Around 300 NutriAsia workers and their supporters were violently dispersed by the company’s security personnel and cops after an ecumenical mass was held outside the company’s plant in Marilao.
Anakbayan UST/Twitter
Rights group slams ‘tanim-suspect’ scheme in NutriAsia dispersal
(Philstar.com) - August 1, 2018 - 6:58pm

MANILA, Philippines — A rights group on Wednesday criticized the Philippine National Police and condiments distributor NutriAsia for allegedly forcing an individual to pretend that he was among the striking workers.

Nineteen NutriAsia workers, their supporters and journalists were released from police custody Wednesday morning, two days after they were arrested in a violent dispersal outside the condiments distributor’s plant in Marilao, Bulacan Monday.

A certain Edwin Barana, however, would remain in detention after he was allegedly found possessing sachets of shabu and a firearm.

Barana, according to accounts from the ground, is neither a NutriAsia worker nor a supporter of the strike.

Nagkakaisang Manggagawa ng NutriAsia on a Facebook post said that Barana has been imprisoned since 2016. He allegedly admitted that he was beaten up by cops to force him to play his role as the “armed NutriAsia worker.”

Rights group Karapatan criticized the Philippine National Police and NutriAsia for their alleged attempt to implicate the workers in what it called the “tanim-suspect” scheme.

“This is reflective of how the Philippine National Police uses false stories to justify their crimes and their complete disregard for the people’s rights,” Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said.

She added: “This cover up is more urgent given NutriAsia’s statement that someone from the ranks of the striking workers held a gun. This is the extent that criminals and violators would go to. This is repulsive and sickening.

Palabay, moreover, said that NutriAsia and the PNP should be held accountable for the wounding and arrest of workers, supporters and journalists, and for violating labor laws and workers’ rights,

Around 300 NutriAsia workers and their supporters were violently dispersed by the company’s security personnel and cops after an ecumenical mass was held outside the company’s plant in Marilao.

But NutriAsia directed the blame on protesters, claiming they were the ones who initiated violence.

Accounts from the ground, including those by student publications and alternative media organizations, do not support the claim.

READViolent dispersal of NutriAsia workers draws wide condemnation

Gaea Katreena Cabico

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