ROSARIO, Agusan del Sur – Two-hundred twenty-four (224) regular members of the newly-organized Filipinas Palm Oil Plantation Independent Workers Union (FPPIWU) unanimously approved the declaration of Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army and National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) as persona non-grata
in the areas covered by Filipinas Palm Oil Plantation Incorporated (FPPI) in the municipalities of Rosario and San Francisco of Agusan del Sur during a dialogue inside the FPPI Compound, yesterday morning, July 30.

Through its Resolution Number 2, Series of 2019, the FPPIWU officers and members condemned the CPP-NPA-NDF including its allied organizations such as the Nagkahiusang Mag-uuma sa Agusan del Sur (NAMASUR) and Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), for their atrocities in their communities and continuous exploitation of the poor farmers and workers of FPPI.

The former Filipinas Palm Oil Plantation Inc. Workers Union (FPIWU) which was created and registered in 2007 by the National Federations of Labor Unions-Kilusang Mayo Uno (NAFLU-KMU) to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), was recently reorganized and became FPPIWU after all its 224 members decided to formally separate from its mother federation through a resolution passed during a general assembly. The newly-organized union wanted to pursue its autonomy due to some serious issues within the company in order to achieve its organizational objectives, while observing the internationally-accepted principles and domestic laws.

Accordingly under the NAFLU-KMU, the FPIWU was able to launch two crippling strikes against the company, one in October 2010 and the other in November 2012, which resulted to the dismissal of several workers and displacement of some families.

Mr. Elmer Jamero, former FPIWU President, in his message to his co-workers, “Kami, isip mga ordinayong Pilipino, mga law-abiding citizen, motuman gyud mi sa balaod. Pag-ingon sa amo na ayaw mo diha, wala nay pangutana. Gali nangutana pa ko sa atong mga awtoridad kung ngano karon pa namo nasayran ang kamatuoran? Dapat sa una pa unta,” he said.

“For the sake of my co-workers and our families, we should tread the right way, without any reservation. With 93% of members voted, we formally disaffiliate ourselves from NAFLU-KMU, that is why we created our independent union, the FPPIWU, to formally put an end to the issues of exploitation and propaganda that became the source of
spat between us and the FPPI management,” he added.

Mr. Jay Lagapa, the newly-installed FPPIWU President, read the resolution followed by the signing of the officers and its members. He also said, “Nagdisafiliate mi through General Assembly tungod sa nagkabutas butas na katong among structure ug wala nay gustong mubarog. Mao nga nag come-up mi ing-ani nga lihok kay kung di namo
i-reorganize, maglisod gyud mi pagbarog.”

“I also thanked the assistance given to us by the authorities and the management that made things easier for us to reorganize and formally disaffiliate from NAFLU-KMU,” Lagapa emphasized.

The members of the FPPIWU also took their oath to maintain the peace and order within the FPPI areas and to never let their union be used again for the interests of few people and dubious organizations.

Mr. Gil Delos Santos, FPPI General Manager, also promised to provide more support through programs and trainings to the union members, so that every member could have another source of livelihood and additional income.

In his message, Colonel Allan Hambala, Commander, 401st Infantry Brigade, expressed his appreciation to all the members of FPPIWU who decided to choose to be independent and take part in the declaration of persona non grata against their former federation, the NAFLU-KMU, “This is the most commendable decision you have ever made as members of your union to finally decide for your own welfare
without being dependent to those dubious organizations that covertly manipulated and exploited you financially. Now that EO 70 has been operationalized in the region, I will assure you that we in the government, will always keep an eye on the protection of
every workers rights against exploitation and injustices, through the assistance of the concerned government agencies.”

“Also, to the 41CMO Company and 75IB Community Support Program Teams as well as our PNP counterparts, this is another significant accomplishment in our AOR. With your dedication to accomplish our given tasks, you have proven that we can defeat the enemies of the state in their own game,” Col Hambala added.