Not happy with dialogue, kin of stranded OFWs set camp at Mendiola today

Families of stranded OFWs in Jeddah were not happy with the outcome of the dialogue with Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Sec. Albert del Rosario today.

According to Garry Martinez, 2nd Nominee of Migrant Partylist and Migrante International chairperson, the dialogue was just a repeat of the DFA’s promises since the Jeddah Tent City was set.

“But as far as the demand for free, immediate and mass repatriation is concerned, no commitment was made by the DFA,” he said.

Martinez, along with Migrante Middle East Coordinator John Leonard Monterona, and some relatives of stranded OFWs at the Jeddah Tent City held a dialogue with the DFA at noon today. The dialogue was a result of negotiations with the DFA following the families’ setting up of their Solidarity Campout outside the DFA gates yesterday.

Martinez said that all the DFA offered were piecemeal solutions and token actions with the hope to appease families who are already into Day Two of the Solidarity Campout.

“They promised to prioritize the cases of OFWs whose families joined us in the dialogue. But the families were not appeased. Like their relatives at the Tent City, walang iwanan din sila. Bukod sa mga kaanak nila, paano naman daw iyong mahigit 4,000 pang iba? They are united in the demand for free, immediate and mass repatriation of their loved ones,” he said.

After the dialogue, Migrante and the families decided to pack up camp at the DFA and to proceed to set up camp at Mendiola. “We’ve been to the DFA but received no commitment from them. It’s time to bring our demands to their boss, Pres. Aquino.”

“We want to hear what Pres. Aquino has to say. It’s been 24 days since the Jeddah Tent City was put up and we haven’t heard any statement from the president. If he’s still too busy campaigning for his candidates, then we hope that this could finally get his attention,” Martinez said.

On May 1, Labor Day, the families will join other sectors in the Labor Day protests. ###

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