Karapatan condemns the killing of labor organizer Jude Thaddeus Fernandez

Photo from AlterMidya

October 5, 2023

On September 29, at about 4 p.m., elements from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Philippine National Police (PNP-CIDG) barged into the house in Binangonan, Rizal where Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) labor organizer Jude Thaddeus Fernandez was staying and gunned him down.

According to reports, the PNP used the same bloody “nanlaban” script it played in the killing of labor leader Manny Asuncion— that the victims supposedly fought back while being served search or arrest warrants, and had to be “neutralized.” 

In smugly presenting its “nanlaban” scenario on Fernandez’s killing, the PNP is expecting us to swallow these lies hook, line and sinker. But the PNP’s long and filthy record of false narratives, bogus witnesses, planting evidence and filing trumped-up charges leaves us incredulous. 

To the PNP-CIDG: Produce the footage from the body-worn cameras your operatives were mandated to wear while serving the warrant. 

Fernandez was in the thick of helping growing sections on the labor front who are gearing for bigger struggles ahead to attain significant wage hikes for workers whose families are reeling from rising prices of food, fuel and other basic needs.

According to KMU, he is the 72nd victim of extrajudicial killing from the labor sector and the fourth since the International Labor Organization (ILO) conducted a High-Level Tripartite Mission in the Philippines last January. 

With growing cases of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, illegal arrests, red-tagging and other forms of threats, harassment and intimidation suffered by workers and other sectors, the Marcos Jr. regime and its apologists reek with hypocrisy whenever they claim adherence to human rights standards, especially before international bodies.

We cry for justice for Fernandez and all other victims of extrajudicial killing. 

We demand that the perpetrators be held accountable and be punished to the full extent of the law. 

We call for an end to the brutal policies of the Marcos Jr. regime and the climate of impunity it fosters that have encouraged the commission of extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations against the Filipino people.