Friday, October 24, 2008

The following appeal comes from the International Labor Rights Forum, a project of the Union Voice website.this concerns the arrest of labour lawyer Remigio Saladero in the Philippines. read on.

Demand the Release of Labor Lawyer in the Philippines:
ILRF has just learned that on Wednesday Remigio Saladero, the chief legal counsel for the KMU (an independent labor federation in the Philippines) and the union representing Dole Philippines's workers, was illegally arrested by the Philippine government. Mr. Saladero is a close ally of ILRF and we are deeply concerned about his detention by the Philippine government.

Please take action now to tell the U.S and Philippine governments that the world is watching. We are asking the Philippines government to release Atty. Remigio Saladero, drop the charges levied against him as a pretext for his detention, AND create an independent investigating team to investigate the threats and intimidation to the Pro-labor Legal Assistance Center.

Mr. Saladero is being charged with conspiracy to commit rebellion and murder for allegedly participating in an undisclosed murder in Mindoro; charges such as these are becoming increasingly more common tactic used by the governments as it steps up its legal attacks against civil society organization in the Philippines, politicians, church leaders and labor activists, who speak out against the policies of President Arroyo.

ILRF is deeply troubled by Atty. Saladero’s detention because it further restricts the ability of both labor organizations, like the KMU, and the legal profession in the Philippines to exercise their rights and vigorously defend themselves and others against the Government of the Philippines, who is responsible for promoting a climate of violence and impunity, and companies like Dole Foods, who thrive in an environment where violence against trade unions is common and justice is rarely pursued.
About Remigio Saladero:
Atty. Remigio Saladero is a labor lawyer at the public interest law firm Pro-Labor Legal Assistance Center (PLACE) in the Philippines. Saladero is a graduate of the San Beda College of Law and was a law professor at the Lyceum and the Dominican College in the Philippines. He is a columnist for Pinoyweekly, a weekly newspaper based in Quezon City and he writes essays on various labor cases.
Please go to THIS LINK to send the following letter to the authorities in the Philippines.
Dear [ Decision Maker ],
(Edit Letter Below)
Given the recent arrest of Remigio Saladero, I am deeply concerned by the actions of the Philippine government in its choice to prosecute a labor lawyer that has defended the rights of workers for many years. I am troubled by the notion that this arrest is part of a broader effort by the Philippine government to silence those seeking justice for workers.

As you know labor lawyer Remigio Saladero, the chief legal counsel for the KMU (an independent labor federation in the Philippines) and the union representing Dole Philippine's workers, was taken into police custody on October 22 for charges that are considered completely false by labor advocates.

I am asking that you do everything in your power to:
- Release Atty. Remigio Saladero from custody.
- Drop the cases of arson, destruction of property, conspiracy to commit rebellion and frustrated and multiple charges filed against him.
- Create an independent investigating team to investigate the series of surveillances on PLACE law center.
[Your name]
[Your address]

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