Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register

World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


International Human Rights Group Condemns Philippine Police Execution Of Trade Union Organiser Jude Fernandez

October 7, 2023

“The International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) expresses its anger and condemnation at the Philippine National Police for executing 67-year-old trade union organizer Jude Thaddeus Fernandez, in Rizal,” said ICHRP Chairperson Peter Murphy today.

On the afternoon of September 29, 2023, a neighbour heard two gunshots and witnessed police carrying a body out of a house on a stretcher. On October 2, a Rapid Response Team from the Centre for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) was able to locate Fernandez’ body in a funeral parlour at Binangonan, Rizal, and confirm that elements of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) shot him while executing a search warrant. The police claimed "nanlaban" (he resisted) to justify this execution, even though Fernandez was unarmed.

“Nanlaban” has been the routine explanation for over 30,000 police killings in alleged anti-drug operations over the last seven years.

The police have refused so far to release Fernandez’ body to his relatives, saying that there is a PhP2 million (USD35,306) bounty to be claimed for it before it can be released. The existence of a bounty indicates a targeted killing.

Jude Fernandez is the 72nd victim of labor-related killing since July 2016, and the fourth labor leader/organizer assassinated since the International Labour Organisation High Level Tripartite Mission visited the Philippines in January this year. The Marcos government at that meeting reportedly admitted that these political killings had occurred and promised to change its counter-insurgency strategy which defined trade unionism as terrorism. Nothing happened.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

“ICHRP calls on the global community to join in condemning the ongoing slaughter of trade unionists and other human rights defenders in the Philippines, to work to end the brazen impunity of the Philippine government armed security forces. The different human rights violations committed against Fernandez; the right to life, the right to organize union and even the refusal to tender his remains clearly portray the anti-people characteristic of the Philippine government’s National Security Plan and a blatant non-respect to its signature to different international covenants and bodies of the United Nations,” said Murphy.

Relatives, CTUHR personnel, and different workers organizations have maintained a vigil over the body for the last two nights and days.

Jude Fernandez began organising trade unions during the Marcos dictatorship and was a much-respected veteran organiser of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU- May First Movement) Labor Center.

KMU likens this to the brutal killings of union leaders Dandy Miguel and Manny Asuncion in March 2021, Asuncion being one of the nine victims slain in the Bloody Sunday massacre.

Binangonan, Rizal province, is the area where Dexter Capuyan and Bazoo De Jesus, two Indigenous Peoples’ rights defenders, were forcibly abducted by men who identified as working with the police, on April 28, 2023.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
World Headlines

UN News: Aid Access Is Key Priority

Among the key issues facing diplomats is securing the release of a reported 199 Israeli hostages, seized during the Hamas raid. “History is watching,” says Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths. “This war was started by taking those hostages. Of course, there's a history between Palestinian people and the Israeli people, and I'm not denying any of that. But that act alone lit a fire, which can only be put out with the release of those hostages.” More

Save The Children: Four Earthquakes In a Week Leave Thousands Homeless

Families in western Afghanistan are reeling after a fourth earthquake hit Herat Province, crumbling buildings and forcing people to flee once again, with thousands now living in tents exposed to fierce winds and dust storms. The latest 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit 30 km outside of Herat on Sunday, shattering communities still reeling from strong and shallow aftershocks. More

UN News: Nowhere To Go In Gaza

UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said some 1.1M people would be expected to leave northern Gaza and that such a movement would be “impossible” without devastating humanitarian consequences and appeals for the order to be rescinded. The WHO joined the call for Israel to rescind the relocation order, which amounted to a “death sentence” for many. More

Access Now: Telecom Blackout In Gaza An Attack On Human Rights

By October 10, reports indicated that fixed-line internet, mobile data, SMS, telephone, and TV networks are all seriously compromised. With significant and increasing damage to the electrical grid, orders by the Israeli Ministry of Energy to stop supplying electricity and the last remaining power station now out of fuel, many are no longer able to charge devices that are essential to communicate and access information. More


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.