Labor mourns passing of Jimmy Tadeo


THE coalition of the country’s largest groups mourned the passing of Jaime “Jimmy” Tadeo, one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution, at the weekend.

“The Nagkaisa Labor Coalition expresses its deep sorrow over the passing of Ka Jimmy,” it said in a statement issued on Monday.

“His passing is a great loss to the labor movement, and his legacy will continue to inspire and guide us in our struggle for social justice,” it added.

The coalition said Tadeo will be remembered not only for serving as the sole peasant representative in the 1986 Constitutional Commission, but also for his advocacies.

“Ka Jimmy was a key member of the Constitutional Commission that framed the 1987 Constitution, which carried strong social justice and human rights provisions, including agrarian reform and full protection of labor,” Nagkaisa said.

It also remembered how Tadeo fought for such ideals not only during the dictatorship of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, but even during the time of former Corazon C. Aquino.

“He was one of the icons of street protests during the time of the Marcos dictatorship, and he continued to champion the cause of social justice throughout his life,” the coalition said.

“In 1990, Tadeo was arrested and taken to the maximum security National Penitentiary at Muntinlupa, which supporters claim was due to his outspoken criticism of Corazon Aquino’s executive order on agrarian reform,” it added.

Nagkaisa lamented how the current Congress and administrations are now threatening the many legacies of Tadeo in their attempt to change the Constitution and enforce new economic policies, respectively.

“We mourn Ka Jimmy’s passing, especially at a time when attempts at changing the 1987 Constitution are being revived in Congress,” Nagkaisa said.

“Meanwhile, liberalization in agriculture is also in full swing, to the detriment of local farmers and Filipino consumers. It is sad to note that full liberalization, foreign ownership of land, privatization, flexibilization of labor, and term extension in politics are among the recycled agendas of those pushing for constitutional change,” it added.

Tadeo died Sunday morning due to health complications from his diabetes.