CUPE has added its name to an open letter addressed to the Philippines government, condemning the harassment of Satur Ocampo, one of three members of the Philippines Congress on their return from an April visit to Canada to expose human rights abuses.
“We are seriously concerned for his safety” and that of Crispin Beltran and Luz Ilagan,” the letter said. The three Congress members informed the Canadian public, media and members of Parliament at the Commons Subcommittee on International Human Rights that more than 900 extrajudicial killings and 180 enforced disappearances have occurred under the government of president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
“We view the timing of these events as punishment by the Philippines government for Ocampo’s courageous and principled stand against the ongoing human rights abuses in the Philippines – particularly the extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances – that he and the two other elected legislators aired before the Canadian Parliament and the Canadian media,” the letter added.
During the Ottawa leg of their visit, they met with CUPE equality branch director Anne Mcgrath and other union representatives among others.