February 6, 2009
After being held for more than three month in prison on trumped up charges, Philippines labour rights attorney Remigio Saladero Jr was finally released on Thursday, February 5th. Five other Philippine labour rights leaders were also released with him including Nestor San Jose, Rogelio Galit, Crispin Zapanta, Arnaldo Seminiano, and Emanuel Dionida.
Atty. Saladero, of the Philippine Pro-labour Legal Assistance Centre (PLACE), was arrested on October 23, 2008 at his office in Antipolo City. He was charged with multiple muders and conspiracy to commit rebellion.
Other labour rights leaders were subsequently arrested. Many of these, like Saladero and the other five labor leaders released Thursday, were included in an arrest list of 72 activists accused of an ambush on state security forces in Mindoro in 2006.
Saladero’s arrest outraged many labour and human rights groups who saw it as nothing more than the continued government attempt to harass labour rights advocates in the Philippines and lead to an international campaign to free him.
The releases were ordered by the Mindoro Oriental Regional Trial Court on what appear to be technical grounds, this according to reports by the Philippine Daily Inquirer.