Global alliance of overseas Filipinos Migrante International today held a press conference at the Mendiola Bridge to deliver the real State of Migrants Under Aquino and to announce participation of Filipinos all over world in the People’s SONA 2014.
“After four years of corruption, mendacity, puppetry, oppression and human rights violations, Pres. Benigno Simeon Aquino III (BS Aquino) has once again roused the Filipino people into collective action and determination to exercise their democratic power to bring about regime change as mounting calls for his ouster continue to gain strength around the country and all over the world,” said Garry Martinez, Migrante International chairperson.
Martinez said that the latest development on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) is “the last straw” for Filipino migrants and their families. “Filipinos around the world want BS Aquino out. We do not want him to stay until 2016. He can either resign, be impeached or ousted.”
The migrant leader said that it is unjustifiable and unforgivable how Aquino and his cohorts squandered P177 billion in DAP while scrimping on funds for Filipino migrants in distress and their families. “DAP is not savings. DAP is not good. DAP was not done in good faith. DAP did not produce good results. What BS Aquino did through DAP was to pull in millions of pesos into a huge sum of presidential pork. DAP was used for bribery, patronage politics and to consolidate BS Aquino’s clique in government.”
In the past four years, the BS Aquino government slashed funds for OFW welfare services and closed down embassies and consulates allegedly as austerity measures. OFWs have experienced criminal government neglect, the biggest budget cut for OFW services, more exorbitant state exactions and fee impositions, diplomatic blunders that have placed OFWs’ welfare at stake and unending price hikes that continue to cripple OFWs and their families.
“Pinagkait ang serbisyo para magamit sa kapritso ni BS Aquino. Malinaw ang holDAP. DAPat managot si Noynoy sa kanyang pagnanakaw sa kaban ng bayan,” Martinez said.
The press conference was attended by OFWs in distress and their families, among them, Narhata Lumpingan, returned OFW who survived the war in Iraq; Encarnacion Ranario, mother of Marilou Ranario, OFW on death row in Saudi whose sentence was recently commuted due to her mental illness; Amelia Prieto, sister-in-law of OFW Fortunato Prieto who has colon cancer, no medical assistance from PH embassy in Saudi and still awaiting urgent repatriation; Loel Naparato, representative of 200 trafficked Filipino teachers whose trafficker has been released from jail by the PH government; Marina Sarno, returned domestic worker from UAE who still has not received her claims and benefits from the PH government; Gil Atienza – father of OFW victim Terril Atienza still seeking justice 3 years after his daughter’s mysterious death; and more than 80 families of stranded OFWs in MMG Company in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Martinez said that Filipino migrants are also gearing for protests in time for Aquino’s fifth State of the Nation Address. Simultaneous protest rallies will be held in Hong Kong, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Italy and the United States. ###