On the final day of Migrante International’s 8th Congress, overseas Filipino groups from Europe, North America, Middle East and the Asia-Pacific convened to hand down their final verdict on President Rodrigo Duterte. Enumerating the regime’s “atrocities” against the migrant sector and to the Filipino people, Migrante leaders were unanimous in calling for Duterte’s ouster.
Joanna Concepcion, newly-elected chairperson of Migrante International stated, “OFWs can no longer endure the constant barrage of tyrannical and neoliberal attacks being hurled against us and our families. His broken promises dashed our hopes of ever seeing Filipinos being liberated from the curse of the government’s labor export program. Everything that the regime pronounced from the day he assumed office is all made up of lies and deceptions.”
Expressing outrage, the groups scored the endless piling up of state exactions ranging from TRAIN Law to the mandatory SSS coverage and insurance which OFWs regard as the regime’s heightened effort of bleeding OFW pockets dry to salvage the moribund Philippine economy.
Concepcion cited recent data from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas which revealed that the amount of the country’s foreign debt has already exceeded its depleting foreign reserves at the close of the third quarter. As of end-September, Philippine national debt ballooned to $76.4 billion surpassing the $74 billion gross reserves. The sufficiency of foreign reserves plunged to a near 10-year low, a level which the country has not seen since the 2008 global financial crisis. Migrante blamed the trade deficit to high importations for Duterte’s Build Build Build program. This requires huge sums of foreign currency which led to the peso’s depreciation.
“As our families in the Philippines are battered by the unjust rise in the cost of goods and services due to Duterte’s TRAIN law, the ever increasing value of our foreign debt is now weighing heavily upon us. No doubt, the Duterte regime would have no other recourse but to extort OFWs further to death and plunder our hard-earned money to augment private profit through his pro-elite Build Build Build program,” Concepcion stated.
Migrante did not hold back in scoring the Duterte regime for trampling down on the country’s sovereignty by allowing Chinese installations in the West Philippine Sea and US troops in our inland territories. The group also decried Duterte’s failure to end contractualization and his legitimization of the government’s labor export program.
Delegates recounted the regime’s negligence in the cases of Irma Jotojot, Jakatia Pawa, Henry Acorda, Mary Jane Veloso and all other OFW victims of abuse and injustices overseas. Overseas Filipino community leaders vowed to make Duterte pay for all the blood spilled in his “fake” drug war which human rights groups say have claimed thousands of innocent lives including those from OFW families like Kian delos Santos and Allan Rafael.
The group likewise castigated the Duterte administration for Martial Law in Mindanao, the persecution and killings perpetrated against peasants, Lumads, lawyers and church people; media repression, injustices against hundreds of political prisoners, and the regime’s ploy to install an outright dictatorship through charter change. “It’s high time that the Filipino people advance the termination of Duterte’s rabid tyrannical rule,” the group stated.
Duterte’s “innumerable crimes” led to OFWs finally handing down their verdict to “Oust the US-Duterte regime.” During their pronouncement, President Duterte was depicted by OFW leaders as “DiGrinch” who constantly spoils their Christmas by offering them “fake gifts.” The parody taken from the Hollywood film “The Grinch” winded up with his execution symbolizing Duterte’s ouster from power.
Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcDWqUuhhwY