Calling the killings of the sugar workers a heinous crime, labor group Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (Sentro) is urging the Senate to conduct an immediate inquiry on the matter.
“We call for an immediate and thorough investigation to bring the perpetrators, especially the brain behind the atrocity, to account,” Josua Mata, Sentro Secretary General said in a statement.
Nine members of the left-leaning National Federation of Sugar Workers were shot dead by armed men in Sagay, Negros Occidental, on Saturday night. Fatalities succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds and burns, among them were two minors and three women
“No matter how contentious the land dispute is, why shot them, especially the children and women? It seems that the norm now against the hapless poor is to dispose of them with much violence as possible,” Mata said.
According to the labor leader, this land-based conflict will continue as long as the government is continuing to shy away from its responsibility of completing the agrarian reform in the country.
“The workers are not being regularized; the farmers are not being given lands to till, and the government is still acting business as usual,” Mata lamented.
The group has been lobbying to end the practice of endo or perpetual contructualization of workers particularly in the service and food industry.