Migrante statement on the execution of OFW Joven Esteva 

Most number of OFWs on death row executed under Aquino – Migrante

Global alliance for overseas Filipinos Migrante International expressed deepest sadness and sympathy for the family of Joven Esteva, an overseas Filipino worker who was executed for murder by the Saudi government.

“This is a dark day for migrant Filipinos, a week before we commemorate the death anniversary of Flor Contemplacion. We call for an investigation on why there have been the most number of executions that pushed through under Pres. Benigno Aquino III’s term,” said Garry Martinez, Migrante International chairperson.

Esteva was the seventh OFW on death row executed within Aquino’s four years in office, the most number of executions under one regime since the Philippine labor export policy was implemented in the 1970s. Another OFW, Mary Jane Veloso, is reportedly set to be executed by firing squad in Indonesia for drug-related charges. Her case is currently under review by the Indonesian Supreme Court.

Martinez said, “We are deeply concerned for other OFWs on death row and those in detention. How many Flors, Carlitos, Jovens and Mary Janes more can we expect to suffer the same fate? There are at least 123 more OFWs on death row, and at the rate the Aquino government is going, we can expect more executions in the next few years. The government has not shown transparency nor accountability for failing to save the lives of our OFWs on death row. Malalaman na lang natin kapag bibitayin o nabitay na.

The plight of OFWs on death row will be one of the major issues that Migrante International will bring forth on March 17, the 20th death anniversary of Flor Contemplacion. Members of Migrante International from all over the world will march to Mendiola to reiterate their call for Aquino to step down from office. “We do not want more OFWs to die of government failure and criminal neglect. We want Aquino out.” ###

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