Tag Archives: Carmen Copper

[Press Release] Labor group calls for release of detained Cebu union leader -PM

Labor group calls for release of detained Cebu union leader

The militant Partido Manggagawa (PM) today called for the release of the detained union president of Copper Corp. in Toledo City, Cebu as his petition for bail is heard today. Tony Cuizon, president of the Panaghiusa sa Mamumuo sa Carmen Copper (PAMCC-AGLO), is currently detained at the Toledo city jail after he was arrested last October 25 in Cavite on the strength of warrants for illegal possession of firearms and explosives. He has filed an urgent motion for bail that is being heard today in Toledo.

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Renato Magtubo, PM national chairperson, appealed for the release of Cuizon, a PM national council member, on humanitarian grounds as he is sickly and advanced of age. “A politician gets the privilege of hospital arrest and a US soldiers gets special treatment but a worker, even if ill and elderly, has to endure the bad conditions of a city jail for more than a month now,” he added.

Dennis Derige, PM-Cebu spokesperson, stated that on Cuizon’s first day at the Toledo jail, the latter had a high blood attack and was only brought to a clinic. “Cuizon is a senior citizen who suffers from severe hypertension, diabetes and arthritis, arguably work-related illnesses borne out of decades working in the copper mines of Toledo,” he explained.

Magtubo argued that the arrest warrants, criminal cases and police raids were in violation of existing guidelines in the conduct of police during labor disputes. PM insists that the warrants were flawed since they were the product of illegal raids conducted in March 2013 on the PAMCC office, and the houses of Cuizon and the union treasurer. The union avers that the firearms and a grenade allegedly found in the raid at the PAMCC office were planted by the police.

“Once again the Philippines rivals Colombia as the most dangerous place for unionists with numerous cases of labor leaders killed, injured or harassed. Cuizon’s arrest and incarceration illustrates the double standard of justice in our country,” Magtubo stated.

Derige averred that “The arrest of Ka Tony is part of Carmen Copper management’s continuing effort to bust the genuine union at the mine and leave the workers defenseless in the face of attempts to downgrade wages and benefits, and impose contractualization among mine workers. The police and the courts are being used as instruments of capitalists.”

Derige explained that Cuizon’s arrest followed on the heels of the decertification of PAMCC as the sole and exclusive bargaining union at the mine, and the formation of a management-backed yellow union.

Carmen Copper has recently been hit by spate of labor disputes as mine workers resist corporate attacks on working conditions. Last February, PAMCC filed a notice of strike for management’s unfair labor practices and violation of the collective bargaining agreement. Also this year, workers contracted to haul and dispose of Carmen Copper’s mine wastes were derailed in forming a union because of the intervention of the huge manpower contractor Asiapro but the case remains pending at the Labor Department. Unions have condemned Asiapro as an illegal labor-only contractor.

Press Release
November 25, 2014
Partido Manggagawa
Contact Dennis Derige @ 09335142179

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[Urgent Appeal] Labor leader Arrested and Detained -TFDP

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URGENT APPEAL: Labor leader Arrested and Detained

Dear friends,

The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) writes to inform you about the arrest of Antonio T. Cuizon, president of the Panaghiusa sa Mamumuo sa Carmen Copper (PMCC), an organized union of Carmen Copper Incorporated since 1985.

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CASE DETAILS:

The Panaghiusa sa Mamumuo sa Carmen Copper (PMCC) president was arrested by members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) on October 26, 2014 at around 7:00 a.m. in Terrasa II, Camella Subdivision, Imus, Cavite. The victim was identified as Antonio Triambolo Cuizon, 58 years old, married, and a labor union president.

On the day of the incident, Cuizon was driving his Nissan Urvan vehicle. He and his wife Nanita and cousin Virgilio Restauro were about to go to the market to buy food. After passing the gate of their subdivision, ten (10) CIDG members in civilian clothes and full battle gear stopped them.

According to Cuizon, the CIDG team pointed their guns at them. A certain Bundal, the operation head, approached him and asked if he is Antonio Triambolo Cuizon. Bundal showed him the warrant and said, “We were looking for you since last week.” Immediately, he was handcuffed. He was transferred to a black Toyota with five unidentified CIDG men, including the driver.

They arrived at the CIDG Provincial Office in Imus at around 7:30 a.m. According to Cuizon, his blood pressure shot up to 200/100 which forced the CIDG personnel to bring him to Medical Center of Imus (MCI). After three hours, he was brought back to the CIDG detention center where he stayed for two days.

On October 28, 2014 at around 3:00 a.m., he was made to board the CIDG mobile car and was brought to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) with two unidentified CIDG personnel as escorts. They arrived at the NAIA at around 5:00 a.m. At 5:30 a.m., he was boarded in the Cebu Pacific flight 5J585 bound for Cebu.

At around 6:40 a.m., they arrived at Mactan International Airport, Mactan, Cebu City. He was made to ride a CIDG mobile patrol car and was brought to the CIDG Office inside Camp Sotero Cabahug, Gorordo Avenue, Cebu City.

According to Cuizon, at around 11:00 a.m., Col. Posadas interrogated him and told him to locate the union treasurer since they had the same case.

At around 2:00 p.m., he was again boarded to a police mobile patrol car and brought to Toledo City. They arrived at around 4:00 p.m. at the Toledo City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 29 for his commitment order. He was then brought to Toledo City Jail in Sitio Kabutongan, Barangay Landahan, Toledo City, where he is currently detained. He is being charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

CASE BACKGROUND:

On March 22, 2013 at around 12:30 a.m., Cuizon’s house and PMCC union office was raided by members of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

According to Mark Anthony, Cuizon’s son, he was awakened on that day with their helper’s knocks on his door. When he went out of his room, he saw three unidentified police officers who were inside their house and 12 others who were outside.

A certain George Ilanan, team leader, approached him and showed a search warrant. Mark Anthony immediately called their lawyer, Atty. Milagros Piol. At around 1:00 a.m., Atty. Piol arrived and the police went on to search the house.

According to Mark Anthony, he accompanied the police officer in searching the house. They searched the office of his father, the cooperative office, and the union office where a .45 caliber gun and grenade were allegedly found.

Mark Anthony said that one of the policemen directly went inside the union office and immediately went to a corner where he allegedly found the gun and the grenade. Mark Anthony talked to the police officer and asked why he did not coordinate with his companion who will also conduct a search in the said area. Mark said that the evidences found were planted.

According to the elder Cuizon, his arrest came after the decertification of PMCC as the sole and exclusive bargaining union at the mine, and the formation of a management-backed yellow union called Carmen Copper Workers Labor Organization (CCWLO).

On October 10, 2014, the management conducted an election to determine which of the two unions will remain at the Carmen Copper, Inc. The PMCC union lost in the election.

REQUESTED ACTION:

PLEASE SEND LETTERS TO THE CONCERNED GOVERNMENT AGENCIES TO ENSURE AND GUARANTEE THE SAFETY AND SECURITY OF THE VICTIM INSIDE TOLEDO CITY JAIL, TOLEDO CITY.

Thank you.
Ramiel C. Aballe
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines
SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear ________________,

Greetings!

This is to express my grave concern regarding the arrest of Antonio T. Cuizon who is currently detained at Toledo City Jail.

I have learned that on October 26, 2014 at around 7:00 in the morning, Cuizon, union labor president of Panaghiusa sa Mamumuo sa Carmen Copper (PMCC) was arrested by members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Terrasa II, Camella Subdivision, Imus, Cavite. He was presented with a warrant of arrest for illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

I came to know that on March 22, 2013 at around 12:30 a.m., Cuizon’s house and PMCC union office was raided by 15 members of the Philippine National Police (PNP). A .45 pistol and a grenade were allegedly found in the union office.

According to the Cuizon, his arrest came after the decertification of PMCC as the sole and exclusive bargaining union at the mine, and the formation of a management-backed yellow union called Carmen Copper Workers Labor Organization (CCWLO).

On October 10, 2014, the management conducted an election to determine which of the two unions will remain at the Carmen Copper, Inc. The PMCC union lost in the election.

I am writing to ask for immediate action in favor of the victim:

1. The immediate release of the victim, only two years away from becoming a senior citizen and suffering from severe hypertension, diabetes and arthritis.

2. The reinvestigation of the police raids which were in violation of existing guidelines on the conduct of police during labor disputes.

I am asking that immediate action be taken in favor of the victim. Thank you.
Respectfully yours,
_______________________

PLEASE SEND LETTERS:

1. His Excellency Benigno Simeon Aquino III
President, Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel, Manila
1005 Philippines
Tel: +6327356201/5641451 to 80
Email: corres@op.gov.ph / opnet@ops.gov.ph

2. Hon. Leila M. De Lima
Secretary, Department of Justice (DOJ)
Padre Faura Street
Ermita, Manila
1000 Philippines
Fax: +63 2 523 9548
Tel: +63 2 521 1908
Email: lmdelima@doj.gov.ph / doj.delima@gmail.com

3. Chairperson Loretta Ann P. Rosales
Commission on Human Rights (CHR)
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quizon City
Philippines
Tel: +63 2 928 5655, +63 2 926 6188
Fax: +63 2 929 0102
Email: Rosales.chr@gmail.com

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Press Release] PM slams PNP harassment of Cebu union, demands release of Toledo Four

PM slams PNP harassment of Cebu union, demands release of Toledo Four

pmLogo1The militant Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) slammed as harassment the early morning raid by the police of the office of the union of the giant mining company Carmen Copper in Toledo City, Cebu last March 22. The raid follows a similar raid on the house and resort the union treasurer last Tuesday in which four persons were arrested.

“With a month to go before Labor Day, the union repression in Cebu sadly highlights the state of workers rights in the Philippines. Truly the Philippines is the second most dangerous place for trade unionists in the whole world,” Renato Magtubo, PM national chair said.

PM is also demanding the release of the Toledo Four arrested in the Tuesday raid. The group is accusing the police of planting a 45 caliber pistol allegedly found in the union office this morning and other arms supposedly seized in the raid last Tuesday. The police raid of the residence of union treasurer Roldan Cansancio was supposedly due to his involvement in the killing of a ward leader of Sonny Osmena in Toledo last month.

“The police in collusion with certain elements in Carmen Copper management are trying to divert the real issue which is the brewing labor dispute. They are also trying to silence one of the very vocal critics of management’s contractualization scheme and unfair labor practices,” insisted Dennis Derige, PM-Cebu spokesperson.

Labor relations at Carmen Copper started to get strained late last year when management started to implement a contractualization scheme that affected regular jobs. The union Panaghugpong sa Mamumuo sa Carmen Copper (PAMCC) also became increasingly critical of the damaging impact to the environment of the company’s open pit mining. A full blown labor dispute erupted when it was discovered that management formed a company union in a bid to bust PAMCC.

“Elements of the PNP are being used by powerful interests in Carmen Copper to criminalize the labor row. They maliciously link Cansancio to the killing last month of a certain Rene Embranilag, who is not an employee of Carmen Copper nor related to the labor dispute, to justify the entry of PNP to the labor problem,” asserted Derige. Osmena himself attributed the killing of Embranilag as politically motivated and unrelated to the labor dispute.

Meanwhile PAMCC president Tony Cuizon condemned the raid and defended Cansancio. “This is unacceptable! The PNP Regional Intelligence Division has no business intervening in the labor dispute. They timed the raid when all of union officers, including Cansancio, are here in Manila attending an International Labor Organization seminar so that we cannot defend ourselves from their malicious attack. This is a cowardly act.”

Cuizon further added “They are trying to silence my long time partner in the union because he is my alter ego and very vocal against management abuses. They are trying to discredit his credibility by portraying him as underworld character when in fact he is active in fighting criminality in the province as a CIDG volunteer. Roldan could have turned his back on me when management people tried to convince him to capitulate but he did not and remained loyal to the union. This is the kind of men the union movement needs and I have high regard for him.”

Cansancio and PAMCC declared that they are readying their own charges against those responsible for the raid. PAMCC and PM also announced protests are to be held in the coming days. The groups are also alleging police brutality occurred as a 13-year old minor was pinned down the floor, an Armalite rifle was pointed at him and he suffered verbal abuses from the raiding team.

“We cannot take this sitting down. The raids have a chilling effect not on PAMCC but also to the labor movement in general. We call on the Department of Labor (DOLE) and Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to intervene and investigate this act by the police. Certainly, the PNP violated our human rights and rules on labor disputes,” Cuizon ended.

Press Release
March 22, 2013
Partido ng Manggagawa
Contact Dennis Derige @ 09166058407

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Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.