“Today, we call for an end to forced migration and modern-day slavery. Today, we stand with OFWs all over the world in the continuing protest against a corrupt, anti-people and anti-migrant government that has treated OFWs as milking cows. Today, we stand with millions of Filipino modern-day heroes in condemning Pres. Aquino’s corruption and subservience to foreign dictates,” said Sol Pillas, spokesperson for Migrante International spokesperson.
Pillas said that today’s Bonifacio Day protests “symbolize the continuing struggle of the Filipino people against neo-colonialism and the greed for profit of modern-day foreign and local exploiters”.
“We call on all Filipino migrants to emulate Andres Bonifacio’s patriotism and heroism by calling for an end to the Aquino regime. Filipinos around the world want Aquino out. We do not want him to stay until 2016. If Bonifacio were alive today, he would surely be at the forefront of the struggle against imperialist exploitation and the Aquino administration’s puppetry and betrayal of the Filipino people,” Pillas said.
She said that Filipino migrants honor Bonifacio because, like him, they also mostly come from the worker and peasant sectors. “We come from exploited classes and were forced to migrate and leave the country out of desperation and poverty, because of joblessness, landlessness, measly wages and lack of social services, because of the growing divide between the rich and the poor.”
Like Bonifacio, Pillas said, Filipino migrants are fully aware of foreign exploitation of cheap labor and the effects of the present global economic crisis on workers of the world. “We feel the effects of the global crisis locally, through its effect on our families, and abroad where our migrant workers are located. Because of the crisis, migrant workers have become more vulnerable to all sorts of abuses and violations, such as trafficking, illegal state exactions, crackdowns, labor exploitation, racism, discrimination and xenophobia.”
She called on overseas Filipino workers and migrants all over the world to continue Bonifacio’s revolution. “Today, we are here not only to commemorate history but to affirm our commitment to carry on Bonifacio’s struggle for nationalism and democracy. Like Bonifacio, Filipino migrants all over the world are organized. We realize that the labor export policy is not a tool for development but the manifestation of lack of development in countries where migrants workers hail. We recognize the importance of collective action and unity of migrants of the world.”
“We remain firm that for as long as the root causes of forced migration are not addressed, migrants and their families will not be emancipated.”
Pillas said that global protests against Aquino’s corruption and puppetry will continue to escalate until December 18, International Migrants’ Day. ###