Free Maojo Maga and all Imprisoned Union Leaders and Activists!

The VDLC has learned of the illegal arrest and imprisonment of Marklen Maojo Maga on February 22, 2019. Maga, who is 39 years old, is a volunteer staff for the national labour center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) who has been tasked to organize workers in Valenzuela and Central Luzon. He was also a member of the League of Filipino Students (LFS) and a founding member of youth group Anakbayan.

Maga was taken from a basketball court near his home and is now being held at the Philippine National Police – Criminal Investigation and Detection Group compound in Camp Crame. Just over a year ago, on January 31, 2018, Maga’s father-in-law, National Democratic Front of the Philippines peace consultant and labor rights advocate Rafael Baylosis was similarly arrested in Quezon City.

This arrest is another in an escalating list of harassment, arrests, threats, and murders targeting union organizers and officials, activists, and others. We have spoken out against these anti-worker attacks several times over the past year including in the case of the Sagay 9 massacre and other repression targeting the National Federation of Sugar Workers, and the threats and intimidation directed at the Association of Concerned Teachers.

Working people in the Philippines, and everywhere, have the right to organize, strike, and take other action to defend their rights, advance their interests, and protect their livelihood. We call for the immediate release of Maojo Maga and all imprisoned union leaders and activists and express our ongoing solidarity with all of those in the Philippines and elsewhere who are fighting for workers rights.