Resolution Condemning the Brutal Murder of Rolando Pango
and Requesting Concerned Government Authorities and Human Rights Organizations to Conduct Immediate Investigations of the incident
The Partido Manggagawa (PM) Negros Chapter through a 3rd Provincial Congress resolution dated November 30, 2014STRONGLY CONDEMNED IN THE STRONGEST TERMS POSSIBLE THE BRUTAL MURDER of Rolando Pango in Hacienda Garrason, Binalbagan, Negros Occidental.
Rolando Pango is a Labor Leader in Brgy. Payao and Biao in Binalbagan town and a PM Organizer in Isabela and Binalbagan areas of the province.
Last November 29, 20014 after meeting PM farmworker-members, in preparation for Gat Andres Bonifacio Day activities, Kaupod Lando, accompanied by his cousin stoppedby Binalbagan town proper. Past 9:00 PM when they decided to go home by motorcycle but were blocked by another motorcycle rider and a black sedan at the crossing of Hacienda Garrason. Two unidentified armed men dragged Ka Lando and shot him on the head. His cousin was spared and heard one of the armed men said to Ka Lando,“kasabad sa imo, pati duta ginaentrahan mo”.
Kaupod Lando had organized the farmworkers of Hacienda Salud – a135 hectare sugarcane plantation in Barangay Rumirang, Isabela – leasedand managed by Manuel “Manolit” Lamata.
Last year, the Farmworkers Association of Hacienda Salud through the aid of Ka Lando wrote the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to include the hacienda in the Carper Coverage.And in June 30, 2014, DAR issued a Notice of Coverage (NOC) for Compulsory Acquisition of hacienda that was owned by Pedro Garruchari.
September 2014 when Manolit Lamata together with several armed men went to Hacienda Salud and forced farmworkers to signed a blank white paper. The workers refused to sign and hid in order not to be forced to sign under duress.
As a result, more than 40 hacienda workers were summarily and illegally dismissedthe following month. The workers viewed this as an injustice, that after more than 20 years of working in the Hacienda even before Manolit Lamata took over the leased property in1995 they were the original and regular workers.
Forty-one hacienda workers then filed an illegal dismissal complaint against Manuel Lamata before the National Labor Relations Commission(NLRC)-Bacolod City.The First Mandatory Conference was scheduled in December 3, 2014.
A week before the scheduled Hearing at the NLRC, a representative of Manuel Lamata, through his daughter Maricris Lamata, offered half a million pesos (P500,000) to settle which the 41 workers rejected outright.
Then the brutal killing of Rolando Pango followed.
In lieu to the brutal murder of our comrade Labor Leader Organizer, the 280 delegates of the provincial congress representing 2,800 active Partido Manggagawa members hereby resolved:
1. To ask the Provincial Government in Negros Occidental to take the summary killing seriously and to stop the culture of impunity in the province;
2. To urge the Provincial Police Office to conduct a thorough investigation of the case until the culprit is punished and justice given to Kaupod Lando, his family, and to the oppressed and exploited hacienda workers that he had served.
3. Seek the assistance of human rightsgroups and advocates, the Department of Justice and the Commission on Human Rights to conduct an independent investigation of human rights abuses inside Hacienda Salud.
Partido Manggagawa-Negros Chapter November 30, 2014Bacolod City, Philippines