Call for solidarity action against the killing union leader Carlo Rodriguez

In behalf of our affiliate unions, associations, federations and regional chapters and formations, COURAGE is strongly condemning the brutal killing of our union leader, Carlo Rodriguez, President of Nagkakaisang Lakas Manggagawa ng Calamba Water District, an affiliate of Water System Employees Response (WATER) and an officer of COURAGE Southern Tagalog.Caloy on Friday, November 12, was onboard his motorcycle and was to come home from their office after a meeting with fellow union leaders when he was shot dead by unidentified assailant riding tandem on a motorcycle at an intersection in Calamba City, Laguna. Four gunshots were fired at Caloy, two at the back, one on the arms and another at the neck. The killers were definitely ensuring he was already dead before they fled.

Caloy, only 41 years old, was a militant, progressive and nationalist union leader and a genuine public servant. He spearheaded the Collective Negotiations Agreement of the NLM which seeks to improve the economic and working conditions of the workers and the full exercise of their union rights in the water district. He was a coordinator for the campaigns of WATER and COURAGE in Southern Tagalog for a substantial wage increase, against privatization and in defense of jobs and public services. Together with other union leaders in the province, Caloy is a regular mobilizer of government employees’ contingent for the Lakbayan (Protest Caravan) of the peasants for genuine land reform.

The murder of Caloy is concrete proof that the Aquino Administration, the AFP and its paramilitary machinery is still implementing Oplan Bantay Laya II of the Arroyo Administration and the new US Counter Insurgency Program. These programs target even the leaders and supporters of the legal and progressive mass organizations, like COURAGE and WATER who are known for their critical stand and action against various policies that propagate the oppression and injustice against the Filipino people. He is the 22nd victim of the Extra Judicial Killings under the Aquino Administration and the 6th government employee-union leader killed for their uncompromising commitment.

Aquino’s inaction and complacency that has until now denied justice to the more than 800 victims of summary executions, tortures and enforced disappearances under the US-Arroyo Regime is testament of the Aquino Administration’s hypocrisy, the change it is parroting is nothing but a complete sham. It is no better but the same as its predecessor – rotten, ruthless and butcher of civil servants.

We call on all government employees, trade unions, human rights advocates and other patriotic and concerned citizen to join us on November 18, 2010, on the same day that Caloy will be laid to rest, simultaneously at 12:00 noon nationwide, for a National Condemnation and Solidarity Action.

They may have been able to treacherously put an end to the life of Caloy but definitely not to his beliefs and struggles. For as long as the ruling system that perpetuate this culture of impunity remains, there are and there will be thousands of Caloy in the ranks of the government employees who will continue to resist tyranny and fight for genuine freedom and change.



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