Saturday, November 8, 2008

Labor leader escapes slay try

By Karen Lapitan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 02:07:00 11/08/2008

Filed Under: Crime, Human Rights, Regional authorities

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna – A militant labor leader was almost hit by bullets when two unidentified armed men shot his residence several times Thursday night in Riverside, Calamba City at 9:30 p.m., a labor group reported Friday morning.

The labor leader, identified as Arnold Cerdo, is a staff member of the Cabuyao Workers Alliance.

According to Virgilio Colandog, member of Pagkakaisa ng mga Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan-Kilusang Mayo Uno, two men wearing bonnets, suspected to be military agents, attempted to shoot Cerdo and his brother-in-law, Juanito Dacillo.

Fortunately, they (Cerdo and Dacillo) immediately saw the gunmen so they were able to evade the shots,” he added.

The two unidentified men with bonnets were reportedly riding a motorcycle, the usual style of perpetrators of political killings in the country, Colandog added.

Cerdo and Dacillo temporarily transferred into another house given the threats, Colandog said in a phone interview.

Prior to this incident, four Southern Tagalog activists were jailed in Calapan.

They were accused of multiple counts of murder and frustrated murder in an ambush on March 3, 2006.

Of the 72 names identified by the police, at least 30 are militant leaders.

Cerdo, however, is not included in the list.

In Cavite, a labor leader was arrested by the police Thursday morning in Barangay Manggahan, General Trias.

Arnaldo Seminiano, organizer of the militant Ilaw-Buklod Manggagawa (IBM), was reportedly arrested by four policemen, two of whom were not in uniform, at around 10 a.m. Thursday.

He was joined by another organizer of IBM, Sonny Gum-o, who was released after the police failed to present a warrant of arrest.

Their personal belongings like flash disks, cell phones and bags were reportedly confiscated by the police.

Seminiano was brought to Camp Vicente Lim, Laguna, for interrogation on Thursday.

His name is among the 72 names that appeared in the charge sheet in connection with the ambush of government troops on March 3, 2006, in Puerto Galera.

The ambush was reportedly staged by communist New People’s Army rebels.

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