Union militant kidnapped


By Reihana Mohideen

MANILA — Romeo Estropigan, a BMP labour organiser, was kidnapped soon after the May Day rally. Eight armed men brandishing pistols blocked the taxi he was in and dragged him out. Seven other members of the BMP who were with Estropigan were held at gun point inside the taxi while the kidnapping took place.

According to the BMP, the kidnapping is politically motivated. The BMP pointed out that it came in the wake of a successful May Day rally which marked a high point in the campaign to demand the scrapping of workers' income tax payments.

Its statement said: "The BMP holds the government of Fidel Ramos responsible for this recent attack on the working class movement. The kidnapping smacks of a military operation reminiscent of the type of repression faced by union leaders and activists during the dark days of the Marcos rule."