Only the strongest word against a tyrannical regime.
Full of indignation, workers and labor rights advocates launched WRATH, or Workers’ Resistance Against Tyranny and for Human Rights, a network against the Duterte administration’s intensifying fascism last December 8, 2017.
The word “wrath” originally means indignation or anger against something unjust. WRATH brings together workers, trade unionists, industrial laborers, informal sector workers, and labor rights advocates opposed to political and extrajudicial killings, crackdown on activists, and human rights violations.
According to Daisy Arago, Executive Director of the Center for Trade Unions and Human Rights (CTUHR), one of the convenors of WRATH, “It is imperative that workers, whether or not they are organized should act together, stand up, raise and add their voices to resist the rising tyranny parallel with the continual attacks on their purse and belly.”
Last week saw the killings of two religious leaders, Fr. Marcelito “Tito” Paez and Ptr. Lovelito Quinones, both known to support the rights of farmers and workers. Prior to these killings, Lauro Moreno, a leader of agrarian reform beneficiaries and a retired plantation worker, was killed on November 29, 2017 at the Filipinas Palm Plantation Inc. in Rosario, Agusan del Sur.
The CTUHR recorded at the very least 21 victims of extrajudicial killings in the labor sector during the 15 months of Duterte’s presidency. This include killings of farm workers, union leaders and organizers, transport leaders, construction workers, and pedicab and vendors association leaders.
The repression, harassment, intimidation and killings of union members and labor leaders have intensified since the imposition of Martial Law in Mindanao and a de facto Martial Law in the country. “Extra-judicial killings are happening while the workers are pushed to grapple from falling wages, work precariousness, work accidents, retrenchment en mass, illegal dismissals, closures, increasing commodity prices and restrictions on the right to organize. Intensified militarization in communities and plantations inflict heavy damages on plantation workers particularly in Mindanao,” Arago underscored.
The network vowed to campaign against all forms of tyranny and oppression.