Last night, 11:00pm KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) time, KSA police and Philippine embassy officials violently dispersed protesting stranded OFWs outside the PH post in Riyadh.
According to reports from the stranded OFWs, POLO-Riyadh officials called Saudi mobile police last night and proceeded to harass, electrocute and arrest leaders of the campout protest. Three of the leaders who were electrocuted and arrested remain missing as of this posting.
Migrante-Riyadh identified the arrested and still missing OFWs as Reden Caboboy (KSA mobile #: 00966562642769), Fernand Morante (KSA mobile #: 00966580755706) and Glenn Mark Corbilla.
OFWs who were harassed, manhandled and electrocuted were identified as Jerby Alcaide (KSA mobile # 00966530328789), Richard Prindol (KSA mobile #00966506109590) and Klight Alligo (KSA mobile #: 0966580559485). They are still with the protesters at the PH embassy and Riyadh and are available for interviews and testimonies.
The violent dispersal and arrest was led by POLO case officer Abdullah Umpa. According to the OFWs, Umpa acted upon direct orders from Labor Attache Adam Musa and Ambassador Ezzedin Tago.
“We strongly condemn this latest incident of violence and undue attacks against stranded OFWs who only wish to fast track the facilitation on their repatriation. We demand that PH officials surface the missing OFWs now. We will hold Umpa, Tago and Musa directly accountable should any harm befall them,” said Garry Martinez, Migrante International chairperson.
Martinez called on the Departments of Foreign Affairs and Labor and Employment to urgently investigate the whereabouts of the missing OFWs. He also called on DFA and DOLE heads and President Aquino to “instruct and direct PH post officials to cease and desist from harassing and attacking stranded OFWs”.
“Nagbigay nga ng extension ang gobyerno ng Saudi pero mismong ang mga opisyal ng gobyerno ng Pilipinas ang nagte-terrorize at nananakit sa mga OFW natin. Dapat panagutin ng gobyernong Aquino ang pasimuno ng karahasang ito.”
Martinez also called on all freedom-loving Filipinos and the international community to condemn the harassment and arrests of stranded OFWs in Riyadh. He said that stranded OFWs in Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi are resolved to continue their protests despite the declaration of extension of the deadline for the resumption of crackdowns in Saudi to reiterate their demand for “free, urgent and mass repatriation”.
Tomorrow, July 4, returned OFWs and families of stranded OFWs will hold a big protest action in Mendiola to condemn the Aquino government’s slow action and neglect of OFWs in distress. ###