By KYLE EDWARD FRANCISCO
MANILA – Times Employees Union (TEU) concluded their 400 km march-caravan in a picket and a program in front of the National Labor Relations Commission-National Capital Region (NLRC-NCR) office Monday, November 5, 2012.
There they were joined by other members of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU). They expressed their disappointment over the slow execution of the Supreme Court decision favoring the workers. At the height of the program, the picket line grew as members from different sectoral organizations came to express their support to the workers.
The TEU had launched the march-caravan when Arbiter Patricio Libo-on issued a verbal order to Sheriff Ronnie Jalalain preventing the sheriff from implementing the Writ of Execution last October 29 and 30, even if there was no Temporary Restraining Order (TRO).
Thirty individuals began the march from Vigan City on November 2, they were later joined by their other union members en route to Manila. Other union members who were unable to join the march-caravan for health and other reasons mobilized the residents in their locality to provide refreshments and snacks for the group when they passed by.
Elmer Labog, National Chairperson of KMU, expressed support to TEU. He assailed the NLRC’s slow implementation of the SC decision. “The long wait and suffering that TEU is experiencing are clear manifestations of the government’s indifference and negligence to the plight of workers”, Labog said.
In a statement, TEU asked Arbiter Patricio Libo-on to explain why he had prevented Sheriff Ronnie Jalalain from implementing the order to execute the P43 million monetary reward against Mencorp Transport System, Inc. and Spouses Reynaldo and Virginia Mendoza, and to explain also his reluctance at issuing the Writ of Execution for the updated monetary reward of 2011 totaling to more than P97 million.
The group also called for the immediate dismissal of the third party claim filed by a certain Melissa Lim who allegedly bought the transport company from the Mendoza’s. The union also demanded the rejection of Mencorp’s petition for Arbiter Libo-on to inhibit himself from the case.
A dialogue with Arbiter Libo-on was held but only three representatives were allowed in the NLRC. Honorio Arcaina and Ronal Fariñas, TEU President and Vice President respectively, and a representative from KMU National Office, negotiated in behalf of the bus workers.
Arcaina said the Arbiter gave his word he would release all the decisions and notice of execution by next week. Arcaina vowed that the TEU will continue to monitor and follow-up on the labor arbiter’s commitment.