Letter to the President: APL calls for justice on the death of Dodong Petalcorin

HIS EXCELLENCY BENIGNO SIMEON C. AQUINO III
President
Republic of the Philippines
Malacañang Palace
Manila

RE: Killing of Antonio “Dodong” Petalcorin
President of the Davao City-based Network of Transport Organizations (NETO)

Dear Mr. President:

I write, in behalf of the 60,000 members of the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL), to
urgently seek your action regarding the recent assassination of Antonio “Dodong”
Petalcorin whose name is now added to an ever-growing list of extra-judicial killings in the
country, especially among trade unionists.

Dodong Petalcorin was the president of the Davao City-based Network of Transport
Organizations (NETO), an affiliate of the National Confederation of TransportWorkers’
Union (NCTU-APL). He was shot three times in the chest by an assassin at about 8:00 am on
2 July 2013, as he was leaving his home to go to the Land Transportation Franchising and
Regulatory Board (LTFRB). The assassin was caught on a CCTV camera as he casually
walked away and rode a motorcycle to escape the scene of the crime. It is believed that his
murder was linked to his campaign to expose corruption at the LTFRB and to oust its
director Benjamin Go, which started in October 2012.

Early this year, Emilio Rivera, former Chair of an independent transport workers’
organization, Matina Aplaya Transport Cooperative (MATRANSCO), a colleague of Dodong
Petalcorin and one of his co-complainants to a corruption case against the Director of the
LTFRB Davao, was murdered on 25 January 2013 near the offices of the LTFRB. Last 21
May 2013, a third complainant, Carlos Cirilo, survived by sheer luck after a grenade was
lobbed into his home but did not explode.

We call on your office to exert special effort in order to stop this murderous rampage
against human rights defenders and bring justice to these heinous criminal and terroristic
acts. We hope that all of those involved, especially the mastermind, will be immediately identified and prosecuted. This will certainly go a long way in easing the grief of the victims’ families.

In pursuit of the cause of the assassinated leaders, we ask also that your office decisively
address the issues that Mr. Petalcorin and his colleagues in Davao City have been fighting
for and which is likely the motive for his killling: the corruption at the LTFRB Office in
Davao City. This will ensure that he did not die in vain.

Respectfully yours,

JOSUA MATA
Secretary General
Alliance of Progressive Labor

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