TUCP founder Democrito Mendoza dies
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) co-founder Democrito Mendoza died on Tuesday evening, January 12.
The 92-year-old labor leader and lawyer from Cebu died at 6:40 pm. Doctors have yet to announce the cause of his death, TUCP Spokesperson Alan Tanjusay told Rappler in a text message.
Before he died, Mendoza headed the TUCP as its president. He took the position following the death of then-president Ernesto Herrera in October last year.
Mendoza was known as one of the founding fathers of the labor movement in the Philippines, pioneering the creation of labor centers in Quezon City, Cagayan de Oro City, and Davao City.
He started as a labor leader when he organized port workers in Cebu and created the Associated Labor Unions (ALU), which later became the biggest labor union in the country.
A 3-time Presidential awardee, Mendoza had consistently called for improved labor conditions both locally and internationally.
In 1983, Mendoza founded the ASEAN Trade Union Council, which helped advance the freedom of association workers. In 1993, he also pushed for a restructuring of the Philippine economy to generate new jobs and protect workers from growing contractualization
In his honor, Benguet Representative Ronald Cosalan filed House Resolution No. 1051 in April 2015, which sought for a congressional recognition to Mendoza's life-long dedication to the labor movement in the country.
"Mendoza's unwavering work, advocacy, inspiration and his love for the workingmen has challenged not only the Philippine government but also governments around the world," Cosalan said in the resolution.
'Champion of the Filipino working class'
Senate President Franklin Drilon said on Wednesday that Mendoza will remembered as a "principled and relentless champion of the Filipino working class."
"Me and Kito Mendoza go way back, when I was in private law practice and during my tenure as secretary of the Department of Labor," said Drilon.
"I was witness to his courage and determination in fighting for the rights and interests of millions of our workers. His contributions to the advancement of the Philippine labor movement are legendary," he added.
"I am proud to have once worked with such an upstanding individual in helping improve the lives of workers across this nation. While we will miss him, Kito Mendoza’s words and deeds will remain an inspiration to all of us," said Drilon. – Rappler.com