Protester’s child appeals to PLDT’s Manny Pangilinan

DAVAO CITY — An eight-year old child of one of the protesting-members of the Digitel Employees Union (DEU) wrote a letter addressed to Manuel V. Pangilinan, president of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), to listen to the demands of her father and his companions to be reinstated.

Grade 3 pupil Pearl Benild Furaque told Pangilinan in her letter dated April 21, 2013 that her father, Jesse, was one of those who went on an 11-day hunger strike at the PLDT main office in Makati, and then asked him to grant her wish for her father and all other children’s fathers who were dismissed from work by Digitel before PLDT bought it last year.

“Sir MVP at PLDT management, di po ba ang sabi na pag ang bata ay nag-pray kay Jesus ay pinapakinggan? Sana po pakinggan nyo ang aking kahilingan na makabalik na po sila sa kanilang trabaho. Malapit na po ang pasukan. Salamat po, pray ko rin po kayo kay Jesus na ingatan din kayo (Sir MVP and PLDT management, they say that if children will pray to Jesus they will be heard? I hope that you will also listen to my simple wish for my father and his companions to be reinstated. School opening is already near. Thank you sir. I also pray to Jesus to take good care of you),” Pearl Benild said.

She said that she already missed her father, who already failed to go home because he was in the picket line for 11 days already.

But as of this time, there were still no words coming the end of Pangilinan on the appeal of the protester’s daughter.

The High Court, in its October 10, 2012 decision with finality, ordered Digital Telecommunications Philippines Inc. (Digitel) to implement the order of the Department of Labor and Employment directing Digitel to commence collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations and at the same time declared the dismissal of 13 Digitel employees as illegal.

By the time the SC final decision came out, PLDT already owns Digitel. PLDT  bought Digitel last year with a promise that the merger would not cause lay-offs.

There were about 87 remaining members of their union that opted to fight it out with the telecom giant to enforce their worker’s right for a CBA. It was learned that more than 300 of their members opted to accept PLDT’s offer of early retirement plan for the Digitel employees. (ASA)



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