On Ka Fort’s Fifth Death Anniversary, Women WISE3 Slams Seriously Flawed CHR Report on Slain Nestle Union Leader

Women WISE3 slammed the 2009 report of the Commission on Human Rights  on the case of slain Nestle union president Diosdado “Ka Fort” Fortuna, which tags him as a drug supplier, and denies links between his death in 2005 and his work as an active labor leader.

Says Women WISE3 Spokesperson and Ka Fort’s widow Luzviminda Fortuna, “It’s a case of serious neglect on the part of the person who wrote the report. As a personnel of an agency like the CHR, it is important to be tedious in order to present an accurate report. In my opinion, they have not conducted an in-depth investigation of Ka Fort’s case. That there is insufficient time is not a valid reason to fail to double check the names of the people involved.”

Luz Fortuna also called on CHR commissioner Etta Rosales to conduct a long-overdue investigation on the killing, in addition to correcting their report on her, the union, the labor organizations and the ILO, which reeks of gross disrespect and damage Ka Fort’s legacy.

Ka Fort was President of the Union of Filipino Employees at Nestle Philippines, and a member of Anakpawis Partylist. He is also the Chairperson of the PAMANTIK, Kilusang Mayo Uno-Southern Tagalog Chapter and Co-Chairperson of the National Coalition for the Protection of Workers Rights – Southern Tagalog Chapter (NCPWR-ST).

On September 22, 2005, at past 5pm, two men on a motorcycle shot Ka Fort twice at the back, and the bullets pierced through his lungs. He was declared dead on arrival at a Calamba, Laguna hospital. Before he was murdered, he has reported constant surveillance. The Nestle union was also on strike at the time of his death, and he was last seen alive leaving the picketline to attend to a family emergency.

Luz Fortuna adds, “Women WISE3 also continues to call for justice to victims of violations of workers’ rights, and demands that the Aquino government hold accountable all entities who have played a role in the huge number of cases of murder, illegal arrests, abduction, and harassment of unionists under the Arroyo regime. The labor sector, along with agriculture, form the lifeblood of the Philippine economy, and the government should ensure job opportunities, fair labor practices, security of tenure, safe work environment, and redress of grievances for the workers.”#

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