Factsheet: Threat, Harassment, Intimidation to Ed Cubelo, President of Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation Workers Association (TMPCWA) and Education Officer of Defend Job Philippines (DJP)
Incident: Threat, Harassment, Intimidation
Date of Incident: 2:00 – 2:30 in the afternoon, 18 March 2014
Place of Incident: 1482 Elephant Street, Barangay Post Proper Southside, Makati City
Victim: Ed Cubelo, President TMPCWA and Education Officer, Defend Job Philippines
Perpetrators: Agents of the National Bureau of Investigation
Account of Incident:
At 2:00 in the afternoon, Ed Cubelo’s nephew, Mark Christopher (MC) Nolos, informed him that a man is looking for someone from Toyota.
Ed told his daughter, Jenny, to go downstairs to check then Ed followed her because it might be a mail messenger who occasionally delivers letters or documents from the International Labor Organization or from other institutions who regularly send him letters like members of TMPCWA.
Ed was downstairs and saw one man, age 45-50 years old, with tough and big body build. The man was talking to Jenny and to MC. The man asked Jenny if there is someone from Toyota in their house. Jenny asked the man if who or what is the name of the person that they are looking for. Then another man of the same physique went near at the gate of the house.
Ed asked the two men if what they want. Then the man called another man who was standing at the store and another one went near at the gate. There were four men wearing civilian clothes but armed with short pistols who were standing in front of the gate. Ed was worried that these men might shoot him because they were armed. The four men gave Ed an ireful look. Then the two men asked again if there is somebody from Toyota in their house. Ed answered if who are they looking for and the men answered with different names, which seems like guessing.
Ed asked the men who they are. Then the men answered that they are from the NBI. Then the men once again asked if there is someone from Toyota in the house. Ed replied that there is no such name that is living there. Yet the men insisted again the question. Ed replied that there is someone who was formerly from Toyota. Then one man asked for the name of that person. Ed replied the name Ed. Then the man firmly said “Ahh, it’s you! Yes, it’s you.” Ed did not reply anymore. The four men kept on looking at Ed badly while slowly moving away from the house. Suddenly, Ed told his nephew to close the gate. The men were still looking at him.
Ed asked his nephew to look after the destination of the men. He also asked Jenny to go up and check how many men were all there. Ed also watched the men walking at the corner of Levi Mariano High Way. One man crossed the street while the three other men are talking to each other.
Then Jenny and MC went after the men. The one man rode a motorcycle while the three rode an old Toyota car with plate number JSJ238.
More than a week before the incident, four men were also caught doing surveillance during a protest action of TMPCWA and Defend Job Philippines at the Department of Labor and Employment, Intramuros. Manila on March 5, 2014.
Ed Cubelo believes that this recent incident aims to stop him, TMPCWA and Defend Job Philippines in the continuing campaign for justice for all 237 illegally dismissed workers of Toyota. It also aims to stop the strengthening and broadening unity of other workers who have the same experience and struggle against precarious work and all forms of persecution such as in Philippine Airlines, ABS CBN, Advan Shoes, Print Town, Pepsi Cola, Carina Apparel and others.
The said incident happened a day after a successful protest caravan against contractualization and persecution and for the right to freely form unions and for justice. The caravan was initiated by TMPCWA, KMU NCR, ANGLO KMU NCR, Nagkakaisang Manggagawa sa Print Town, Bleustar Workers Labor Union (Advan Shoes), University Hotel Workers Union, KADAMAY NCR, Tambuli ng Mamamayan and Defend Job Philippines. The caravan went to Toyota Motors main plant in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, Carina Apparel Main Plant and Print Town/Inquirer Group Plant in Binan, Laguna, Main office of Print Town/Inquirer Group, Toyota Bel-Air Dealer Store, Supreme Court, Department of Justice, Court of Appeals at culminated the protest in front of the Department of Labor and Employment.
Defend Job Philippines denounces the recent harassment to Ed Cubelo and believes that this is part of the criminalization of trade union leaders and human rights defenders. DJP said that those people defending economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights are always subject to criminalization and political persecution. Previously, Renante Gamara, Roy Velez and Amelita Bravante of KMU NCR, Randy Vegas at Raul Camposano of COURAGE are facing trumped charges. Gamara, Vegas and Camposano are currently detained. Such fabricated charges are also experienced by many human rights defenders from various sectors. DJP is highly concerned that this harassment against Ed Cubelo will lead to another fabricated charges and warrant of arrest or possible extra judicial killing. According to the data of KARAPATAN, there are 11 victims of extrajudicial killing in the last two and a half months, starting in January 2014. They documented 169 victims of extrajudicial killing starting July 2010, from when BS Aquino assumed presidency, to December 2013.
Sometime in year 2000 at the height of organizing and struggling for a union inside Toyota factory, when Ed Cubelo first experienced threat, harassment and intimidation. Armed men who identified themselves as PSG or Presidential Security Group went to his house and asked for his whereabouts.
It was followed sometime in 2007 and 2008 where riding in tandem motorcycles were roaming around at his place and looking for him.
Also, sometime in 2008, the 202nd infantry unifier brigade camped beside the office of TMPCWA in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Every day, the military were looking for Ed and other leaders of the union.
During the International Labor Organization High Level Mission in the Philippines on 2009, the harassment against Ed Cubelo and to TMPCWA was one of the major agenda of the mission. Months after the ILO HLM, a recommendation to the Philippine Government was issued to ensure the safety and protection of Ed Cubelo and TMPCWA against all forms police and military harassment, criminalization and persecution.
Write letter of appeal to Philippine Government Agencies calling to stop the harassment to Ed Cubelo and other trade union leaders/human rights defenders.
Mr. Benigno Aquino III
President, Republic of the Philippines
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel
Fax: +63 2 736 1010
Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80
Ms. Loretta Ann Rosales
Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Fax: +63 2 929 0102
Tel: +63 2 928 5655 / 926 6188
Police Director Alan LM Purisima
Chief, Philippine National Police
Camp General Rafael Crame
Quezon City, Philippines
Fax +632 7248763
Ms. Leila de Lima
Secretary, Department of Justice (DOJ)
DOJ Building, Padre Faura
Fax: +63 2 521 1614
Campaign Director, Defend Job Philippines
Defend Job Philippines is a member of International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights