and leaders of people’s organisations in Cavite;
2. To immediately and unconditionally release Atty. Remigio Saladero, Arnaldo Seminiano, Emmanuel Dioneda, Rogelio Galit, Nestor San Jose, and Crispin Zapanta.
3. Stop persecuting activists and leaders of people’s organisations and to stop all harassment, intimidation, threats, and deliberate attacks – including through judicial proceedings – against human rights defenders in the Philippines.
GoodElectronics is calling upon its members and their respective constituencies to support WAC in its protest. GoodElectronics has suggested its members to write protest letters to the Philippines administration as well as to their respective ministries of foreign affairs, their embassies in the Philippines, and the embassies of the Philippines in their respective home countries.
According to information received by GoodElectronics, the arrest of Manny Asuncion should not be seen as an isolated case, but should be understood in the context of ongoing disrespect shown by the Philippines government for the rights of all citizens to enjoy the freedom of expression and association and the right to peaceful assembly.
GoodElectronics supports WAC is its demand that the Philippines authorities respect their human rights obligations as established by the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights and enshrined in the international instruments ratified by Philippines. GoodElectronics specifically points to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the 1998 UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. According to the latter declaration “Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels” and “For the purpose of promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, at the national and international levels: (a) to meet or assemble peacefully; (b) to form, join and participate in non-governmental organizations, associations or groups; (c) to communicate with non-governmental or intergovernmental organization”.