KMU decries cops’ ‘nanlaban’ claim in slay of unionist in Rizal
The militant labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) has accused the police of killing one of its organizers on Sept. 29 in Rizal province on the pretense of “nanlaban” (fought back, or resisted arrest).
Citing reports reaching the group, KMU said operatives of the Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG), at 4 p.m. on Sept. 29, barged into a house in Binangonan town where Jude Thaddeus Fernandez was staying supposedly to serve a search warrant.
“The PNP-CIDG claims that Fernandez fought back or ‘nanlaban’ which made them fire at Fernandez until he was killed and declared ‘dead on the spot,’” KMU secretary general Jerome Adonis said in a statement.
“We deliberately refute this narrative. Fernandez is a labor organizer and he does not bear arms,” he said.
Sought for comment, Lt. Col. Marissa Bruno, public information officer of the PNP-CIDG, denied KMU’s accusation.
“We did not conduct any operation against Fernandez,” she said in a message to the Inquirer on Wednesday, without elaborating.
Adonis said Fernandez’s relatives were still trying to claim his remains.
A unionist since the martial law years during the regime of strongman Ferdinand Marcos Sr., Fernandez, before his death, was “organizing workers in communities to enjoin them to campaign for wage increases and other workers’ rights,” Adonis said.
KMU said Fernandez was the 72nd victim of labor-related killings since 2016 and the fourth since the International Labor Organization (ILO) high-level tripartite mission arrived in January to call attention to the spate of violence against unionists.
In condemning the brutal killing of Fernandez, KMU called on the ILO and the Commission on Human Rights to “swiftly respond” so the culprits are brought to justice.