Labour activist murdered in Philippines

The militant Partido Manggagawa (PM, Labour Party) condemned the killing of one of its leaders in Talisay, Cebu on 17 September. Orlando Abangan [known also as Ka Lando], a community leader of PM-Cebu, was shot at close range by a lone gunman around 8am while he was on his way home in Sitio Lawis, Barangay Maghaway in Talisay City.

“We condemn the vigilante-style killing of Ka Lando and call on the authorities for a thorough investigation of his murder. Justice for Ka Lando and other victims of extra-judicial killings”, declared Wilson Fortaleza, PM spokesperson.

Abangan, 35 years old, is survived by his wife and two children. He was a full time organiser of PM in the province of Cebu since 2001. During the last election, he built an organisation of persons with disabilities in Talisay, which campaigned for social protection and social services. Recently, he was informal sector organiser of the labour centre Sentro.

Fortaleza added: “In calling for justice for Ka Lando, we are also assailing the culture of impunity that has resulted to the spate of slayings everywhere. Labour rights and human rights are an indivisible whole. Before he was killed, Ka Lando was vocal in criticising the extra-judicial killings in our country”.

PM is a member of the coalition In Defence of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDefend), which advocates that human rights and due process cannot be sacrificed in the government’s ongoing war against drugs and criminality.

PM is joining iDefend and other human rights groups in a rally in Manila on Wednesday 21 September, on the anniversary of the declaration of martial law. Justice for Abangan will be one of the demands of the forthcoming protest.