Date: Mon, 18 Nov 96 10:55:18 CST
From: (Alex Chis & Claudette Begin)
Subject: Rev. Workers Party of Philippines on Lagman arrest

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Free Comrade Popoy!

A statement from the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (the Revolutionary Workers Party of the Philippines), 18 November 1996

Comrade Popoy is not a criminal. Much less is he a terrorist. He is a legitimate labor leader. He is a earnest supporter of the rights of the working class and the Filipino people, The cases filed against him are fabrications and lies. There is no justness in arresting and having him imprisoned. He should be freed!

His arrest is a deed of those who are evil in this world.

They would like to silence Comrade Popoy who now works full time in the interest of the oppressed, especially the workers. His arrest is an attack against the working class movement in the country. And because of the this, the government has something to answer for, to the working class

The arrest of Popoy is undoubtedly related to the APEC Conference. Even before this incident, Ramos and Almonte have made attempts to paralyze his movements. To do this, he needs to be arrested, as Ramos and Almonte's logic goes, so that he won't be able to do his tasks especially at this point that the union movement in the country is active in the anti-APEC movement in the country.

The state obviously feel threatened by the possibility of a broad working class protest against the upcoming APEC meeting, so that it is sowing apprehension, even fear, among the groups that are anti-APEC. The state then, is the terrorist, and the working class and people's movement who are being accused of creating trouble in the APEC meeting are now truly the victims.

It was not only Horta whom the government wanted to silence. Even a legitimate labor leader like Ka Popoy is being curtailed, in his own country, in the name of APEC.

Free Ka Popoy! Allow him to accomplish the official tasks given to him by the workers and his countrymen. The working class movement will not be stopped. It will do all it can to free him.

In the name of APEC the government is ready to tramp on the rights of the people.

This only goes to show that the APEC is not for the people. APEC is serving the interests of other groups. And this is nothing but the interest of the 40,000 transnational corporations in the world.

The truth is out: for the success of APEC, which is a conference of big capitalists, the Ramos government is willing to sacrifice the human rights of the working class. The truth is: APEC is for the transnationals, the big capitalists. This is the ultimate reason why they will stop the working class from taking any action at all.

But this will not faze us. This will not threaten us. This will not make us afraid.

On with the fight ! On with the anti APEC conference! On with the Caravan!

Slam Evil!!!

Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (Revolutionary Workers Party)

November 13, 1996

[Translated from the Filipino original by Vicky]


"Slam" is an acronym for "Solidarity of the Labor Movement against APEC". The lead organizations of the campaign are the KPUP (Brotherhood of Union Presidents), NCL, (National Confederation of Labor, with 400 unions), BMP (Revolutionary Workers Party, the author of this statement), Sanlakas, a multi-sectoral anti-imperialist anti-fascist group, and BPMP (BUKID), a farm worker and peasant federation

The Philippine Airlines Union, MERALCO, electricity, and a hotels unions confederation, are protesting Popoy's arrest. Congressmen Arroyo and Lagman have come out with statements branding this as an illegal and repressive arrest. President Ramos has said that the arrest is completely unrelated to the APEC and has something to do with criminal charges against Popoy, but movement lawyers have said that this is illegal, since not even a preliminary hearing has been held.

PS Earlier this week, basic public transport prices were increased from 1.5 pesos to 2.0 pesos (eight US cents). On Friday 15th, the oil companies and the government will announce an oil price hike.

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