OFWs shouldn’t suffer from PH gov’t lapses in Taiwanese shooting

Migrante International chairperson Garry Martinez today said that overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Taiwan should not be made to bear the brunt for the Philippine government’s callous, incompetent and undiplomatic handling of the Philippine Coast Guard’s (PCG) shooting of a Taiwanese vessel killing a 65-year-old fisherman last May 9.

The migrant leader said that they, together with members of the Filipino community in Taiwan, are in unity with the Taiwanese government and nationals in demanding justice for the victim and accountability for lapses of the Philippine government.

“Heads must roll for the death and measures should be urgently enacted to heal strained diplomatic relations. This is yet another result of the Aquino government’s late reaction and insensitivity on incidents involving other governments that have caused a backlash on OFWs,” Martinez said.

He said that this is not the first time that OFWs suffered racist backlash due to the Aquino administration’s diplomatic blunders – citing the Philippine government’s mishandling of the Manila hostage crisis and the Sabah stand-off that endangered the lives and welfare of Filipinos living in the two countries.

Martinez also called on the Philippine government to “ensure at all costs that the rights and welfare of our OFWs in Taiwan are not jeopardized.” “Hindi dapat pagbayaran ng ating mga OFWs ang kapalpakan ng gobyerno. We demand to hear concrete measures by the Philippine government to prevent untoward incidents from happening to our kababayans. Mangyayari lamang ito kung maagap na mapapanagot ang mga nagkulang.”

Martinez also called on the Filipino community in Taiwan to stay calm and be vigilant.

 Appeal to Taiwanese nationals

Migrante also appealed to Taiwanese nationals to exercise sobriety and observe the rights and welfare of Filipinos in Taiwan.

“We are deeply saddened and alarmed by reports of unprovoked attacks and racist assaults on OFWs in Taiwan.  We call on the Taiwanese government to call for a stop to these attacks. We likewise appeal to Taiwanese nationals to please spare our OFWs. They are innocent and have nothing to do with the shooting incident. They also have nothing to do with the Philippine government’s diplomatic blunder,” Martinez said. ###

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