A construction worker said police intelligence operatives tried recruiting him to spy on labor federation Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) and help in the planned abduction and assassination of remaining National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultants.
The laborer however rejected the offer and reported the incident to his former KMU colleagues.
James (an alias), a construction laborer and a former KMU driver, said two men who identified themselves as Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group members allegedly tried to intimidate and bribe him agree to be a police spy on KMU.
In a press conference, James said he was fetched by barangay security personnel (tanod) and was taken to Barangay Banaba Hall in San Mateo, Rizal last Friday, March 19, on the pretense he needed to secure a permit for a construction project.
The victim was working at a renovation project at KMU secretary for human rights Eleanor de Guzman’s house at the time of the incident.
At the barangay hall, he was isolated in a room with the two police personnel who ordered him to return as KMU staff driver and spy for the police.
“Makipagtulungan kang maayos, pagkatapos naman ay peace-peace tayo. ‘Yang pagtatrabaho mo, kayang-kaya naming ibigay ang pangangailangan mo, basta bumalik ka lang sa Balai para mag-spy,” the alleged police officers told James. (You cooperate properly, and then there would be peace between us. We will give you what you need as long as you return to Balai to spy for us.)
Balai is KMU’s national headquarters formally known as Balai Obrero (Workers’ House).
The unnamed officers told James they are particularly interested with de Guzman and her father, NDFP peace consultant Rafael Baylosis.
Assassination of peace consultants
The police told James they intend to abduct and assassinate all remaining NDFP peace consultants.
“Matagal na naming kayong minamanmanan, buti nga kami ang kausap niyo kasi may isang unit naming ang dudukot sa inyo,” James quoted the officers as saying. (We have you under surveillance for a long time. You should be grateful it is us who are talking to you because we have one unit tasked to abduct all of you.)
“Uubusin daw nila ang mga consultant,” he added. (They said they will finish off all consultants.)
James said the two officers took photos of him and demanded to reveal his phone number.
He also noticed at least eight other men on board motorcycles and heavily-tinted cars who followed him to his next destination. All vehicles did not have license plates, he added.
De Guzman and KMU national chairperson Elmer Labog said they condemn the police’s “criminal act” as direct and dangerous attacks against labor unionists and other human rights defenders.
The KMU said they are reporting the incident to the Commission on Human Rights to ask for an investigation.
Labog also called on the Supreme Court, the Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Justice to use their powers to put a stop to the killings and unjust arrests of workers and human rights defenders. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)