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Philippines: Another militant labor leader shot dead in Laguna

Four young assassins shot dead another militant labor leader in the Calabarzon area past eight this morning. Killed on the spot was Andrew “Bok” Iñoza, union president, for 11 years now, of Alaska Milk in San Pedro Laguna.
Iñoza is also the chairman of party-list labor group Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) in the 1st District of Laguna and a council member of Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (Union of Filipino Workers - BMP) - Laguna.

Iñoza’s death came only a week after foreign businesses called the attention of the Arroyo government to stop political killings. It also came a week before the celebration of Andres Bonifacio’s Day, where big rallies are being planned in the Calabarzon area, in Manila and other urban centers around the country.

According to initial reports gathered by the BMP chapter in Laguna, Iñoza was on his way to work around eight o’clock in the morning when four assassins who were waiting for him along the Cataquiz II subdivision shot him at close range. He died on the spot after sustaining seven bullet wounds, two hitting his head. Nine empty shells were found at the crime scene. Iñoza’s body is now at Funeraria Alvarez in Bgy. Nueva, San Pedro Laguna.

Ronnie Luna, BMP chair in the Calabarzon area, condemned the killing and blamed the Arroyo government for failing to stop the spate of political killings in the country.

Luna describes Iñoza as one of the dedicated and promising labor leaders in the region, thus, his death is probably meant to threaten labor other leaders in the region by sending a chilling message that the Calabarzon area has indeed become a killing zone with the most number of labor leaders killed under the Arroyo regime.

“This is another case of political killing. With the growing number of unresolved cases of extra-judicial killings in the region and all over the country, Iñoza’s death just the same demands justice and we hold the Arroyo government responsible for this latest crime against the labor movement,” Luna said.

Iñoza is the 11th labor leader killed in Calabarzon under the Arroyo government. Another prominent labor leader killed in the area was Ding Fortuna of Nestle Philippines. Calabarzon area has been notorious in terms of violation of labor rights especially in the economic zones.

Workers in the Calabarzon area under the BMP and Partido ng Manggagawa will be paying daily tributes to Iñoza and will be holding mass actions in the region to demand justice.

“We will miss Bok in our future actions but he will always be here with us in the continuing quest for labor justice and social change in this country,” Luna concluded. ###

November 21, 2006
Reference: Mr. Ronnie Luna
BMP-ST Chairman

Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino-Southern Tagalog


A cowardly act by enemies of labor

by Partido ng Manggagawa (Workers Party)

The ambush slaying of Andrew “Bok” Iñosa, president of the Alaska labor union and chairperson of the Partido ng Manggagawa in the first district of Laguna, is a dastardly and cowardly act by personalities or groups whose principles and interests are anti-worker. We can think of no motive behind his killing than to silence a defender of labor and terrorize the workers of Laguna.

As a local union president and PM leader, Bok Iñosa was in the forefront of struggles, campaigns and initiatives for the welfare and interests not just of workers of the Alaska but also of labor in general.

While it would be unwise to rule out all angles, we believe his assassination cannot be unconnected with the escalating wave of political killings all over the country and the heavy hand of state repression against the labor movement.

The iron fist of repression is bearing down heavy on the working class movement. In September military men held an anti-communist teach-in for the union leaders of Manila Bay Spinning Mills in Marikina. Before that, they held the same seminar for the union of Armscor also in Marikina. The vicious agenda of this harassment is clear—to strike fear in the hearts of workers and terrorize them against political involvement. With a terrorized and docile labor, it will be easier to cheapen the price of labor power.

We hold the administration of Gloria Arroyo ultimately accountable for Bok Iñosa's death for even if it is not the mastermind behind the death squads running amok, its inaction on the political killings is goading the enemies of labor to act with impunity. ###

November 21, 2006
Gerry Rivera
National Vice-Chairperson
Partido ng Manggagawa


Statements on the killing of another labor leader in Laguna
by BISIG (Union of Filipino Socialists)

BISIG vehemently condemns the assasination of comrade Andrew Inoza. We are one with the whole progressive movement in condemning this treacherous act by the perpetrators whose only objective is to silence the strong voice of dissent and struggle of the poor against the oppression of the elite.

This is a clear sign of the continued and escalating attack to the whole progressive movement. There is no doubt the those behind these killings are the ones whose interests-- specially the GMA regime and its elite cohorts- are being threatened once the tables were turned against them as a result of the revolutionary work of the leaders, like Ka Andrew and the rest of us are pursuing,-- in creating a better future for our country and our children.

We extend our deepest sympathy to comrades in BMP, PM, and friends and relatives of Ka Andrew. We know that his dreams will never die and will be kept burning by us who believe and are one with his belief and struggle.

in Solidarity,
Ed Chavez

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An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war.
-- Mark Twain
Source: "Glances at History" (suppressed)

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