Philippines: Halt harassment and intimidation of human rights defenders
On 11 June, 2014, ESCR-Net sent a letter to the President of the Philippines to express concern regarding the ongoing harassment and intimidation of Ed Cubelo, union leader and President of Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation Workers Association (TMPCWA) as well as a Member of Defend Job, an organization that works to protect and defend human rights in the Philippines. The letter raises alarm about the ongoing trend of harassment and intimidation of the trade union, TMPCWA, and Defend Job Philippines, in response to their efforts to defend the rights of workers and the urban poor, and suggests that recent acts of intimidation against Mr Cubelo may represent an effort to quell efforts to call for justice for 237 workers of the Toyota Corporation in the Philippines who have allegedly been illegally dismissed.
In the letter, ESCR-Net reminds the Government of the Philippines of its obligations to respect, protect and fulfill human rights, including the rights of human rights defenders working in the Philippines. It calls on the Philippines to put an end to all actions that may result in intimidation and threats against Mr. Cubelo, and other human rights defenders; impose sanctions on all individuals—whether private individuals or government officials— found to be conducting acts of intimidation and harassment against human rights defenders; take all possible steps to guarantee that Mr. Cubelo, and other human rights activists in the Philippines, are able to carry out their work to defend and promote human rights, without interference, intimidation or baseless criminal charges against them, an respect the International Labor Organization Recommendation and to make decisive action to resolve the long standing labor dispute between Toyota Motors and the Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation Workers’ Association.
See the complete letter here.