FORWARDED APPEAL (Philippines): Another labor leader killed in Calamba City, Luzon 

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is forwarding to you an appeal from  human rights organization KARAPATAN (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights)-National Office in Manila, Philippines regarding the killing of Diosdado Fortuna (50), a labor leader in Calamba City, Luzon on 22 September 2005.

Fortuna is the latest victim in the unrestrained killings of human rights and political activist in the Philippines. The AHRC has previously reported the killing of labor activists Ernesto Bang and Joel Reyes (UP-75-2005), Fr. William Tadena (UP-26-2005) and Abelardo Ladera (UA-34-2005), all of which took place in Luzon.

In its previous statements, the AHRC raised serious concern regarding this phenomenon (please see AS-40-2005AS-42-2005 and AS-74-2005). Although the concerned government agencies, in particular the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) conducted an investigation into cases of killings, most of the perpetrators have not been identified, arrested or prosecuted.

For further questions on the killing of Fortuna, please contact the human rights group KARAPATAN in Manila, Philippines.

Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

Dear Friends,

Political Killings in the Philippines have been unabated with the recent summary execution of Diosdado Fortuna, President of Nestle Philippines Union in Calamba, Laguna.

After three years of struggle — violent dispersals, harassments, as well as being denied of their economic rights, the striking workers of Nestle have remained and continues to persevere in their quest for just and living wages as well rightful benefits. And Diosdado Fortuna fought valiantly alongside them upto his last breath.


We urge for your support and immediate response.

in solidarity,

KARAPATAN-National Office
Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights


UA Date:        22 September 2005

UA Title:       NESTLE Phils. Union President shot and killed in Laguna, Philippines

UA Case:        Summary Execution

Victim/s: Diosdado “Ding” or “Fort” Fortuna
•       50 years old, married with three (3) child
•       Male
•       A resident of Rodriguez Subdivision, Barangay Paciano, Calamba City, Laguna, Philippines
•       President, Nestle Philippines Union
•       President *PAMANTIK-KMU
•       President **ANAKPAWIS – Southern Tagalog
•       Member, ***BAYAN – Southern Tagalog

* PAMANTIK – Pagkakaisa at ugnayan ng mga Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan
(Union and Organization of Workers in Southern Tagalog)
** ANAKPAWIS in Filipino means “Toiling Masses” it is a Partylist
Organization representing both workers and peasants at the Philippine House
of Representatives.
*** BAYAN – Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (New Patriotic Alliance)

Place of Incident: Near Sagara Factory in Barangay Paciano, Calamba City, Laguna, Philippines
Date of Incident: 22 September 2005 between 6:00 AM – 6:30 PM
Perpetrators:   Unidentified men riding a motorcycle, believed to be intelligence elements belonging to both the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Account of Incident:

After attending the All-Leaders Meeting of workers at around 6:00 PM, today, September 22, 2005, Diosdado “Ding” or “Fort” Fortuna passed by the picketline of striking workers at the Neste factory in Cabuyao, Laguna to talk with some students who were there on an exposure and share with them the union’s experience for the past three (3) years of struggle. After that visit, Fort went home on board his motorcycle.

Upon entering the street in their subdivision, near Sagara Factory in Barangay Paciano, Calamba City unidentified men who were also on board a motorcycle shot Ding at the back.

The union leader was immediately brought to the Calamba Doctors Hospital by responding concerned residents. He suffered two gunshot wounds entering his back and exiting through his right chest near his nipple, fatally injuring his heart, liver and spleen. He died instantly.

On September 21, 2005, at around 9:00 AM Fort was one of those who led and spoke during the mobilization in Laguna to commemorate the 33rd Anniversary of Martial Law. At 2:00 PM he also led an activity at the Nestle picketline in line with the day’s event. Both the military and the police where on red alert and were highly visible in Cabuyao and Calamba, where they put up checkpoints. While the activity was going on at the picketline, quite a number of soldiers and policemen where around the factory monitoring the activity, some were even documenting the event with their digital cameras, video cameras and cellphone cameras.


Send letters, emails or fax messages calling for:

1. The immediate formation of an independent fact-finding and investigation team composed of representatives from human rights groups, the Church, local government, and the Commission on Human Rights that will look into the summary execution of Diosdado “Ding” or “Fort” Fortuna;

2. The arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of the crime of summary execution;

3. The immediate and proper indemnification of the family/relatives of the victims; and

4.  The Philippine Government to be reminded that it is a signatory to  the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that it is also a party to all the major Human Rights instruments, thus it is bound to observe all of its provisions.

You may send your communications to:

H.E. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
President of the Republic
Malacanang Palace,
JP Laurel St., San Miguel
Manila Philippines
Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968
Cell#: (+ 63) 919 898 4622 / (+63) 917 839 8462
E-mail: /

Hon. Rene Sarmiento
OIC-Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
7F Agustin Building I
Emerald Avenue
Pasig City, Philippines
Voice: (+632) 636 0701 to 0766
Fax: (+632) 638 2216

Hon. Avelino Cruz
Secretary, Department of National Defense
Camp Emilio Aguinaldo
E. de los Santos Avenue,
Quezon City, Philippines
Voice: (+632) 912-9281
Fax: (+632) 911 6213

Hon. Purificacion Valera Quisumbing
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., UP Complex
Commonwealth Avenue
Diliman, Quezon City
Fax: (+632) 929 0102

Please send us a copy of your email/mail/fax to the said government official to our address below.

URGENT ACTION Prepared by:

KARAPATAN (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights)-National Office
43 Masikap St. Barangay Pinyahan, Quezon City 1100 PHILIPPINES
Voice: +63 2 435 4146 / Fax: +63 2 928 6078
Emails: <> /

Thank you

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

To support this case, please click here: SEND APPEAL LETTER


Document Type : Forwarded Urgent Appeal
Document ID : FA-27-2005
Countries : Philippines,
Campaigns : Stop extra-judicial killings in the Philippines
Issues : Extrajudicial killings,