Philippines: Groups Condemn the Murder of Dennis Sequeña; Senator Hontiveros Calls for Investigation

Published by Business & Human Rights Resource Center, 5 June 2019

With sadness and our sincere condolences for his family, friends, colleagues, and fellow activists, we share the following news from the Philippines.

Dennis Sequeña at a rally

“The shooting of Dennis Sequeña, while he was conducting a labor rights seminar, is a particular blatant act of violence against workers exercising their freedom of association. This should not be happening ten years after the ILO HLM,” according to René Magtubo, the National Chair of the Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) labor political party, insisted. 

Dennis Sequeña, labor organizer and human rights defender, political activist, was a National Council member of PM and the Vice Chair of its provincial chapter in Cavite.

What makes this even more poignant, is that Dennis Sequeña is the second PM labor party member killed since 2016. Back in September 2016, Orlando Abangan, PM-Cebu leader and informal worker organizer of the labor center Sentro, was shot and killed.

The day following the murder of Dennis Sequeña, 3 June 2019, Senator Hontiveros-Baraquel filed a resolution for the Senate to investigate the killings of labor activists in the Philippines, in order to properly legislate the unresolved labor issues there. Link to Facebook page of Senator Hontiveros.

For further reading.

Champions of free speech for World Press Freedom Day 2019: Jover Laurio

Published 2 May 2019 by Deutsche Welle, link here

On World Press Freedom Day 2019, some of DW’s champions of free speech speak their minds on the importance of press freedom in the world. Jover Laurio, a blogger from the Philippines, is one of them. 

“Hi, I am Jover, a blogger, an ordinary citizen, and an advocate of freedom of speech and the press in the Philippines.

An unrestrained environment of expression is what keeps democracies alive. It pursues the truth, it stands up to power, and it exposes abuses against the oppressed, the powerless, and the vulnerable.

In the Philippines, the attacks on media practitioners and the proliferation of fake news prove one thing: a tyrannical government will always see free press and expression as enemies. As a person who’s been on the receiving end of the attacks, it takes courage and love for the country to continue fighting.

BUT I WILL.

As an advocate, I join the global community in the fight to protect free speech in all forms. I call for media institutions, working for and with the people, to choose truth over power, and to use their voices to speak for those who are silenced.

We will hold the line.”