As the International Labour Organization’s High Level Tripartite Mission (ILO-HLTM) holds a dialogue with the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) today, transport group PISTON urges the ILO mission delegates to push the Philippine government to immediately release detained transport leader and PISTON National Vice President Ramon Rescovilla who was arrested on September 2020 and charged with trumped-up charges. The group also demands Rescovilla’s perpetrators be held accountable.
Rescovilla is a prominent transport leader and organizer in Bicol region who is also the current Deputy Secretary General of CONDOR, the regional chapter of PISTON in the region. He was arrested on September 7, 2020 while on his way home in Albay province and charged with trumped-up charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives, and multiple frustrated murder.
Prior to his arrest, Rescovilla was constantly red-tagged by state forces because of his active role in organizing and mobilizing transport workers in the Bicol region, launching petitions, dialogues with authorities, protests, and transport strikes to resist and oppose the unjust schemes of the PUV Modernization Program that have been disenfranchising thousands of drivers and operators in the country.
“Malinaw ang pattern ng atake ng gobyerno. Inaakusahan nilang terorista tsaka dinudukot at kinukulong sa mga gawa-gawang kaso ang mga lider-tsuper at mga lider-manggagawa para supilin ang mga panawagan at pagkilos ng mamamayan laban sa mga hindi makatarungang polisiya. ‘Yung iba ay pinapatay pa,” said Mody Floranda, PISTON National President.
The group also wants the abolishment of the NTF-ELCAC who are notorious in red-tagging civilian activists, unionists, and ordinary people who are vocal against the government’s neglect and unjust policies.