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Cebu News

Labor union condemns leader’s arrest

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The Partido ng Manggagawa has condemned the arrest of its union leader in Cavite last October 25 for alleged illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

PM-Cebu spokesperson Dennis Derige said that the arrest of Antonio Cuizon, president of the Panaghiusa sa Mamumuo sa Carmen Copper-Alliance of Genuine Labor Organization, was done by the police and courts that were allegedly being used as instruments of capitalists.

The union claimed that the firearms and grenade allegedly found in the raid at PAMCC office were planted by the police.

 According to Derige, Cuizon’s arrest followed on the heels of the decertification of PAMCC as the sole and exclusive bargaining union of mining company Carmen Copper Corporation and the formation of a management-backed yellow union.

 PM national chair Renato Magtubo called for the release of Cuizon, a PM national council member, as the arrest warrants, criminal cases and police raids were allegedly in violation of existing guidelines in the conduct of police operations during labor disputes.

 “Cuizon’s arrest and incarceration illustrates the double standard of justice in our country. A politician gets the privilege of hospital arrest but a worker, even if ill and elderly, has to endure the bad conditions of a city jail,” said Magtubo in a statement.

 Derige said that Cuizon, on his first day at the Toledo City jail, had a high blood pressure and was only brought to the clinic.

“Cuizon is a senior citizen who suffers from severe hypertension, diabetes and arthritis, arguably work-related illnesses borne out of decades working in the copper mines of Toledo,” Derige added.

Cuizon’s son Mark Anthony, in a statement sent to The FREEMAN, affirmed Derige’s statement that the firearm and grenade were reco-vered by the police from the union’s office, not from his father’s office and house.

Mark Anthony claimed that the police entered his and his sister’s house without their permission and said that the warrant was only for the search at their father’s house.

“I am waiting for my turn in court to shed light and tell the whole truth about the matter,” the younger Cuizon said.   (FREEMAN)

ANTONIO CUIZON

ARREST

CARMEN COPPER CORPORATION

CARMEN COPPER-ALLIANCE OF GENUINE LABOR ORGANIZATION

CUIZON

DENNIS DERIGE

DERIGE

MARK ANTHONY

RENATO MAGTUBO

TOLEDO CITY

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