The Philippines has been consistently tagged as one of the most dangerous countries for workers for four (4) consecutive years by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) through its Global Rights Index. This rating is measured in terms of respect for workers’ rights, job security, safety at work and freedom of association. Killings of workers, unionists and labor rights defenders have reached a record-high of 50 under the Duterte administration.
In the midst of continuous attacks against workers’ and human rights in the country, the Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) and Pro-labor Legal Assistance Center (PLACE) filed a petition earlier today, July 8, 2020, at the Supreme Court in the country, questioning the legality of the Republic Act 11479 or the controversial and much opposed Anti-Terrorism Law.
The labor rights groups expressed deep concern on how the ATL will affect unionists and labor rights defenders. “Because of the vague definition of terrorism and the absolute power it gives the state forces, this law can definitely be used against the labor movement. Throughout history, unionists and labor rights defenders have been perpetrated by filing trumped-up charges against them, red-tagging, accusing them of being rebels or terrorists, and other forms of harassment. This law will worsen the struggles of workers in pushing for their rights and demands,” CTUHR said.