Solidarity Message to the 38th Anniversary of Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE)

May 31, 2024

The International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) sends its warmest greetings of solidarity to all the members and officers of the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE) as you celebrate your 38th founding anniversary this May 31, 2024.

Some months after the historic EDSA People Power uprising which toppled the Marcos Sr. dictatorship, then President Corazon Aquino threatened to remove government workers from their posts as the new government began reorganizing its ranks. As a response, on May 17, 1986, government workers from various Philippine government agencies united and courageously formed COURAGE.

Espousing its militant and progressive brand of public sector unionism, COURAGE has through the years achieved several victories for workers across different government departments and agencies in the Philippines. It has served as the most consolidated voice of oppressed workers in the public sector who are actively struggling for better salaries and benefits, job security, better working conditions, and other workers’ rights. It has linked and fought side-by-side with other oppressed sectors in fighting for the interest of government workers and for the Filipino people. 

Your theme: “Matapang na manindigan at sumulong! Ipagwagi ang laban para sa nakabubuhay na sahod, demokratikong karapatan at kalayaan ng sambayanan!” is very timely as the welfare of the workers and the Filipino people as whole is being neglected and their democratic rights are being disrespected and attacked by the Philippine government.

While ICHRP is inspired by the confederation for COURAGE’s unwavering commitment to advance the interests and welfare of workers employed by the Philippine government, we also firmly salute its countless leaders and members who, in the course of its decades-long struggle, have been harassed, red-tagged, arrested, and have fallen victim to extrajudicial killings. 

ICHRP reaffirms its commitment to continue supporting COURAGE through its solidarity work and campaigning for the interests of public sector workers in the Philippines, as well as opposing and exposing in the international community the violations of human rights and international humanitarian law perpetrated by the Philippine state.

Long Live COURAGE!
Long Live the courageous Filipino people!
Long Live International Solidarity! 

Peter Murphy
ICHRP Global Council

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