The murder of union leader Andrew Iñoza is a concrete proof of the dangers that the labor movement faces in this country. Where a government beset with a political crisis is unable and/or unwilling to protect the rights of its citizens, unscrupulous elements will not hesitate to employ violence against workers and other marginalized groups who are asserting our rights.
We demand a speedy resolution to the case of Iñoza and that the perpetrators and masterminds of this traitorous act are put behind bars forever.
We are however of the opinion that justice might just possibly elude Iñoza just like the hundreds of other extrajudicial killings that have plagued the country since Arroyo assumed power. The resolve of this administration is how to sanitize the situation, denying a vast majority of these killings as politically motivated, but as nothing more than a fictitious purge among progressive movements.
Justice can only therefore be served if Iñoza’s murder is resolved along the broader framework of demanding accountability from the very government that has allowed for this culture of impunity to flourish and take root in society.
The blame for Iñoza’s murder stops right at the doorstep of Malacañang. Arroyo’s inability and/or unwillingness to recognize the problem and take decisive, concrete steps to abate the political killings in this country is a failure to live up to the internationally-guaranteed rights that unionists and other poor peoples should enjoy, including the right to live free from fear of retribution just because they are asserting their right to organize and their freedom of beliefs.
The APL demands justice for Iñoza and to all other victims of political assassination and will be firm in our resolve to push forward with our struggle towards genuine trade unionism and the realization of all workers’ rights.