Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ang Kapatiran Party Statement on Hanjin fatalities

We express our solidarity with the families of the latest victims at Hanjin Shipyard, Subic Bay - Filipino Raldon del Rosario, 19 years of age and Choi Dong Baek, a Korean (40th and 41st fatality as per Task Force Hanjin and Subic Bay ).

These series of accidents and deaths at Hanjin are too many, enough to desensitize the Filipino people to the truth about the primary policy of any state - that any investment in this country must serve, first and foremost, its nationals, the Filipino, and that adherence to the moral law - the primacy of man over things (this particular case, Korean ships) must be the decisive consideration in assessing the situation.

The shockingly inappropriate statement of South Korean Ambassador Choi Joong Kyung was revolting yet impressive.

It was disgusting because in the midst of the trauma due to serious violations against the Filipino worker, environmental destruction, displaced, uncompensated poor families, rampant industrial occupation violations and the fear and uncertainty of workers and their families in the shipyard in the face of an increasing death toll, he was ruthlessly tactless to say "there will be substantial and negative repercussions if the Senate proceeds with an investigationŠ the tremendous political influence of the Senate means that its actions may have fatal effects to the existence of an actor in the private sector... The policy implication of all its present actions have deep and far reaching effects within and beyond the boundaries of the Philippines ."

On the contrary it was admirable at how zealous a diplomat could be in defending the interest of his country even at the expense of revealing his ignorance about state and international affairs. This gave us a clue that South Koreans would not be so tolerant about a Filipino Company that would operate at the expense of Korean lives if the tables were turned.

There will indeed be "substantial and negative repercussions" if the Senate does not proceed with investigating this powerful Korean Company. It will be this - the cowering of other officials of lower rank to do so even when the Editorial of the Philippine Star urges local government to do it. It is important to point out that Hanjin has made Redondo Peninsula , Subic bay its own territory as it restricts even government to enter the premises.

Ambassador Choi Joong Kyung must be reminded that Philippine Senators are representatives of the Filipino people, at least they ought to be. The political influence of the Senate is meant "to have effects to the existence of an actor in the private sector."

He must also be reminded that his compatriot is United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, and his statements go against basic diplomacy and are violations of international Law, particularly the United Nations RESOLUTION 2625 (XXV) DECLARATION ON PRINCIPLES OF INTERNATIONAL LAW FRIENDLY RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION AMONG STATES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONSŠ "no State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other StateŠ"No State may use or encourage the use of economic political or any other type of measures to coerce another State in order to obtain from it the subordination of the exercise of its sovereign rights and to secure from it advantages of any kind."

ARTICLE TWO OF THE CHARTER ON ECONOMIC RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF STATES, it says that "Each State has the right to regulate and exercise authority over foreign investment within its national jurisdiction in accordance with its laws and regulations and in conformity with its national objectives and priorities. No State shall be compelled to grant preferential treatment to foreign investment."

While Ambassador Choi should be summoned for his public display of diplomatic ignorance, we urge Subic bay Metropolitan Authority and other government agencies like the DOLE to enforce Philippine laws, particularly Article 128 of the Labor Code and to demand in behalf of the Filipino people that Korean ships cannot be made in Philippine soil at the expense of Filipino lives and that the death of Raldon del Rosario and all those before him will be given the honor and afforded the dignity befitting a Filipino worker.
For AKP, Olongapo City Councilor JC de los Reyes

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1 Comments:

  • I am a French national who love the Philppines and its inhabitants. I am also a project manager for nternational off-shore projects, I have passed many years in Korea. I can ensure you that such statement made by the South Koreamn ambassador is not only unaccetptable in diplomatic terms, it also unacceptable for the international off-shore and ship building industrial business and Hanjin should be punished for that. As a Shipyard's client, I would not choose Hanjin as a contractor because of their very bad safety record and I encourage others to do the same. I would rather encourage the good people of the philppines to strongly oppose to what I beleive to be modern slavery. Do not leave South Korea take control of your magnifique country, not in these unbalanced terms !

    By Anonymous Yann, at 1/29/2009 11:03 PM  

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