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Nestle Kills Workers!!! Justice for Meliton "Ka Mel" Roxas!!! the union president of Nestle Philippines Cabuyao Factory,Assassinated in January 20,1989

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Uploaded on Jul 31, 2008

1992 IBON PHILIPPINES
Data Bank and Research Center

MELITON

The following is an account of the TRAGIC DEATH OF KA MEL, the union president of Nestle Philippines Cabuyao Factory, in 1989 The witness swore the assassin's target was MELITON ROXAS, the labor union president in Nestle Cabuyao. She recalled how the gunman who entered the roadside restaurant of that afternoon of 20 January 1989, immediately approached Meliton and shot him at close range with a .45 caliber pistol. Meliton died on the spot. He was only 34.
His wife Norma was then peddling foodstuff for him. She could hardly believe her husband had been MURDERED. She even approached him after he slumped in the floor. "Stop playing around. You're too old for that," she said. But she was suddenly shocked to see his bloodied t-shirt. "Oh God, my husband has been shot!" she cried, "Help us! Help us, please!" Nobody saw the gunman again. But people believe he too was killed. Gunshot was heard minutes after the killer had run across the Nestle compound. About 200 meters away from the plant's security outpost, people saw a man dying. Nobody tried to help him for fear that they might get involved in the killings. Some said the security guard shot the gunman while he was trying to board a motorcycle. But many witnesses swore armed men firing at Roxas's killer. By the time the police arrived, the assassin's body was nowhere to be found. The armed men had taken the body away, dumping it in a back-up vehicle. There was hardly a trace of violence. The assassin's gun was missing. Not a single drop of blood was visible on the road. Investigator could not even say how many bullets hit Meliton. The motive remains a mystery to this day. For Norma, her husband's murder remains a puzzle. "Who would be interested in killing my husband?" she asks. "He had no enemies. All he really had was his conviction." Neither could she believe that her husband was killed because of his union activities. "My husband was a union leader but their strike was a collective effort," she reasoned. "Beside, Nestle always had strikes or other mass action nearly every year." Meliton was at the prime of his active union work when he was felled by the assassin's bullet. Although he was fired on his job during one of their strikes, he continued his union activities. Instead of looking for another job, he sold T-shirt, chicharon and other native delicacies at the Cabuyao plant. That way, he found reason to interact with the workers who remained in the plant. "I CAN'T ABANDON MY COMRADES. JUST LIKE YOU THEY NEED ME," Meliton used to tell his wife whenever she prodded him to look for another job. Meliton and his wife already had five children at the time. Although Meliton was one of the youngest officials at the Union of Filipro Employees (UFE), he was like a father to his fellow unionist. Even as a high school student at the Sacred Heart in Sta. Maria, Bulacan. Meliton was already a activist. His parents knew their eldest son was not just a troublemaker. "When he think he's right, he would push for it no matter what the consequences are," said his mother. Meliton was proud to be a unionist."NO DIRTY DEALS, OK?" He would often tell his fellow members at the union board. For him, unionism was not just to bargain for more benefits. It was a "political power " for the workers. He knew conflict between management and labor was inherent because capitalist would always want profit. And to get just a share of the pie, they have to negotiate. As a unionist, Meliton was once locked up at the general headquarters of the Philippine Armed Forces in Camp Aguinaldo. He was charged with economic sabotage during one of their strikes, the usual charged slapped on unionist who dared to challenge management during the height of the Martial Law. Norma believes the people who wanted Meliton put away knew he could not be silenced by money or by promises of material gains (one emissary even promised them a house and lot).
For Meliton's killer, he may have been just another job. But for unionist, Meliton became a symbol of martyrdom in their struggle against TNC's.



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
COPY EDITOR Carlos F. C. Castro
COVER ILLUSTRATION Grace de Jesus-Slevert
ILLUSTRATION Arnan de Leon
Cover Design & Layout Anthony Mark A. Asistin

Parangal sa mga Rebulusyonaryong Martir
from the Album Kamtim Ang Tagumpay by KUMASA

for more information contact us at ufe_mailbox@yahoo.com or visit us at http://www.blood-in-your-coffee.blogs...

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