21 February 2016
Showing solidarity in the fight for justice for victims of the biggest factory fire in the history of the country, Women Workers in Struggle for Employment Empowerment and Emancipation (Women WISE3) danced one billion rising with the Justice for Kentex Workers Alliance last Feb. 16, in front of the Kentex factory compound in Valenzuela City.
Member of Women WISE3, Eufemia “Mimi” Doringo, who joined the action said, “We are one with the families of victims and the survivors of Kentex in the fight for justice. What happened and the situation of Kentex workers mirrors the situation of many women workers in our country. We suffer from very low wages, precarious employment and face health risks in our
Justice for Kentex Workers Alliance with Kilusang Mayo Uno and Gabriela organized the One Billion Rising activity a few days after the ninth month commemoration of the Kentex Factory fire on Feb 13. OBR founder Eve Ensler and Filipina actress Monique WIlson were also in the activity echoing calls for justice by victims’ families and survivors.
The group also expressed dismay that cases filed before the courts by families of victims and survivors did not advance. “Like many cases of killings of workers, unionists and deaths due to workplace accidents, no one up to now is being held accountable for the mass murder of workers,” Doringo added.
Survivors and families of victims of the Kentex Factory fire filed criminal charges and labor cases against Kentex factory owners, and criminal and administrative charges against top government officials like DOLE Sec. Baldoz, DILG Sec. Mar Roxas among others. To date, criminal charges were transferred by the regional trial court to the DOJ while the Ombudsman has not taken action on the administrative charges filed against Baldoz et.al.
Doringo added that justice is not simply paying the families of the victims a few thousand pesos for the loss of their loved ones, instead, justice is when those responsible for the fire are held criminally liable for their negligence and wrongdoing.
“We salute the families and survivors that continue to fight for justice. We also urge the larger public and more workers to join their fight because the ill-fate of Kentex workers can also be the fate of many more workers if we do not stop fight a system that allow it.” Doringo said.###