Sep 13, 2018
Detained Filipino NutriAsia journalists return home
Over a month ago, Eric Tandoc and Hiyasmin Saturay were among 19 people arrested at a violent dispersal of a protest at the NutriAsia plant in Bulacan, where workers and the condiment giant have been in a labor standoff.
The husband and wife who were working for Altermidya at the protest arrived home in Los Angeles last week, saying they feel more empowered now than ever.
“After what happened, it actually gives you more strength to keep going. You face repression, you really have to fight back,” says Saturay.
The couple says they have recovered from the incident, they were both in good health and high spirits as they met with the community.
Now with first-hand experience, Tandoc and Saturay will continue their advocacies, first stop for them, the Pinay Uprising Babae Ako event.
Saturay shared her story with the jam-packed event highlighting women’s right, workers rights, and issues in the Philippines through art and activism.
Saturay says the labor dispute is just one of the issues that are part of a systematic problem in the Philippines.
“What’s emerging right now in the Philippines with all the repression is actually a fascist dictatorship, and I say its fascist because they’re using the military the police the armed forces to violently repress any kind of dissent wether its worker strikes or even people just speaking up.”
While they’re back home in Los Angeles, Saturay says there’s a larger calling for journalists.
“There’s an even greater need for us internationally, we have a very important role. It’s hard for me to be back here, actually because I want to be back there, but I know we have this important task to get everyone here to realize how important your voices are.”
Activists have continued boycott calls for Nutriasia products.
The company has issued a statement asking for fairness, objectivity and openness to listen to both sides,” saying that it remain steadfasts to our commitment to fully comply with the law and protect its workers.