Bulatlat.com discussion with Migrante International on the fate of dozens of overseas Filipino workers on death row in several countries, and what the Philippine government is doing about them. Show started at 2 pm and ended at 3pm, Feb. 20, Manila time.
Labor Migration in 2009: A Terrible Year to Be an OFW
The regime of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo changed the face of labor migration in the Philippines. It pursued its labor-export policy aggressively, begging receiving countries to accept more overseas Filipino workers. In the meantime, it shirked its responsibilities toward OFWs in distress, in many instances even becoming complicit in the abuse of overseas workers. By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
Groups Work Double Time to Save Jakatia Pawa from Death Row
Migrante said it would flood the Kuwaiti government with appeals for Pawa’s life this week . The emir usually gives clemency to individuals on death row during the Kuwaiti Independence Day on Feb. 25. By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
Thank you for listening to Bulatlat Live. Please stay tuned for the replay.
15 Years After Death of Flor Contemplacion, OFWs Remain Vulnerable as Ever
OFWs and domestic helpers are still going through the same nightmare that Flor Contemplacion suffered. Many rot in jail. Several have been sentenced to death. Thousands suffer abuse from their employers and neglected by their government. To these OFWs, the Arroyo regime is “chief executioner of the rights and welfare of OFWs.” By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
Kin of OFW in Death Row Asks DFA to Keep them Informed
They only learned about what happened to their kin Joselito when they chanced upon his co-worker in a social networking site. After being given the runaround by the Department of Foreign Affairs, they were finally informed that the Philippine embassy in Saudi Arabia is handling the case. That is the last information the government has given them. By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
Migrante International: With thirty years of labor export policy, the Philippines is expected to know what to do how to help distressed OFWs. But the government’s inaction and lack of sincerity to protect the rights of OFWs, has left distressed OFWs to lose trust and hope that they will get help and assistance.
The lack of government policy for efficient migrant deployment and mechanisms to ensure protection of workers’ rights are the reasons why a lot of Filipinos are facing threats and abuses abroad.
Garry Martinez of Migrante: It’s ironic that the Philippines is the model for labor export policy, but has a lot of distressed migrant workers.
Migrante International: After the death of Flor Contemplacion, the government has not learned its lesson when it comes to the protection of OFWs. The government’s labor export policy only resulted to the increase in number of OFWs in death row, now numbering 125.
Migrante International is presently handling 8 cases of OFWs in death row, mostly with murder charges and are incarcerated in the Middle East.
Migrante International: As OFW deployment increases, cases OFWs in distress will definitely increase in number.
Filipinos are known for being good-natured, which is sometimes the reason why they become victims of drug trafficking and illegal recruitment.
Migrante International will ensure the rights and legal protection of OFWs who are jailed and in death row regardless of the charges filed against them.
Migrante cited the case of Singson who was jailed in Hong Kong due to charges possession of illegal drugs. The government is extending help to Singson but they are very hesistant to help ordinary OFWs with the same charges.
Migrante says, the government’s budget allotment for distressed OFWs is very small compared to remittances, amounting to millions, provided by OFWs to boost the economy.
Garry Martinez of Migrante: Government officials told them that they will not extend any help to OFWs unless they are already in death row. According to officials of DFA, this is policy.
News in Pictures: Migrant Group Welcomes China Decision, Calls on Government to Act on Cases of Other OFWs in Death Row
In a press conference held on Saturday at the Migrante International office, families of OFWs in death row and in jail appealed to the Philippine government to also act in haste for their relatives. “Let us also not forget that there are still others in death row who continue to appeal to the government for much-needed attention and intervention,” said Garry Martinez, Migrante International chairperson.
Tales of Woe, Suffering, and Neglect of OFWs in Prisons Abroad
In jail, maltreated, away from home and without any assistance from the government, these OFWs are no longer concerned about pursuing their dreams of escaping poverty. Their main concern now is to survive their ordeal and be able to go home to their families as free individuals. By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
Lawmaker Calls Attention to Increasing Number of OFW ‘Drug Mules’
As per records of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), there are 630 Filipinos languishing in various jails in Asia, the United States, and in the Middle East. By INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO
OFW Survives Jail, Neglect of Philippine Government
All throughout her imprisonment, Camille said, no embassy official visited her nor asked her side of the story. “I went to court hearings five times but they (Philippine embassy officials) did not attend.” By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
Two OFWs in Saudi Jailed, Families Decry Government Negligence
Families of the two overseas Filipino workers who were charged with possession of illegal drugs in Saudi Arabia accused Philippine embassy officials of negligence after their loved ones were sentenced to three years of imprisonment and 600 lashes.
Migrant Group Urges Philippine Gov’t to Investigate Death of OFW in Saudi Arabia
They went to Ajman, United Arab Emirates to work as cleaners and office assistants in various schools. Suddenly, their employer left them with unpaid utility bills and two months of salaries. After bearing intense heat and absence of electricity and potable water for more than a month, the 46 Filipina workers ended up in jail. By By ANGEL L. TESORERO
Bulatlat Live: OFWs on Death Row (A Discussion with Migrante International). Show starts at 2 pm, Feb. 20, Manila time. You can post your comments or ask questions here.
During the webcast, Bulatlat’s Carlos Conde and Janess Ann Ellao will discuss with Migrante International’s Garry Martinez the fate of dozens of overseas Filipino workers on death row in several countries, and what the Philippine government is doing about them.
Welcome to Bulatlat Live’s discussion with Migrante International about OFWs on Death Row. The webcast will start in a short while. Please stay tuned.