While the world observe the 102nd International Womens Day on the United Nation’s (UN) theme, A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women, the families along with workers of Cavite led by the Solidarity of Cavite Workers (SCW) still mourn and seek justice over their labor leader Celito ‘Bacs’ Baccay, Jr. who, two years ago was shot cold while driving his motorcycle home on the night of March 8, 2011.

SCW held a picket-protest in front of the First Cavite Industrial Estate (FCIE) to remind workers that – a labor leader-organizer once worked in Maeno Giken Inc., that being Bacs, who established their independent union, Maeno Giken Workers Organization (MAGIKWO), was slain on that same day two years ago and still seeking justice.

During the protest action, a SCW statement was being read while others were unfurling placards, flags and banners. SCW paid tribute to the women orphaned by the slain labor leaders in Cavite which also include Jesus Buth Servida and Gerardo ‘Gerry’ Cristobal aside from recognizing women from across the globe.

After the picket protest, SCW led the workers and the family of Baccay to St. Paul Parish church in Langkaan for a mass in commemoration of Baccay’s death led by Rev. Fr. Engelbert Bagnas who is the St. Paul parish priest and the Labor Ministry Director of the Imus Diocese in Cavite.

Fr. Bagnas read in his homily a statement from the SCW which pays tribute to the vital role of the women in social transformation in the 102nd International Womens Day. There were also a handful of Catholic churches who participated in reading the SCW statement during their masses on March 8.

Before the mass ended Fr. Bagnas let Mrs. Leonila Baccay and a local woman leader to give their messages in commemoration of Bacs’ 2nd death anniversary and the 102nd commemoration of the International Women’s Day.

Mrs. Baccay, in her message, related to everyone that after two years their family is still seeking justice for his husband Celito, Jr. Furthermore, the justice they seek according to her seemed to farfetched as there were no formal investigation report being released thus, making the criminal responsible for the crime is still at large though the family has someone whom they suspect is the one responsible for the crime.

On the other hand, Ms. Miriam Gonzales, a leader from the Gabriela Women’s Party (GWP) – Dasmariñas Chapter followed after Mrs. Baccay’s message. Ms. Gonzales paid a tribute to all women and spoke of their local issues and struggle.

Also present in the activity were Mrs. Maricel Servida, widow Buth Servida, and one of the children of Gerry Cristobal. Like Mrs. Baccay, they too, are still seeking justice for their love ones who were killed for the very same reason as to why Bacs was killed – advancing workers rights and welfare.

Curiously, Gerry Cristobal, who was ambushed in broad daylight while driving his vehicle along Aguinaldo Highway in Imus, is to be remembered on his 5th Death Anniversary on March 10.

After the mass, SCW led the family of slain labor leaders, workers, and Fr. Bagnas in putting up a marker to the place where Bacs crashed. A short prayer was led by Fr. Bagnas before candles were lit, flowers laid and white balloons.

Celito Baccay Jr. was the first union-leader in the country to become the victim of political killings since the installation of the Aquino Administration in 2010.