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27 June 2009

SBMA asks firm to suspend Korean foreman

A top official of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) sought the suspension of a Korean foreman at the Hanjin shipyard who was held by company officials after he hit a Filipino worker with a steel flashlight in the face and head on Tuesday.

Arceo Malit, a deputy foreman at Unit 25 of Hanjin’s pre-outfitting section, said Lee Cheon Sik, a foreman at the assembly part, hit him for no reason.

Lee was held for investigation by Hanjin safety officials, said Taek Kyun Yoo, general manager of the Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Philippines Inc.

Malit, 26, was taken to the St. Jude Hospital in Olongapo City where he was treated for wounds and placed under observation.

Frustrated murder

He said he would file a frustrated murder case against Lee. Melchor Remedios, president of the workers union at Hanjin, said Lee was looking for a foreman at the fit-up section to ask why the pipes had not been installed yet at about noon Tuesday.

Malit was in the same area and Lee asked him to come with him to an office. It was on their way to the office when Lee attacked Malit, the union report said.

Armand Arreza, administrator of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, asked its labor and law enforcement departments to look into the incident.

“If Lee is found guilty, we will not hesitate to turn him over to the Bureau of Immigration for appropriate action,” Arreza said in a statement.

He also asked Lee’s employer, Greenbeach, a Hanjin subcontractor, to suspend Lee pending the result of the investigation.

“We will definitely not tolerate or condone any form of violence at the workplace or any such incident that may compromise the safety and welfare of workers in the freeport,” he said.

Arreza, in his statement, said a team from the SBMA’s labor department checked on Malit’s condition at the St. Jude Hospital in Olongapo City where the worker was brought.

A CT scan, the statement said, showed that Malit did not suffer any serious head injury as a result of the blow. (Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon Desk)

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