August 11, 2018
Migrante International strongly condemns the Bureau of Immigration (BI) as it colludes with the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) in issuing a blacklist order against Caridad “Caring” Bachiller and 27 other rights activists. We likewise denounce BI as it carries out the deportation of Australian human rights lawyer and professor Gill Boehringer.
As cited in the blacklist order, the request for their inclusion was submitted by NICA Director General Alex Paul Monteagudo based on their connection with the International League of People’s Struggle or ILPS. It must be noted that NICA is also among those agencies that orchestrated the fake DOJ terror list earlier this year.
This ridiculous blacklist, mistook all the listed persons as “foreign nationals” who planned to disrupt ASEAN 2017 with massive protest actions and conferences. NICA’s indolence magically turned Bachiller and several others into foreigners. A genuine Filipino, Manang Caring as we fondly call her, has been playing a pivotal role in the campaign for migrants’ rights and strengthening of OFW organizations for almost two decades now. Prior to her 6-year work as a domestic helper in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, she was a secondary school teacher in Abra. In 1989 she worked as a domestic helper in Hongkong before coming home for good in 2014.
The plight of Filipino workers abroad drove Manang Caring to become a migrant activist. Among her efforts include being an organizer of United Abrenians in Hongkong in 1990 and ATIS-HK (Abra Tinguian Ilocano Society – Hong Kong) in 1992. The SUN, a Filipino publication awarded ATIS as the “Most Outstanding Filipino Organization in Hong Kong.”
Imbued with passion for service, her dedication paved the way for the establishment of the Abra OFW Center in 1997 and the launching in 2003 of DZPA-CMN’s Timek Ti ATIS, a weekly radio program where she served as the main radio anchor providing assistance to distressed OFWs live on-air. Her work also led to scholarship grants for indigent students in Abra.
Manang Caring’s sense of purpose sealed the creation of ATIS Abra Migrants Desk supported by the Diocese of Bangued in Abra in June 2015. Her undying commitment also won her the award Bayaning Pilipino sa Asya Pasipiko in 2003 and was Migrante Partylist’s 3rd nominee during the 2016 elections.
Facing government negligence and exploitation through Duterte’s labour export program, many migrants cast inspiration on social justice warriors like Manang Caring. Standing for their rights and that of their families in the Philippines, she has been a thorn in the side of the tyrannical Duterte regime that seeks to silence the voices of those who defend the oppressed and the marginalized.
By this act of proscription on migrants’ and human rights activists, the Duterte regime is clearly accentuating its destructive wickedness and its high preference to oppression and injustice.
We demand the immediate revocation of this blacklist order. Now more than ever, we are calling on all freedom-loving migrants and Filipinos to defend their defenders and strongly oppose the tyrannical aggression of the US-Duterte regime.
Hands Off Manang Caring!
Hands Off Human Rights Defenders!
Activism is not a Crime!
Fight Duterte’s Tyranny!