A labor organizer and workers’ rights advocate in Rizal was found dead on September 29, Wednesday, after shots from the police in what was supposed to be a search operation in the former’s residence.
The victim was identified as Jude Thaddeus Fernandez, a labor organizer for the labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU).
In a statement published by KMU in their Facebook page, they revealed that officers from the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) went into the residence of Fernandez to serve a search warrant. Instead, the police fired at Fernandez under the claim that the latter “fought back” against the authorities.
KMU, on the other hand, refutes the said claim and asserts the murder as an attack on organizers and unionists’ rights in general.
“Fernandez is a labor organizer, and he does not bear arms,” the labor group said in their statement.
“The attacks against organizers and unionists are attacks on the legitimate campaigns of the workers and the people for wage increases, regular jobs, freedom to unionize, and other people’s rights,” added KMU.
Prior to his death, Fernandez was currently organizing among workers to call for wage increases and workers’ rights.
Fernandez becomes the 72nd victim of labor-related killings in the country since 2016, and the fourth since January 2023.
News by Godwin Pring
Layout by Winston Adam Lejarde