July 20, 2018
Migrante and SANDIGAN (Samahan ng mga DH sa Gitnang Silangang) vehemently condemns the degrading remarks made by Kuwaiti social media influencer Sondos Alqattan who ranted against giving day-offs to Filipino household workers and allowing them to keep their passports. By projecting herself as a slave-owner, Sondos exhibits intoxication in her overinflated ego and false sense of superiority. At a time when many all over the world are going to and fro online to acquire knowledge and access more information, Sondos should have known by now that workers have rights too and they deserve just and humane treatment from their employers. Instead, Sondos continues to cling to a backward outlook which literally belongs to the dark ages.
We strongly demand that she offer public apology and genuinely express remorse for her disgusting statements. It would also be more valuable to her if she can visit the Philippines to witness for herself the appalling poverty that grips many Filipino families and find out what hardships OFWs had to go through in government agencies before they can finally be deployed abroad.
There is no doubt that maltreatment of Filipinos in Kuwait and in many countries persist. What is even more outrageous is that the Duterte regime continues to act as a pimp who willingly furnishes foreign countries with cheap and docile workers from the Philippines to serve as cash cows for his pro-elite TRAIN and Build, Build, Build lunacy.
An apology from Sondos will surely give respite to our offended netizens but what OFWs ultimately long for is the total elimination of the roots of forced migration. As long as the Duterte regime stubbornly refuses to impose a national minimum wage, end contractualization, pursue national industrialization and institute genuine agrarian reform in the Philippines, there will be more cases like that of Demafelis and we shall hear more grim stories in the future about OFWs being at the receiving end of insults and inhumane treatment overseas from cynics like Sondos Alqattan.