DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Different unions in Compostela town staged a barricade along the national highway in Nabunturan town after police and government soldiers prevented them from going to Davao City for the Labor Day protest action.
MAPARAT Montevista Workers Union Chairman, Eliazar Diayon, told Davao Today in a phone interview that they resorted to conduct a barricade to call the attention of the national government, especially President Rodrigo Duterte, to allow them to join the mobilization here led by Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) in time for the Labor Day commemoration.
As of press time, nine buses carrying at least 600 farm workers from eight local unions in Compostela are currently conducting a program along the highway of the province’s capital, Nabunturan.
Diayon said they were already checked in two different checkpoints in Compostela and Montevista before reaching Nabunturan but still authorities refused to let them pass.
“Today is considered as a day for workers, it is our time to raise our legitimate grievances to the government’s failure to address the problem of labor-only contracting,” said Diayon.
The union leader shared that some farm workers have been working for 18 to 20 years in banana plantations in Compostela but remained contractual.
Meanwhile, Police Senior Inspector Ma. Teresita Gaspan, spokesperson of the Davao City Police Office (DCPO), said they allow people to enter the city and respect the their right to peaceful assembly as long as they submit themselves to inspection.
“We conduct regular checkpoints in north and south choke points so all vehicles entering the city are subject for inspection. We are still under Martial Law and it is part of our security measure to prevent untoward incidents in the city,” said Gaspan. (davaotoday.com)