Mindanao Labor Leader named 1st Nominee of Anakpawis


Anakpawis Party-list First Nominee Ariel Casilao (in red) with lumad leaders during the Manilakbayan ng Mindanao protest at UP Diliman in October.

Ang UMA | July-December 2015

Anakpawis Party -list presented its nominees for the 2016 Elections during its national convention last Sept. 26. Ariel “Äyik” Casilao, local leader of militant labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) in the Southern Mindanao Region (KMU-SMR) was named first nominee of Anakpawis.

Casilao is also an organizer of agricultural workers in SMR as leader and spokesperson of the National Federation of Labor Unions or NAFLU . Before this, Casilao was a founding member of militant youth organization Anakbayan in 1998; secretary-general of Karapatan-SMR and leader of BAYAN- SMR.

Casilao was elected National Vice-Chairperson of Anakpawis Party-list during the convention. He also worked as co-convenor of the just concluded Manilakbayan ng Mindanao 2015.

Casilao and the KMU in SMR have led workers in several successful protests and strikes which were due to and have further resulted in the effective expansion of their organizing and political work in the region. Among agricultural workers, Casilao led recent actions against giant banana plantation companies.

Among the new and strengthened unions are the United Pantaron Banana Workers Union (UPBWU -ADLO -KMU) in Davao del Norte and the Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa Suyapa Farm (NAMASUFA -NAFLU -KMU) in Compostela Valley. The Banana Workers Association (BANWA ) chapters in North Cotabato, Davao City, Davao del Norte and
Compostela Valley have all expanded accordingly. The new alliance Banana
Industry Growers and Workers Against SUMIFRU (BIGWAS ) was also instrumental
in securing victory for a number of agricultural workers strikes this year.

Other than Casilao, Former Anakpawis Rep. and KMP Chairperson Rafael Mariano and Anakpawis National Chairman Randall Echanis were named second and third nominees respectively of Anakpawis Party-list.