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US denounces labor leader’s murder

April 30, 2023 Cristina Lee-Pisco 172 views

THE United States joined the Philippine government in condemning the brutal murder of Alex Dolorosa, a trade union leader and LGBTQI+ activist in the Philippines, the US Department of State Office of the Spokesperson said yesterday.

“We welcome the Philippine government’s condemnation of the attack and its commitment to thoroughly investigate and to hold the perpetrators accountable. We join with the Philippine government in underscoring that impunity is unacceptable.”

Dolorosa, 35, was a call center agent in Bacolod City and became a paralegal and union leader with BPO Industry Employees Network Philippines (BIEN), an organization that helps call center workers exercise their rights and organize to improve their job conditions.

“We extend our condolences to Dolorosa’s family and friends, as well as the greater international labor union and LGBTQI+ communities who loved him,” the State Department said.

Dolorosa went missing on April 21. Three days later, his body was found with multiple stab wounds at Purok Villa Rosario in Barangay Alijis.

His motorcycle, mobile phone, and other belongings had all disappeared.

Meanwhile , the United States reiterated it is standing with the Philippines amid the latest incident in the Ayungin Shoal where a Chinese Coast Guard blocked Philippine vessels conducting routine patrols in the area.

It also called on China to refrain from its “provocative and unsafe conduct.”

A statement issued by the Office of the Spokesperson of the State Department said: “The United States stands with The Philippines in the face of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Coast Guard’s continued infringement upon freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.”

“Imagery and video recently published in the media is a stark reminder of PRC harassment and intimidation of Philippine vessels as they undertake routine patrols within their exclusive economic zone. We call upon Beijing to desist from its provocative and unsafe conduct. The United States continues to track and monitor these interactions closely.”

The statement stressed that the United States stands with our Philippine allies in upholding the rules-based international maritime order and reaffirms that an armed attack in the Pacific, which includes the South China Sea, on Philippine armed forces, public vessels, or aircraft, including those of the Coast Guard, would invoke U.S. mutual defense commitments under Article IV of the 1951 U.S. Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty.

On Friday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) called on China to respect the rights of the Philippines over the West Philippine Sea after a Chinese vessel nearly collided with a Philippine ship on April 23 in Ayungin Shoal.