The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) writes to inform you that a labour leader, threatened in 2005 and 2006, has been shot at, while he and his colleagues, some 100 plantation workers were holding a protest in front of their employer’s home.
UPDATED INFORMATION: (Based on the information received from Kilusang Mayo Uno –KMU-):
In our appeal of June 16, 2006 (UA-191-2006) we reported the forcible entry of armed men into the home of Vicente Barrios. In other incident, he had been hit by a sling shot missile while riding home on a motorcycle. While at work, perpetrators waved their guns at him and threatened to kill him.
In September 2005, Barrios was called for questioning by members of the 28th Infantry Battalion (IB), Compostela town, Compostela Valley. The military accused him of organizing a rebel group, the New People’s Army.
On January 30, 2014, Vicente Barrios was shot at and then held at gunpoint by Jesus Jamero, contractor for the Japanese-owned banana plantation company, Sumifru.
At this time, Barrios was the leader of about 100 Sumifru’s workers who were holding a protest in front of the residence of Jesus Jamero in Compostela Valley, Mindanao. In response to this protest, Jamero came out of his home carrying a gun, and proceeded to shoot at the protestors. However, no one was reported injured at the time.
Groups loyal to Barrios did not take the incident lightly. They immediately reported the incident to the local police; however, the police, instead of arresting Jamero, questioned the workers about holding a protest.
The AHRC is of the opinion that the attacks on Barrios and his colleagues were the result of his advocacy in support of the plantation workers. Barrios is the president of the Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa Suyapa Farm (Namasufa-National Federation of Labor Unions-KMU).