DOLE urged to probe red-tagging and harassment in the Philippines
Secretary of the Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) Silvestre Bello III has advised workers and trade unions to file criminal complaints against forces who violate workers’ rights and “red-tags” them, saying that the country’s legal and institutional mechanisms protect workers’ constitutional rights and civil liberties.
“Trade union leaders and members are assured of the government’s promotion and protection of their constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights and welfare,” Bello said, adding that reports or allegations of workers’ rights violations are handled by DOLE’s national and regional tripartite monitoring bodies (RTMBs).
Meanwhile, workers’ rights group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) chairman Elmer “Ka Bong” Labog said that, although there are advancements in some cases, more can be done to seek justice for victims.
“There may be advances in some cases, such as in the killing of Manny Asuncion, but a lot more need to be done for the full and swift resolution of these cases and bring justice to the victims of EJKs, illegal arrests, red-tagging, and other attacks against workers. It’s a long battle to hold to account the perpetrators of these violations, and we expect DOLE is able to help us deliver justice,” said Labog, who is also a senatorial candidate.
In addition, Labog said that referring to ongoing cases as mere “allegations” means that DOLE investigations will remain slow and the “legal and institutional mechanisms” Secretary Bello referred to are not enough to protect workers’ rights and welfare, according to Yahoo News.