Kilusang Mayo Uno calls for release of PISTON organizer Maojo Maga

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Detail from a KMU poster demanding freedom Marklen Maojo Maga.

The militant national labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno on Thursday condemned the abduction and illegal arrest of its staff and PISTON organizer Marklen Maojo B. Maga.

KMU called for Maga’s immediate release and the setting aside of “trumped-up charges” against him.

Maga, 39, was allegedly abducted by plainclothes men “who identified themselves as elements of the Philippine National Police” at around 8:40 Thursday morning at a basketball court near their house in San Mateo, Rizal.

This was after he had brought his son to school. It was only on Thursday evening that his family and lawyers were able to confirm that he is being held at the PNP-CIDG compound in Camp Crame.

Maga’s arrest also follows the illegal arrest and detention of his father-in-law, National Democratic Front of the Philippines peace consultant and labor rights advocate Rafael Baylosis in Quezon City last January 31.

“We hold the Duterte regime responsible for the abduction and illegal arrest of Maga. This is part of his fentanyl-driven rampage against critics of his fascist and oppressive rule. This regime is stepping-up its fascist attacks against workers and the people to quell their resistance against his establishment of a fascist dictatorship,” said KMU.

Maga is a KMU staff tasked to organize workers’ unions in the port area, in factory belts in Valenzuela (among them are Kentex workers), and in Central Luzon. Recently, he had also been tasked to organize transport workers, and played a key part in the recent national coordinated protest of PISTON last February 19.

Before becoming a union organizer, Maga was also an active student leader. He was a member of the League of Filipino Students (LFS) and a founding National Council member of the youth group Anakbayan.