KMU organizer ‘abducted’ by police, later found detained in Camp Crame

On the first day of 32nd EDSA 1 People Power uprising commemoration, Marklen Maojo B. Maga, a staff of labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) tasked to organize workers’ unions in the port area, in factory belts in Valenzuela and in Central Luzon, was abducted in San Mateo, Rizal. It was only in the evening that his family and lawyers were able to confirm that he is being held at the PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) compound in Camp Crame.

In KMU’s narrative of the arrest, Maga was abducted by plainclothes men who identified themselves as elements of the Philippine National Police (PNP) at around 8:40am on February 22 in a basketball court near their house. This happened after Maga brought his son to school.

In the police spot report on Maga’s arrest, joint personnel of PNP-CIDG Manila NCR, PNP-Internal Security Operations Division, PNP-Intelligence Group, and Intelligence Service, Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) served the warrant of arrest for murder issued by Hon. Cesar P. Bordalba, 10th Judicial Region, Cabadbaran City, Agusan Del Sur. The report also mentioned that a .45 caliber gun, one piece magazine with seven live ammos were recovered from his possession inside his backpack. The report did not say when, where and who was murdered.

Maga’s arrest followed the arrest and detention of his father-in-law National Democratic Front of the Philippines peace consultant and labor rights advocate Rafael Baylosis on Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City last January 31. Baylosis was reported arrested without an outstanding warrant, charged with illegal possession of firearms in the police spot report that would be amended to include a grenade during the inquest.

The Children’s Rehabilitation Center (CRC) demanded the immediate release and dismissal of trumped up charges against Marlen Maojo Maga, or Maoj. In their statement, they relayed that ‘Maoj is the eldest son of a politically detained labor organizer in Caloocan at the height of Marcos’ dictatorship. Earlier in his life, Maoj has witnessed state perpetrated violence against workers and urban poor communities and his family are among the human rights victims which also pushed him to defend his and others’ rights.’

KMU decried the “fascist Duterte regime’s intensifying crackdown against unionists and labor rights advocates opposing his anti-worker and anti-people policies.”

The labor center said 22 unionists and labor leaders were killed since Duterte sat in the presidency.

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