MANILA - Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Ferdinand Gaite on Tuesday held the Duterte administration responsible for the killings of unionists and activists following the recent death of a labor leader in Laguna.
"We strongly condemn this apparently regular killings of unionists and activists. We lay the blame on this administration," he told ANC.
The killings happened after President Rodrigo Duterte on March 5 ordered state forces to kill all communist rebels, Gaite said.
"We condemn this administration for its brutality against union activists and others who have been fighting for such basic rights," he added.
Dandy Miguel, vice chair of left-leaning labor group Pamantik - Kilusang Mayo Uno, was shot dead by unknown assailants in Calamba, Laguna on Sunday.
Gaite said Miguel was a "genuine union leader" who focused on organizing young union members.
"When he was killed, he was wearing the call of the demand of the workers. Sahod, trabaho, karapatan ipaglaban (Fight for wage, work, rights) when he was shot last Sunday," the lawmaker said.
Miguel's death also came 3 weeks after 9 activists were killed in police raids across Calabarzon in what rights groups described as "Bloody Sunday."
They said the raids were reminiscent of police operations wherein thousands of people have been killed as part of Duterte's drug war, in which police said all of the victims were armed and had resisted arrest.
The Palace has yet to respond to Gaite's remark but earlier said it would investigate the killings of activists in Calabarzon.
Government has repeatedly denied involvement in summary killings.