February 22 marks the 2nd year of Marklen Maojo “Maoj” Maga’s illegal detention. Maga is a volunteer staff of National Labor Center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU). He also helped in organizing PISTON and its national coordinated protest in 2018.
Maga was abducted on February 22, 2018 by plainclothesmen who introduced themselves as PNP officers, while he was just playing basketball in San Mateo, Rizal. Later that day, family and friends were able to confirm that he was being held at the PNP-CIDG compound in Camp Crame.
Today, on the Global Day of Action for Peace and Freedom, the Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) joins the workers and human rights defenders in calling for his immediate release and for the junking of trumped-up charges filed against him. We are enraged that a labor right defender such as Maoj, who has devoted his life in the pursuit of the upliftment and protection of the rights of the workers, is being kept in prison for ridiculous charges of murder and illegal possession of firearms.
Maga’s arrest and prolonged detention is one among countless attacks of the Duterte administration against unionists and activists. This government has not only failed on its promises to the Filipino workers but has viciously attacked them, especially those who chose to stand up for their rights.
We enjoin freedom and peace-loving Filipinos to unite with us, as we demand for his release as well as the release of more than 500 political prisoners in the country. We also appeal to all to call for an end to all forms of attacks against workers and labor rights defenders.