Primary links

WELCOME TO THE ARCHIVE (1994-2014) OF THE MAQUILA SOLIDARITY NETWORK. For current information on our ongoing work on the living wage, women's labour rights, freedom of association, corporate accountability and Bangladesh fire and safety, please visit our new website, launched in October, 2015:

Karnation workers defeat motion to revoke bail

March 9, 2010


Court Denies Motion for Reconsideration  to Revoke Bail Grant, Another worker released temporarily

Dear friends,

The Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) is happy to inform you that the Morong (Rizal) Regional Trial Court (RTC), in a resolution dated January 26, 2010 but received only on March 1,2010 denied the complainant's (Karnation Industries Inc / Pansy Accessories Corp) Motion for Reconsideration (MR) to revoke the granting of bail issued by the court on November 20, 2009  for temporary liberty of the 18 surviving detained Karnation 20.  Following are details.

Presiding Judge Ma. Teresa Cruz-San Gabriel, in resolving the MR filed by complainants last December 28,2009, stated that there was no found cogent reason/s to reconsider the order.  The resolution upheld the arguments raised by the detainees through their counsel Atty. Remigio Saladero Jr in opposing the Motion. such as:  

  1. The Honorable Court was correct in ruling that the evidence of guilt is not strong.
  2. The witness presented did not see the accused putting the chains on the gate.
  3. The testimonies of private complainants Ma. Teresa Costales and Jesus Guaza are improbable and not consistent with the common experience of mankind.
  4. The fact that private complainants and the accused belong to the same company shows that the instant case arose out of a labor dispute, thus, clearance from the DOLE Secretary would have been necessary for the case to have been filed in court.
  5. The amount of bail is not always subject to the bail bond guide of the DOJ but may be determined by the court according to the wise exercise of its discretion.

However, in a twist of statement that dampened the workers sense of relief, Presiding Judge San Gabriel, agreed to the complainants' manifestation to increase the amount of bail for individuals. Citing Section 9, Rule 114 of the Rules of Court that considers financial viability and weight of evidence presented against the accused, the court increase the individual bail to P80,000.00, each up from  previous amount of P60,000.00 for the provisional liberty of the remaining four detainees. The resolution also directed the 14 workers who were temporarily released last December, to post an additional P20,000 each within 30 days for their continuous  provisional freedom.

The surviving Karnation 20, protested the decision and argued that their families did not have any regular income since they were detained, and those who were released had difficulty finding jobs to support themselves and their families.  

Despite dissatisfaction on the compromise resolution, Andy Salarzon, 32, one of the four remaining detained workers posted bail through a surety bond, and gained his temporary liberty on March 4, Thursday. It could be recalled that his release was put on hold last year after private complainants filed a Motion for Reconsideration (MR) on December 28, 2009 to revoke the court's Order granting the petition for bail filed by the accused workers of Karnation Industries and Exports, Inc. Salarzon also complained of difficulty of breathing inside the detention.

As at this writing the hearing on the continuity of presentation of the prosecution's evidence is ongoing .

Funds raised by trade unionists and labour groups overseas : to set the temporary liberty of the remaining three workers

The CTUHR and the Prolabor Legal Assistance Center (PLACE) through Atty Saladero are now meeting with the workers including the detainees, and now starting the temporary release of the three.

CTUHR and the families expect that the whole process of posting bail through the surety bond and getting clearances will be completed within the next two days, and all of the three will walk to their freedom after almost three years. We hope that there will be no hitches in getting the three out of prison immediately.

We would like to specifically thank the trade unionists from UK and earlier, unionists from New Zealand who raised funds to help cover the bail.

Support from International Community: instrumental in pressuring the complainants and getting favourable decision from the court.

On behalf of the families of the Karnation 20, who are now members of Women WISE3 (Women Workers In Struggle for Employment, Empowerment and Emancipation), the CTUHR and PLACE sincerely thank you all for every support you have extended to this campaign. It cannot be denied that the many letters you have sent to the judge have influenced her decision as Philippines well as other government authorities including the Commission on Human Rights of the P. The same for the many letters sent to the complainants and to the buyers of Karnation Industries and Pansy Accessories Corp had pressured the complainants to soften their opposition to granting of bail.

The Fight for Karnation 20 continues

Whilst the surviving 18 walk to their temporary freedom, the union officers are determined to continue their fight particularly in seeking justice for Melvic Lupe (2008) and Leo Paro (2009) who died in detention without proper investigation . The officers are also set to reviving their labour case (union busting) filed at the Department of Labour and Employment - Region IV, and vowed to continue their union organizing at Karnation Industries and Pansy Accessories corp as well as in reaching out to other workers..


For background information, please  click the links below.

Thank you so much,

Daisy Arago

Executive Director

Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR)


Share this

Filed under: