Philippine Standard Time:

Members of the National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council – Monitoring Body (NTIPC-MB) set off to the Department of Justice (DOJ) on 15 April 2015, 2pm, in a meeting with Secretary Leila De Lima concerning cases involving extrajudicial killings, harassment and enforced disappearances of workers and trade unionists.

Among the call of the NTIPC-MB are the improvement of forensic investigation capacity of the DOJ and the setting-up of an independent body that specifically investigates and prosecutes criminal complaints or cases against workers and trade unionists.

“For purposes of implementing AO 35 ay nagkaroon na po ng series of orientation seminars para sa aming AO 35 prosecutors and investigators, at kasama palagi during the orientation seminars yung forensic investigation as part of the training”, De Lima said.

However, Sec. De Lima explained that determining whether or not the training in forensic investigation is sufficient still depends on the assessment that shall later on be conducted.

On the setting-up of an independent body, Sec. De Lima proposed that instead of creating another layer in the system that will specifically investigate and prosecute such cases, she implored to maximize the use of existing mechanisms particularly the Inter-Agency Committee (IAC) where the NTIPC-MB may participate.

“NTIPC-MB can sit in the IAC meetings as observers and possible sources of information on labor-related cases”, De Lima stressed.

Information were also provided on the 10 cases identified as EJK by the AO35 Inter-Agency Committee.

The meeting was attended by 12 labor representatives, most of which are members of the NTIPC-MB, along with Usec. Francisco Baraan III (DOJ), Usec. Rebecca Chato (DOLE) and Ret. Prosecutor Hilda Ibuyan, who is currently the IAC Head Secretariat.