Labor Rights Group Decry Killing of BPO Union Organizer

April 27, 2023

The Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) vehemently condemns the merciless killing of Alex Dolorosa, Paralegal officer of BPO Industry Employees Network (BIEN) – Bacolod.  “We express our sympathies to Dolorosa’s family and friends. We are one with you in calling for justice for Alex,” CTUHR said in a statement.

Reports said that Dolorosa, 38, had been missing since April 23. His body was found in Brgy. Alijis, Bacolod City on April 24, with 20-30 stab wounds in different parts of the body.

According to BIEN, Dolorosa who decided to work full-time since 2021 to help the BPO workers, had been the target of surveillance and harassment since the same year. He has been providing assistance to fellow BPO workers in their legal complaints against unfair labor practice and recently won some cases.

“Dolorosa’s killing comes a week before the first Labor Day under the Marcos Jr. regime. This sends workers and trade unionists a clear message of the continuation of impunity under his administration,” CTUHR continued.

It can be recalled that the International Labor Organization (ILO) recently conducted a High-Level Tripartite Mission (HLTM) to the Philippines to investigate reported attacks against workers’ freedom of association. 68 killings were reported under the Duterte administration and justice remains elusive for all the victims and their families. The Center once again calls the attention of the ILO, as this first recorded killing of a unionist alarms workers and unionists that their lives are put at risk just for exercising their freedom of association.  

CTUHR also slammed the statement of one of the cohorts of the NTF-ELCAC, red-tagging BIEN and Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER), a day after the reported killing of one its members, as if to justify the senseless crime. “Shame on you! No amount of red-tagging could ever justify the crimes and attacks against unionists and activists. Respect workers’ right to organize, respect human rights!”

“We call on DOLE, CHR and all concerned authorities to investigate this brutal murder. We also call on the international community to condemn this killing and join us in calling for justice for Alex and all victims of extrajudicial killings,” CTUHR ended.###