Press Release by Workers Assistance Center
Celito Baccay, the slain leader and organizer of the union Maeno Giken Workers Organization – Independent (MAGIKWO-Ind) marched to his final resting place at Carmona de Santuaryo in Carmona, Cavite on March 17, at 1:00 in the afternoon.
Baccay’s bereaved family, leaders and workers from different unions and workers organization, and other members of progressive and militant organizations in Cavite marched him in hundreds to the church for the final necrological mass. About a handful of his co-workers and fellow unionists were able to join his burial as the management of Maeno Giken Inc. barred them from attending.
The funeral march caught the attention of bystanders and passersby on the way to the cemetery especially the banner ahead of the marchers read as ‘Justice for Celito Baccay! First Victim of Extrajudicial Killing in the Province of Cavite Under the Aquino Government.’
Celito Baccay is the first victim of extra-judicial killing in the province under the new Aquino Administration. However, Baccay is the second victim of political violence among the workers movement under the nearing nine-month old Aquino Administration. Nolan Maquincio, PRO of Nagkakaisang Manggagawa ng Hoffen Industries-OLALIA-KMU escaped death after an unidentified man stabbed him repeatedly on his way home from work on November 22, 2010.
Baccay was shot dead at 10:30 in the evening while driving his motorcycle on his way home from work on March 8, 2010 in Langkaan I, Dasamariñas. He was able to rush to a hospital, but was later pronounced dead by his attending physician.
Baccay’s wife, Leonila related that the passing of a loved one is very hard for anyone to accept especially if it was tragic like of her husbands’. Equal to the Baccay family’s call for justice, co-unionists in MAGIKWO-Independent and workers under the Solidarity of Cavite Workers (SCW), demands the Aquino government to stop political violence and killings among the progressive and militant people’s organizations.
Only a handful of Baccay’s co-workers were able to attend the funeral after a new round of intimidation was initiated by the Maeno Giken Inc. management led by its company vice-president, Gart ‘Garto’ Dennis Melchor.
Leonila learned what happened to the co-workers of her husband. “One of his co-workers related to me that, Garto (Melchor) disliked MAGIKWO’s recent move in writing the company’s president. Garto did not approve of the union still using its name representing the workers before the management. They said (co-workers) that Garto was fuming when confronted the workers regarding MAGIKWO’s request letter of allowing workers to attend to the funeral of my husband and even asserted that the letter must have been addressed to him and not to the company’s president Shinichiro Maeno. They said that Garto finally dissuaded workers by asking who of them are still with the union.”
Leonila further related, “I got a chance to meet Garto when I went to Maeno Giken Inc. on Monday (March 14). I went there to ask for some assistance for my husband. A Japanese company official assured me that day that they will allow a company holiday so that workers may attend the funeral on today, March 17. The action of Garto (Melchor) is contrary to what the Japanese official promised me.”
“Garto suddenly showed up in that meeting. I told and confronted him in front of other company officials that he was the one that my husband was describing who keeps a hot eye to him.”
Leonila hopes that the workers and the union continue what his husband has started especially now that he is gone.
With the other round of harassment to Maeno Giken Inc. workers, Merly Grafe, SCW Chair said, “Wherever Bucks (Baccay) is maybe, he is surely enraged and not resting in peace.”