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URGENT APPEAL: Labor leader Arrested and Detained
On Political Prisoners
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 16:10
URGENT APPEAL: Labor leader Arrested and Detained

Dear friends,

The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) writes to inform you about the arrest of Antonio T. Cuizon, president of the Panaghiusa sa Mamumuo sa Carmen Copper (PMCC), an organized union of Carmen Copper Incorporated since 1985.

CASE DETAILS:

The Panaghiusa sa Mamumuo sa Carmen Copper (PMCC) president was arrested by members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) on October 26, 2014 at around 7:00 a.m. in Terrasa II, Camella Subdivision, Imus, Cavite. The victim was identified as Antonio Triambolo Cuizon, 58 years old, married, and a labor union president.

On the day of the incident, Cuizon was driving his Nissan Urvan vehicle. He and his wife Nanita and cousin Virgilio Restauro were about to go to the market to buy food. After passing the gate of their subdivision, ten (10) CIDG members in civilian clothes and full battle gear stopped them.

According to Cuizon, the CIDG team pointed their guns at them. A certain Bundal, the operation head, approached him and asked if he is Antonio Triambolo Cuizon. Bundal showed him the warrant and said, “We were looking for you since last week.” Immediately, he was handcuffed. He was transferred to a black Toyota with five unidentified CIDG men, including the driver.

They arrived at the CIDG Provincial Office in Imus at around 7:30 a.m. According to Cuizon, his blood pressure shot up to 200/100 which forced the CIDG personnel to bring him to Medical Center of Imus (MCI). After three hours, he was brought back to the CIDG detention center where he stayed for two days.

On October 28, 2014 at around 3:00 a.m., he was made to board the CIDG mobile car and was brought to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) with two unidentified CIDG personnel as escorts. They arrived at the NAIA at around 5:00 a.m. At 5:30 a.m., he was boarded in the Cebu Pacific flight 5J585 bound for Cebu.

At around 6:40 a.m., they arrived at Mactan International Airport, Mactan, Cebu City. He was made to ride a CIDG mobile patrol car and was brought to the CIDG Office inside Camp Sotero Cabahug, Gorordo Avenue, Cebu City.

According to Cuizon, at around 11:00 a.m., Col. Posadas interrogated him and told him to locate the union treasurer since they had the same case.

At around 2:00 p.m., he was again boarded to a police mobile patrol car and brought to Toledo City. They arrived at around 4:00 p.m. at the Toledo City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 29 for his commitment order. He was then brought to Toledo City Jail in Sitio Kabutongan, Barangay Landahan, Toledo City, where he is currently detained. He is being charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

CASE BACKGROUND:


On March 22, 2013 at around 12:30 a.m., Cuizon’s house and PMCC union office was raided by members of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

According to Mark Anthony, Cuizon’s son, he was awakened on that day with their helper’s knocks on his door. When he went out of his room, he saw three unidentified police officers who were inside their house and 12 others who were outside.

A certain George Ilanan, team leader, approached him and showed a search warrant. Mark Anthony immediately called their lawyer, Atty. Milagros Piol. At around 1:00 a.m., Atty. Piol arrived and the police went on to search the house.

According to Mark Anthony, he accompanied the police officer in searching the house. They searched the office of his father, the cooperative office, and the union office where a .45 caliber gun and grenade were allegedly found.

Mark Anthony said that one of the policemen directly went inside the union office and immediately went to a corner where he allegedly found the gun and the grenade. Mark Anthony talked to the police officer and asked why he did not coordinate with his companion who will also conduct a search in the said area. Mark said that the evidences found were planted.

According to the elder Cuizon, his arrest came after the decertification of PMCC as the sole and exclusive bargaining union at the mine, and the formation of a management-backed yellow union called Carmen Copper Workers Labor Organization (CCWLO).

On October 10, 2014, the management conducted an election to determine which of the two unions will remain at the Carmen Copper, Inc. The PMCC union lost in the election.

REQUESTED ACTION:

PLEASE SEND LETTERS TO THE CONCERNED GOVERNMENT AGENCIES TO ENSURE AND GUARANTEE THE SAFETY AND SECURITY OF THE VICTIM INSIDE TOLEDO CITY JAIL, TOLEDO CITY.

Thank you.


Ramiel C. Aballe
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines






SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear ________________,

Greetings!

This is to express my grave concern regarding the arrest of Antonio T. Cuizon who is currently detained at Toledo City Jail.

I have learned that on October 26, 2014 at around 7:00 in the morning, Cuizon, union labor president of Panaghiusa sa Mamumuo sa Carmen Copper (PMCC) was arrested by members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Terrasa II, Camella Subdivision, Imus, Cavite. He was presented with a warrant of arrest for illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

I came to know that on March 22, 2013 at around 12:30 a.m., Cuizon’s house and PMCC union office was raided by 15 members of the Philippine National Police (PNP). A .45 pistol and a grenade were allegedly found in the union office.

According to the Cuizon, his arrest came after the decertification of PMCC as the sole and exclusive bargaining union at the mine, and the formation of a management-backed yellow union called Carmen Copper Workers Labor Organization (CCWLO).

On October 10, 2014, the management conducted an election to determine which of the two unions will remain at the Carmen Copper, Inc. The PMCC union lost in the election.

I am writing to ask for immediate action in favor of the victim:

1.    The immediate release of the victim, only two years away from becoming a senior citizen and suffering from severe hypertension, diabetes and arthritis.

2.    The reinvestigation of the police raids which were in violation of existing guidelines on the conduct of police during labor disputes.

I am asking that immediate action be taken in favor of the victim. Thank you.


Respectfully yours,


_______________________





PLEASE SEND LETTERS:

1.    His Excellency Benigno Simeon Aquino III
President, Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel, Manila
1005 Philippines
Tel: +6327356201/5641451 to 80
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it / This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

2.    Hon. Leila M. De Lima
Secretary, Department of Justice (DOJ)
Padre Faura Street
Ermita, Manila
1000 Philippines
Fax: +63 2 523 9548
Tel: +63 2 521 1908
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it / This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

3.    Chairperson Loretta Ann P. Rosales
Commission on Human Rights (CHR)
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quizon City
Philippines
Tel: +63 2 928 5655,  +63 2 926 6188
Fax: +63 2 929 0102
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 November 2014 16:12
 

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