Detained NutriAsia strike journalists: “We don’t want the police and guards to get away with it”
From an undisclosed location outside Bulacan, Hiyasmin Saturay tells BA that she and her husband Eric Tandoc are doing well and being extra cautious. But Tandoc, Saturay says, is still nursing some bruises.
Tandoc has said he was beaten by NutriAsia’s guards and possibly police officers, during a violent dispersal of striking workers on July 30th in Bulacan.
The Los Angeles based journalists were documenting the workers’ two-month strike when they were caught in the incident which led to their arrests with 17 other people, including 3 other journalists. Tandoc and Saturay have been charged with illegal assembly, public alarm and scandal.
“They’re still investigating whether it is a viable case or not, so within ten days, which I believe is on August 10th, we have to file our counter affidavit into evidence and we’re all going to be there.”
Saturay says they should find out then if the Bulacan provincial prosecutor would dismiss the charges against them or if they intend to file more charges.
Either way, their plans to return to Los Angeles have been postponed. Saturay and Tandoc are considering filing counter charges.
“That’s something we’re still studying. we can’t say for sure whether that’s going to happen or how it’s going to look like. But definitely, we don’t want the police and the guards to get away with it, whether it’s through legal way or just exposing everything they did.”
Meanwhile, Saturay tells BA that they are continuing with their work.
NutriAsia workers are claiming poor working conditions and are demanding the end to contractualization.
There has been a call to boycott all NutriAsia products in support of the workers.
Last week, NutriAsia issued a statement asking for fairness and objectivity.