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CUPE National Statement Condemning the Killing of Carlos “Caloy” Rodriguez

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is deeply saddened to learn of the recent death of brother Carlo “Caloy” Rodriguez. We send our sincere condolences to his family and his fellow trade union activists. We strongly condemn this murder and call on President Aquino to ensure the perpetrators of this crime are brought to justice.

A CUPE National Global Justice delegation to the Philippines in January 2010 had the honor of meeting with Caloy in his capacity as the President of the Water District Union, an affiliate of the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE) in the Laguna district of the Philippines. CUPE National has a relationship of solidarity with COURAGE, and Caloy had travelled from Laguna to inform our delegation of his union’s campaign against the privatization of their district water supply.

CUPE is the largest public sector union in Canada; we are 600,000 members strong including workers in the water sector. We support the rights of all working people to fair wages and better working conditions, and urge all workers to resist neo-liberal policies that prioritize privatization, liberalization and de-regulation over the basic human and labour rights of the people. We whole-heartedly support Caloy’s work; it is reprehensible that in the struggle to keep water public, a struggle that goes hand in hand with the struggle for basic access to water for the poor, Caloy lost his life.

It is troubling to learn that Caloy is one of 22 victims of extra-judicial killings in the Philippines since the new president, Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, took office earlier this year. The promise to uphold human rights prior to the elections was effectively overturned when this government chose to continue the counter-insurgency program of the previous administration. We understand this program to be widely criticized for its attempts to stifle legitimate dissent in defense of worker’s rights and in opposition to detrimental government policies such as privatization and P3s.

CUPE National supports the Filipino people’s right to oppose the privatization of their public services and will continue to voice our concern over the continuation of such repressive practices as the killing of Caloy Rodriquez. We support the call for an end to these extra-judicial killings and call on President Aquino to ensure the perpetrators of this crime are brought to justice. These human and trade union rights violations and the resulting culture of impunity must end.

In solidarity,

Paul Moist
National President

What you can do

CUPE members are encouraged to take action by sending an email or letter to the President of the Republic of the Philippines. Demand an end to human rights abuses and an end to extra-judicial killings in the Philippines.

Send to:

Mr. H. E. Benigno S. Aquino III
President of the Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace,
JP Laurel St., San Miquel
Manila, Philippines
Email: corres@op.gov.ph / opnet@ops.gov.ph
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3936