More than a hundred workers from garments and apparel factories in the First Cavite Industrial Estate (FCIE) who staged a protest rally in front of the enclave in Brgy. Langkaan, Dasmarinas, Cavite last February 26, 2009 was violently dispersed by members of the Right 8 Security Guards posted at the main gate.

Six security guards, not all of them in uniform, initially tried to prevent workers from holding a program saying that it is not permitted because it is a private zone.

The commotion started when the guards started to bombard water from a fire hydrant into the protesting workers. The workers wittingly managed to string the hose into a light post and train the water on to the guards.

Angered by the incident,  the guards attacked the workers armed with an ax, iron bars and wooden clubs. One of the security guard who was not in uniform  identified as  Marlon “Jeproks” Purificacion hit a union leader with the ax’s handle causing a 7-stitches wound at the back of the head. Many other workers sustained wounds, abrasions and bruises from the violent dispersal. 

Solidarity of Cavite Workers Secretary General and spokesperson Aries Soledad said that it is inhumane and unlawful to violently attack the workers staging a peaceful protest for their basic rights and welfare.  He said, “Walang nasusulat  sa anumang pahina ng konstitusyon na bawal ang magprotesta sa anumang economic zone kahit pa ito ay public o private.. Ang ginawa ng mga security guard ay i-provoke na gumanti ang mga manggagawa” (It’s not written in any page of the Constitution that prohibits the staging of a protest in any economic zone be it public or private. The Security Guards actually provoked the workers to fight back.)

The SCW, a provincial workers alliance, led the protest started at around 5 o‘clock in the afternoon to FCIE to condemn the lay-offs and forced leaves in garments companies allegedly because of the global crisis and the obvious failure of the government to support the workers affected by the global crisis (see related story, Garments workers decry lay-offs, demand job security).