State agents seize veteran labor lawyer

Those who wonder who snatched Jonas Burgos and James Balao should consider what happened today to veteran labor lawyer and columnist Remigio Saladero.

Saladero disappeared this afternoon from his Antipolo home which friends found ransacked. His laptop and the CPU of his desktop computer were missing. His cellphone was unattended.

Good friend and fellow journalist Kenneth Guda, editor of Pinoy Weekly, sent word tonight about the incident and Maureen Hermitanio of Anakpawis also confirmed his disappearance. Saladero writes regularly for Pinoy Weekly, and devotes his columns to labor issues.

A journalist-friend later told me through text that Saladero has been brought to Camp Vicente Lim. He had been charged — surprise! surprise! — over a murder in Mindoro.

Saladero’s abduction comes after Globe Telecom recently filed charges against Saladero and several others in connection with an incident in Batangas. Saladero has denied the charges.

Pinoy Weekly last week ran a compelling story, based on interviews with Saladero and labor leaders he has worked with.

Saladero recently told

The accusation against me is false, malicious and reflective of the stupidity of the military agents who orchestrated the filing of the trumped-up charges

Unable to apprehend the real culprits in the Globetel incident, they have decided to use it as a means to harass and persecute those whom they perceive as critical of the existing order. These include legitimate leaders of peoples’ organizations in Southern Tagalog (Bani Cambrero, Romeo Aguilar, Nestor San Jose, etc. ) and even lawyers like me who side with these mass leaders on the issues they articulate.

I hope that our judicial system would easily see the falsity of these charges newly concocted charges, as it has previously seen the falsity of the charges against Crispin Betran, Batasan 5, Tagaytay 5, and others

Last year, Saladero represented the Kilusang Mayo Uno before the Supreme Court in a suit that challenged the constitutionality of the terrorist law signed by President Arroyo.

Meanwhile, Jonas and James remain missing.