Global alliance of overseas Filipinos and families Migrante International conveys its highest regard to Alma Bella Guiao who courageously risked her own life in order to save 25 Filipina domestic workers who were trapped in war-torn Homs and Lattakia in Syria.
Guiao arrived today at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on board Etihad Airlines Flight No. EY 424 from Damascus together with nine other OFWs from Syria.
“We laud Alma and have nothing but the deepest respect for her bravery and selflessness. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same for Philippine authorities in Syria. Habang sila nagno-Noynoying, ang isang magiting nating kababayang tulad ni Alma ay walang-atubiling umaaksyon,” said Garry Martinez, Migrante International chairperson.
“What Alma represents is the unity and cooperation of members of the Filipino community, especially in times of distress. Sa panahon ng gipit at panganib, lalo pa’t kung hindi natin maasahan ang gobyerno, maaasahang aaksyon ang mga OFW para sa kanilang kapwa,” he said.
He added that returned OFWs from Syria, who have formed themselves into a group called “OFW Survivors from Syria”, also have their fellow OFWs in mind. “They continue to call for the immediate repatriation of the remaining 16,000 OFWs in Syria. They brought with them letters and appeals that we have already forwarded to concerned agencies here.”
Martinez said that they welcome Guiao’s return and hope that she joins other returned OFWs in pushing for their demands.
Aside from immediate repatration, the group OFW Survivors from Syria are also opposing attacks of US-NATO forces on Syria, and pushing for financial assistance from the government, as well as their claims from employers and agencies for their back wages and other human and labor rights violations.###