KMU wonders: Since when did AFP become mouthpiece of DOLE-Stanfilco?

Oct. 18, 2007

DAVAO CITY — How much talent fee is DOLE-Stanfilco paying the Armed Forces of the Philippines to become its foul mouthpiece against the legitimate demands of retrenched workers of DITFI?

This was the question of Kilusang Mayo Uno-Southern Mindanao Region Chair Romualdo Basilio following the accusations of Major Medel Aguilar of the 5th Civil Relations Group that the labor center was behind the closure of Davao International Transport Facilities, Inc (DITFI).

In a headline story of a local daily recently, Maj. Aguilar blamed the militant labor center for the termination of the contract between Stanfilco and its trucking and hauling service provider DITFI last week which has left about 270 employees out of work.

We are amused at how the military suddenly became the expert on issues of the labor movement, parroting even the scapegoat-mantra of DOLE Stanfilco that it is not the owner of DITFI. We warn Maj. Aguilar and his dogs in the military to desist from sticking their noses in matters they hardly understand. Not only has the military no mandate in dipping its filthy fingers in DITFI, but its presence seriously imperils the security of the aggrieved workers in peaceful demonstration.

Basilio slammed the corrupt practice of some members and agents of the military of taking protection money from multi-national and transnational companies. Instead of supposedly running after threats to national security, the military resorts to harassing and surveilling exploited workers and discrediting their legitimate struggles. Has the military been reduced to lowly hired goons and rabid ambassador of greedy capitalists like DOLE Stanfilco?

Noel Morales, president of NAMADITFI, lambasted Maj. Aguilars statement that it was the workers demand for higher wage, with the prodding of KMU, that gave the crushing blow to the company. Where does Aguilar come off saying we caused the closure of the company? In the first place, we have not even come to the wage issue in the CBA talks yet but already the management refused to negotiate with us. It is also DITFI and DOLE Stanfilco that arbitrarily announced closure, bypassing due process and failing to justify its action. The workershard-up and hungry because of dwindling subsistence wageswill always demand for higher wages, even without the telling of KMU.

He said that members of the military have always been singling out officers and workers of NAMADITFI in its vilification campaign against workers in Panabo. Even before the supposed closure of DITFI, they have been doing the rounds here in Panabo, going house to house and to other companies, warning workers against us and KMU. They call us communists, recruiters for the NPA [New Peoples Army] and tail us to and from work.

Basilio explained that pointing the finger of terrorism against struggling workers and the militant labor center has always been the means of the military to sidetrack the real issue of the workers demand for economic relief. The military goes on a red-tagging spree to deface KMU, spewing out lies about 400 companies supposedly closed down by KMU. It forgets to mention that KMU has 17 federations, regional formations, organizations and alliances under its militant wing. Giant transnational companies like Philips Semi-Conductors, DOLE Philippines, San Miguel Brewery, among others have unions under KMU that continue to struggle against capitalist exploitation but are still open until now.##

Reference: Noel Morales 09185525846
Nels Bautista 0918.649.5881
Romualdo Basilio 0906.8353670

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