2 August 2013 – The ITF (International Transport Workers’Federation) has expressed its outrage to the Philippines government over the second murder of a transport trade union leader in less than three weeks.
Kagi Lucman, president of the Notre Dame Village Operators and Drivers Association – part of the ITF-affiliated National Confederation of Transportworkers’ Unions – was shot after dropping his children at school. His death follows that of Antonio ‘Dodong’ Petalcorin, president of the Davao city-based Network of Transport Organizations (NETO), who was shot to death on 2 July 2013.
The ITF has protested to the president of the Philippines, and to the chair of the Philippines government Commission on Human Rights. Its acting general secretary, Steve Cotton, told them:
It is reported that Kagi Alimudin P Lucman was killed by a lone gunman on 18 July after taking his children to school. Lucman, as President of the Notre Dame Village Operators and Drivers Association (NDVODA), was part of the ITF-affiliated National Confederation of Transportworkers’ Unions (NCTU).
Lucman is now the sixth transport union leader murdered during the three years of President Aquino’s presidency. The list of those murdered now reads as follows:
• Kagi Lucman, President of the Notre Dame Village Operators and Drivers Association (NDVODA), killed on 18th July 2013.
• Antonio ‘Dodong’ Petalcorin, president of the Davao city-based Network of Transport Organizations (NETO), also killed in July 2013
• Ponciano Infante, President of the jeepney drivers organisation Pasada-Angeles City and the Pandan-Angeles Drivers Operators Association, killed in September 2012.
• Estelito Tebelen, Vice-President of the Divisoria Baclaran Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association (Dibajoda-Piston), killed in June 2012.
• Erning Gulfo, A Piston-Gasak-Divisoria leader, killed in May 2012.
• Felix Cultura, A leader of the Pederasyon ng Transport group in Butuan City, affiliated with Piston, killed in March 2012.
The ongoing lack of action from the government around these murders appears to confirm the Philippines’ international reputation as a place where union leaders are targets for extra-judicial killings and where a culture of impunity is allowed to exist.
The ITF is committed to working with our partners internationally to campaign for justice to be done and for the Philippines to become a place where transport union workers can operate without fear. In less than three weeks the online LabourStart campaign, in which we were involved, has received over 11, 000 signatures demanding justice for Petalcorin. Our affiliates in the Philippines have written several letters to President Aquino, calling for justice to be done. We will continue to monitor and report on the situation to our global audience of some 4.5 million workers. We will continue to take action, and to support our affiliates to campaign against these murders.
We urge you to take immediate and unequivocal action to get justice for the slain transport workers. We further urge that you work with groups within the Philippines to bring an end to this bleak chapter in Filipino history, and to ensure that transport workers are free to operate without hindrance.
The ITF is cooperating with LabourStart on a campaign against the killings and the culture of impunity in the Philippines. For details see www.labourstartcampaigns.net/show_campaign.cgi?c=1879.