International organizations wrote letters of appeal to Philippine authorities expressing grave concern over the killing of Celito Baccay, founder-leader of Maeno Giken Workers Organization-Independent (MAGIKWO-Ind) on March 8 while driving his way home from Maeno Giken Inc. in First Cavite Industrial Estate (FCIE), Langkaan, Damariñas City.

he Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) through its president, Mr. Kenneth Georgetti wrote to President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III that read, “On behalf of its 3.2 million members, the Canadian Labour Congress wrote the previous administration stating our concern about the murder of, arrests and intimidation against union members and leaders in the Philippines.”

CLC further stated, “The world expected this murderous campaign to an end under your new government, but human rights group Karapatan has registered 40 extra-judicial killings in the first 9 months of your administration, with the case of Celito Baccay counting as number 41. When will the killing stop?”

Meanwhile, Rep. Rafael Mariano of Anakpawis Party, a party list representative of workers, farmers, and urban poor in the Philippine Congress introduced House Resolution No. 1155. The resolution directs the house committee on human rights to conduct an investigation, in aid of legislation, on the killing of Celito Baccay, Board Member of MAGIKWO on April 5, 2011.

However, the resolution was not acted upon as it caught the Congress on early break for the Lenten season and regular session would only resume on May 9.

Mrs. Leonila Baccay, widow of Celito Baccay, conveyed her disgust over the slow investigation done by the Philippine National Police (PNP) Dasmariñas.

“Walang kwenta! Kung dito naganap [ang insidente] sa Carmona, madaling maso-solve [iyan]
(Incompetent! If the incident happened here in Carmona it will be solved immediately!),” Mrs. Baccay expressed in a phone interview.

“[Sana] maging fair ang pulis Dasma[riñas] at hindi empleyado lang ang iniimbetigahan. Parang lumalabas panig sila kay Garto
(I hope that police from Dasmariñas will be fair and not only workers are being investigated. It seems that they have taken the side of Garto), Mrs. Baccay pled after being highly emotional on the sluggish development of investigation on the killing of her husband.

Maeno Giken Inc. Vice President for Operations Gart Dennis Melchor popularly known as Garto was Mrs. Baccay’s suspect whom she identified that Celito’s open enemy after the founding MAGIKWO. Mrs. Baccay said that Garto is yet to be investigated while workers are forced to resign due to further pressure and intimidation from management.

“We further request that your administration take all necessary measures to investigate human rights abuses and to bring the perpetrators to justice. The Republic of the Philippines has ratified ILO Convention 87 on Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize. We call and protect the rights of workers and trade unionists,” CLC continued.

Organizations under CLC who likewise wrote the authorities were Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW); Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP); Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC); and the Union of Teaching Assistants and Contract Instructors at Carleton University (CUPE 4600) asked the government to conduct an immediate, impartial and thorough investigation into the murder of Celito Baccay; file criminal charges against the perpetrators without delay; ensure the protection of the families and co-unionists of Celito Baccay; investigate reports of harassment and surveillance of leaders and members of MAGIKWO-Ind; and, use all available means to protect the rights of the workers in Maeno Giken Inc. to freedom of association and collective bargaining.

Maquila Solidarity Network (MSN) also sent letters to local authorities expressing their alarm over the murder of Celito Baccay.

Said organizations also furnished copies of letter to government agencies concerning the renewed attack to the workers movement in the province of Cavite. Government offices include; Ms. Loretta Anne Rosales, Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR); Dir. Gen. Raul Bacalzo, Chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP); Hon. Leila de Lima, Secretary of the Department of Justice (DoJ); Hon. Rosalinda Baldoz, Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE); and Atty. Lilia B. de Lima, Director-General of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).

On the other hand, Action Network Human Rights – Philippines, a network of organizations based in Germany was the first one to send appeal letters to CHR Chair Rosales and PEZA Director-General De Lima.

Action Network human Rights-Philippines strongly condemned the killings and called CHR and PEZA to carry out an immediate, impartial and thorough investigation on the murder of Celito Baccay; a possible involvement of the Maeno Giken management, and to investigate about the reported harassments and surveillances of leaders and members of MAGIKWO; and take all necessary steps to protect the Maeno Giken’s right to organize.