#UselessPH #NasaanAngPangulo: ‘Relief action is NOT a crime! Stop terror tagging’ — Migrante International

Press Release

13 November 2020

To hide the Duterte regime’s inutility in delivering prompt response to disaster-stricken areas, NTF ELCAC resorted yet again to terrorist-tagging to undermine genuine bayanihan efforts by Filipino migrant communities now mobilizing to extend assistance to their kababayans. Migrante chapters and member organizations abroad have been raising funds to help gather goods and resources for relief operations in the Philippines. We will continue to contribute in every way possible because this is not only an exercise of our democratic right but an affirmation of our duty towards our fellow human beings. Through terror-tagging, the regime is suppressing volunteerism and humanitarian action among Filipinos not only locally but even abroad. 

Out of almost 200 countries in the world, the Philippines is right in the top 10 of the World Risk Index indicating that inhabitants of the country are among the world’s most vulnerable to disasters and natural hazards. Despite this, the Duterte regime axed the budget for disaster response by 4 billion, allocating only 16 Billion this year. This is way lower than the 38.9 Billion pesos earmarked by the Aquino regime in 2016. Meanwhile, Duterte is itching to hand over a blank check of Php 19.1 Billion to NTF ELCAC as a pork barrel chest for his military cronies. 

In terms of ensuring recovery and rehabilitation, the Duterte regime proves to be even more contemptible as what we have seen in its neglect of OFWs and their families displaced by the pandemic. A look at Marawi bears witness that the Duterte regime is a total sluggard in responding to the needs of Filipinos reeling from havoc and destruction. Duterte is always nowhere to be found in the direst hours as if he’s really intending to make Filipinos get accustomed to his late post-typhoon appearances. 

Unwanted government disaster response like blaming the public and exploiting Filipino resilience will never bring recovery and amelioration to damaged communities mired in their loss and misery. Duterte is just adding insult to injury by deliberately confusing the clamour for concrete action with swimming for recreation. Nobody is asking him to miraculously stop the typhoon and swim in the floodwaters. He is being obliged to oversee real time government response and put forward a comprehensive rehabilitation program because that is what is expected of him being the country’s highest government official. 

Photo: (Damayang Migrante, 8 November 2020) Relief effort by Migrante members to fire victims in Brgy. Siniguelasan, Bacoor City.

Migrante International will carry on with its relief efforts as we continue to demand better disaster response from the national government. Filipino migrant communities want to see and hear specific mitigation measures and government plans for rehabilitation. Stop red tagging and suppressing Filipino organizations undertaking real bayanihan at this period of our people’s adversities. 

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‘Time to go’: Migrante International to Trump, US imperialism and Duterte’s puppet regime

Migrante International expresses its solidarity and support to the democratic struggle of the Filipino-American community against systemic racism, fascism and imperialism. From the very beginning, our task has always been to continue building our organized resistance no matter who among the two establishment candidates gets elected. In his greed to remain in power, Trump is now inciting his violent right-wing supporters to disrupt the ‘transition of power’ with unsubstantiated accusations of election rigging. For all his atrocities, we pronounce our judgment that Trump is fired and really needs to go. 

Biden’s victory however does not delude us to consider that the US politics of war and aggression will cease under his presidency. US imperialism will reassert itself more than ever before to salvage its crumbling global hegemony as it battles with another emergent imperialist power, China. 

Photo: 2017 anti-Trump protest in Manila (Aaron Favila, Associated Press)

In the Philippines, the US-Duterte regime attempts to make it appear that the Philippine government is breaking up from its long-lasting puppetry to US imperialist interest by issuing a notice of VFA termination. Officials from both sides however are already discussing a new defense pact which we expect to be placed on the table and ratified once Biden officially ascends to his presidential throne. Duterte’s absolute pardon to murderer and rapist Pemberton already serves as a sign of things to come. 

Migrante International lauds our kababayans who exercised their right to vote. That being said, the ballot is not the end but it should always get us to a higher phase of politicizing the masses. Wherefore, it behooves us to intensify our organized resistance against Duterte’s puppetry and murderous tyranny as we generate a fiercer revolutionary solidarity with all oppressed peoples of the world to cast US imperialism to its final doom. 

Oust US-Duterte!
Down with US imperialism! 

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Migrante International on the senate’s ‘probe’ on red tagging

Just days after the Philippines was struck by typhoon Rolly which left thousands of our kababayans devastated by the extensive wreckage it left behind, the senate hearing summoning the Makabayan bloc only proves that Duterte and his military cronies Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr are proving to be inutile parasites who have no intention of rendering genuine service other than pestering the public with one distraction after another. It is obvious that neither the pandemic nor an ongoing calamity will ever stop Lacson from slam choking disaster-stricken Filipinos with NTF ELCAC’s voluminous lies. He is after all a leading proponent of the Duterte regime’s Terror Law which was enacted at a time when everyone is getting whacked by the worst economic collapse in Philippine history. 

PHOTO: The Philippine Star

Instead of augmenting government response to the economic and public health crisis, the Duterte regime is itching to hand out a Php 19.1 Billion blank check to NTF ELCAC in its all-out outburst to attack progressive organizations and individuals raising legitimate criticisms. Its notoriety even made international headlines when hundreds of Facebook accounts linked to the military and police were taken down for spreading fake news. Aside from outspoken celebrities, even Filipino migrant groups abroad are targets of state-sponsored red tagging. This is why NTF ELCAC must not only be defunded but be totally abolished. 

Now, Duterte’s attack dogs are ganging up on the Makabayan bloc whose track record of excellent legislative work and genuine public service can never be denied. Makabayan legislators have worked tirelessly to raise the issues confronting stranded seafarers, distressed OFWs and repatriates. They have forwarded bills and resolutions of prime importance to the migrants sector including the Magna Carta for Seafarers and the amendatory bill on Duterte’s mandatory Philhealth collection. 

Migrante International declares its unequivocal support to the Makabayan bloc, rights defenders and outspoken celebrities who are now targets of relentless red tagging and vilification being unleashed by the Duterte regime. These attacks are acts of state terror meant to suppress those who amplify the voices of the oppressed and marginalized. The Duterte regime only needs to look at the public outcry generated by Parlade’s actions for it to behold an indignant public that rejects NTF ELCAC’s lies and deceptions. 

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“Put Mauro behind bars!” — Migrante International on PH envoy to Brazil caught abusing household worker

Migrante International is appalled and outraged by the sheer cruelty of Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro. Mauro made life for her household staff a living hell and we call on the Philippine government to cancel her diplomatic immunity and to press criminal charges for physically abusing her 51 year old household worker. Mauro’s violations should be raised before the ombudsman to strip off her right to claim retirement and other benefits. Most of all, Mauro should be placed behind bars. 

Since Duterte’s branch of government has been a dumpsite of rubbish officials, crooks and abhorrent reprobates who usually get recycled to other positions after they get busted in their offenses, we call on the Department of Foreign Affairs to ensure that Mauro will not re-emerge as an appointed official in DFA or in other government agencies. Mauro must be banned forever from holding any position in government. 

PHOTO: Philippine ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro (ABS-CBN News)

We call on DFA, OWWA, DOLE and other relevant government agencies to ensure that the victim gets her wages, benefits and compensation. Immediate assistance must be extended to her family as well. The mental health of the distressed OFW should likewise be addressed through psychosocial services. 

Desiring to escape poverty in the Philippines, Filipino migrants endure hardships just to provide a better future for their families. They expect appointed diplomats and embassy officials to uphold their rights and welfare as they work and reside in other countries. OFWs are no strangers to grievous behaviours of Philippine embassy and consulate officials. Just this year, Migrante International received reports about corruption and extortion activities involving embassy officials in Syria, maltreatment of distressed OFWs by embassy officials in Saudi Arabia and the attempt by MECO officials in Taiwan to deport a Filipino caregiver for merely expressing her criticisms of the Duterte regime. 

This recent report of another Filipino migrant woman being abused shows that violence against women is rife not only in the Philippines but also in host countries were OFWs are peddled as cheap labourers by the Philippine government. President Duterte himself admitted before national television that he sexually abused their housemaid. The shaming and harassment of Filipino women is being normalized by a misogynist and machofascist Duterte regime. Migrante International demands perpetrator accountability and an end to violence against migrants and Filipino women. 

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Free Reina Mae Nasino! Justice for Baby River! — Migrante International

Migrante International is one with freedom loving Filipinos in grieving for Baby River who lost her life after forcibly being taken away from her mother, Reina Mae “Ina” Nasino, who has been detained based on trumped-up charges. 

Unlike big criminals and corrupt politicians who enjoyed extensive furloughs, special privileges and even absolute pardon like in the case of US soldier Joseph Pemberton, the Duterte regime has placed all sorts of obstacles just to deny a decent burial for Baby River. 

We continue to uphold Nasino’s innocence from all false charges thrown against her by the Duterte regime. May Baby River’s blood be upon the heads of the Duterte regime’s military and police officials. They themselves have made known their atrocities before the world and even unto the grave. For a moment we grieve but we shall press on with our struggle for justice. 

Free Reina Mae Nasino!

Justice for Baby River!

Free all political prisoners! 

Stop the attacks! 

Resist Duterte’s tyranny! 

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Relatives demand immediate repatriation of 52 Syria OFWs. Philippine Embassy officials in Syria accused of corruption and extortion.

Loved ones of 52 OFWs in Syria called on the Duterte government on friday morning for immediate repatriation. All of the OFWs, mostly female trafficking victims have been currently staying inside the Philippine embassy for more than two to three years on average. Some were even trafficked when they were still minors. 

Pastor Marie Sol Villalon, anti-trafficking ministry head and program manager of the United Methodist Church’s Manila Episcopal Area called on the government to combat trafficking and provide welfare services to OFW victims. “The Duterte government should never allow our kababayans to be trafficked and enslaved. The United Methodist Church rejects the commercialization and exploitation of people. There’s an ongoing war in Syria so this should have never happened.” Offering their messages of solidarity, Bishop Ciriaco Francisco and Pastor Dan Jalo also re-echoed the urgent calls of Syria 52.

Trying to hold back his emotions, Naeem Ameril related his sister Alea’s plight during the Syrian war when ISIS took control of Aleppo where she was working and now she’s faced with even more troubles under the COVID-19 crisis. Aleaia is a victim of human trafficking when she was 11 years old. As early as 2013, her sister has been begging to return home. Ameril has been going back and forth to DFA-OUMWA, OWWA and other government agencies but to no avail. “I already talked to OWWA administrator Hans Cacdac and I even went to Malacanang’s complaint center but I was only given a referral slip. None of them acted on their promises.”

Alea has been stuck for 1 year inside the Philippine embassy along with 51 other OFWs. Ameril says that they are not even allowed by Philippine embassy officials to speak to her sister over the phone. 

Aiza, not her real name, was promised by the recruiter for deployment to Europe but found herself trafficked to Syria where she was abused, starved for weeks and was almost raped by her employer. “I was stuck for four (4) months inside the Philippine Embassy in Syria. If it were not for my uncle who is a lawyer, I wouldn’t have been able to return back to the Philippines,” Aiza exclaimed. 

Filled with contempt against the abuses inflicted to the remaining OFWs inside the Philippine Embassy compound in Syria, Aiza blasted Philippine embassy officials for corruption and extortion abuses. “Philippine Embassy officials in Syria are driven by their greed for money. When I asked them to send me back home, they demanded Php 25 thousand from me as well as from my fellow OFWs inside the embassy compound.”

Speaking for Stranded PH, a group formed by stranded OFWs, Marc de Jesus said, “We will not stop until the Syria 52 are repatriated and provided amelioration by the Duterte government. It angers us that Philippine Embassy officials in Syria are even extorting stranded and distressed OFWs. There will be no trafficking if there are no corrupt officials.”

Two relatives of Syria 52 also relayed their messages via video recordings during the press conference. They called on the Duterte government to respond to their pleadings. 

Migrante International Chairperson Joanna Concepcion hit the Duterte government’s budget priorities at a time when big multitudes of OFWs are stranded and wanting to go home. “OFWs will not be provided with increased funding for legal assistance and other DFA services. The regime allocated more funds for war, militarization and in attacking human rights instead of delivering services for our kababayans and OFWs impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. DFA and the Duterte government are both answerable to the corruption issues being raised by Syria OFWs. The OFWs are already inside the Philippine Embassy but they are being held incommunicado by embassy officials. This is a serious violation of their rights and their families back home are very worried and alarmed. For victimizing distressed OFWs in Syria with extortion, corrupt officials must be held accountable and face the consequences of their actions before the law. We also reiterate our call on the Duterte government to bring home Syria 52 so they can be reunited with their families.” Concepcion concluded. 

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Allow international and UN rights mechanisms to do actual work on the ground! — Migrante International challenges Duterte regime

While the latest UN Human Rights Council resolution fell short of our expectation for a full and thorough investigation into the widespread killings and grave human rights violations in the Philippines, Migrante International would like to remind the Duterte regime that it is in no way an absolution for the crimes it committed against victims of state-terror. In fact, it recognizes the existing human rights crisis in the country and that the Philippine government will remain under the radar of the UN rights body in the coming years. 

Despite the lies peddled by President Duterte’s underlings through blatant terrorist tagging and false information to delay the UN’s full-blown investigation, the recent call by members of the EU parliament looking into the possibility of withdrawing preferential trade benefits enjoyed by the Philippines due to human rights concerns should already serve as a warning to the Duterte regime. 

Protest picket before the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. (Photo by Anakbyan Europa)

More than just technical assistance, the best way to seriously promote and protect human rights in the Philippines is to ensure that perpetrators will be held accountable. The extrajudicial killings that claimed the lives of thousands including OFW cancer patient Allan Rafael who was tortured and slaughtered inside a Manila police station, and Migrante Iloilo founding organizer Jory Porquia, shot inside his place of residence remains unresolved to this day. Instead, we have seen Duterte’s agents of impunity showered profusely with favours. Among them is former Caloocan Chief Chito Bersaluna who was even promoted to head the entire Bulacan PNP just a few months after leading violent police operations that killed OFW sons Kian delos Santos, Carl Arnaiz, Reynaldo de Guzman and many others. 

The recent shutdown by a social media site of fake news pages notorious for attacking government critics exposed the involvement of AFP and PNP personnel in actively antagonizing human rights defenders. AFP and PNP initially disowned the pages but later on asked Facebook for their restoration. These pages have been used to demonize the regime’s victims who have been set under the throes of state terror resulting in trumped-up charges, illegal arrests and killings. Migrante members and leaders overseas have not been spared from various forms of attacks and harassment. It should no longer be a surprise if the Duterte regime’s well-funded lies and deception reach all the way to international platforms to cover up its crimes.

Filipino migrant organizations under Migrante International and their solidarity networks will continue to engage in international platforms as we continue to press the Duterte regime to allow UN rights mechanisms to do actual work on the ground. Migrante International shall strive even more relentlessly in defense of human rights in the Philippines to ensure that delivery of justice will trounce the Duterte regime’s impunity. 

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Filipino groups and solidarity supporters call for end to Duterte’s attacks on migrants’ rights advocates

With the Duterte regime facing backlash after Facebook busted a fake news network of more than 100 social media accounts and pages linked to the police and the military, Filipino and foreign solidarity groups held a press conference on monday, 28 September 2020, to call for an end to harassments perpetrated against Filipino migrants rights’ advocates. 

BAYAN USA and Gabriela USA chided PCOO Usec. Lorraine Badoy and the Philippine military for maliciously circulating photos of BAYAN and Gabriela leaders in the US along with labels tagging them as terrorists through facebook pages such as For the Global Public and Enlightened Youth. “This act of labelling, terror tagging and false accusations endangers our lives and security for us as leaders and for our Gabriela organizations,” Gabriela USA said in their statement. 

Expressing solidarity for progressive Filipino migrant groups espousing national democracy, Joe Iosbaker of Chicago’s Committee to Stop FBI Repression said, “”In the Philippines, red tagging by the thugs of the Duterte regime have led to an untold number of deaths. We condemn it and we condemn the Duterte regime for his human rights abuses which are now far worse than the Marcos dictatorship.”

Speaking from Germany, Iglesia Filipina Independiente Bishop Antonio Ablon, who also currently serves as the coordinator for the Europe Network for Justice and Peace in the Philippines related how he, along with Marlon Lacsamana of Migrante Europe and Fatima Rico of Anakbayan Europe were tagged as terrorists by a certain Jeanette Angel Lopez. Bishop Ablon welcomed the recent EU resolution calling on European business entities to ensure that human rights are being observed in their business operations in the Philippines. 

Filipino activists, solidarity friends and some members of the media during the presscon on 28 September 2020

Members of the European Union parliament likewise sought the possibility of withdrawing preferential trade benefits being enjoyed by the Philippines. The bishop believes that the Duterte regime is retaliating against progressive Filipino migrant groups for their continuing response to Filipino migrant welfare issues and their lobbying work for justice and peace in the Philippines. This includes the human rights report brought to the 41st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland last year resulting in the UN body’s call for a comprehensive report on the human rights violations specifically drug-related extrajudicial killings under the Duterte regime. 

Fr. Rudolf Scheltinga of the Old Catholic Church’s St. Agnes Parish in the Netherlands called for the red tagging and vilification of Filipino activists to stop as he lauded their efforts to fight for justice and human rights in the Philippines.

A year ago, members of Emilio Aguinaldo DDS group in Hong Kong started intensifying their attacks when UNIFIL-Migrante Hong Kong openly criticized Duterte for broken promises to migrant workers like the cancellation of the Overseas Employment Certificates requirement or OEC and providing jobs to Filipinos back home. They posted banners, distributed pamphlets and posted items on social media vilifying and terror tagging Migrante, BAYAN and Gabriela. They even became more aggressive by posting threats to deport them and harm their families. 

Rev. Berlin Guerrero of BAYAN Australia said that early this year NTF ELCAC spokesperson Gen. Antonio Parlade and PCOO. Usec. Badoy arrived in Australia and conducted their so-called ‘Peace Forums’ in Sydney and Melbourne. “Their presentation had nothing to do with achieving just and lasting peace in the Philippines but on the Duterte regime’s counterinsurgency program which vilify and malign legitimate people’s organizations in the Philippines, in Australia and other parts of the world,” Guerrero said. 

“With the 3,000% increase in NTF-ELCAC’s proposed 2021 budget from PHp 622.3 Million in 2020 to Php 19.1 Billion in 2021, they have more money to vilify Filipino citizens overseas. This is where our taxes go. Instead of allotting this money to help people affected by COVID-19  pandemic, they poured a large amount of budget to NTF-ELCAC. They are protecting Duterte from the people’s wrath due to his incompetence in responding to disasters and callousness to the people’s plight, so they slander us hoping that the people will believe their lies,” UNIFIL Migrante Hong Kong chairperson Dolores Pelaez enunciated.  

Sister Patricia Fox, whose advocacies earned her animosity from the Duterte regime leading to her deportation said, “Migrante has been instrumental in helping the workers. Gabriela has taken up many issues like domestic violence and in terms of raising consciousness and of course, Anakbayan among the students. They’ve been making heroic efforts to provide various forms of support especially at this time of the pandemic. So the red tagging is so disgusting but it also shows that people are rising up in the Philippines and Filipinos around the world. We raise our voice even louder with the passage of the Anti-Terror Law. Filipinos overseas who dare to use their right to condemn brutality and injustice, this Anti-Terrorism Law reaches out even as far here so we stand in support of Filipinos as they struggle for justice, freedom and genuine democracy.”

Migrante International chairperson Joanna Concepcion welcomed Facebook’s removal of almost a hundred fake Facebook accounts and fake news pages. “This revealed to the Filipino people clear evidence of state-sponsored and funded online attacks, red tagging and mass deception. AFP and PNP deliberately tried to hide their identities and their ties to these fake accounts but were not successful. This proves that this is a coordinated and deliberate effort by the Duterte regime to mislead people and attack progressive organizations and individuals raising legitimate criticisms,” Concepcion stated. 

The group likewise reiterated its demands for the junking of the Terror Law, the shutdown of fake news sites and fake accounts on Facebook and the abolition of the NTF ELCAC. It also expressed support for the continuing call of the United Nations Human Rights Commission and the European Union parliament to end human rights violations and extrajudicial killings in the Philippines. 

Concepcion also explained why calls by Filipino progressive groups for Duterte’s ouster and the junking of the terror law are part of the right to freedom of expression. “The 1987 constitution tells us that sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them. The Duterte government has been trampling on the law, the Philippine constitution. The passage of the Terror Law is one example. More than 30 petitions have been filed before the Supreme Court questioning the constitutionality of the Terror Law. This Terror Law was passed right in the middle of a pandemic when the Philippine government should be attending to the economic and public health crisis. The Philippines now has the longest lockdown so the response of the Duterte government has really been a failure. With regards to the plan to postpone the 2022 elections, the pandemic should not be used by the government to suppress the rights of the Filipino people most especially our right to vote.”

During the press conference, a unity statement was launched to “demand an immediate stop to the tagging of activists and progressive organizations worldwide as ‘communist terrorist groups’ by the Duterte regime” as well as the continuing terror tagging being perpetrated by NTF ELCAC. The unity statement has so far already garnered signatories from 102 Filipino organizations from different countries in the Asia-Pacific region, North America and Europe. 

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Unity Statement: Stop the Duterte Regime’s Terror-Tagging of Migrant Rights’ Activists and Advocates (28 September 2020)

We, the undersigned, demand an immediate stop to the tagging of activists and progressive organizations worldwide as “communist terrorist groups” by the Duterte regime.

Progressive, migrant-serving and human rights organizations and their leaders including Migrante International, United Filipinos in Hong Kong,  BAYAN HK-Macau, GABRIELA HK, MIGRANTE Aotearoa, MIGRANTE Australia, Anakbayan Europe, GABRIELA USA and BAYAN USA have been the victims of such terror-tagging as a result of their continued services to migrants and overseas Filipinos, advocacy for human rights, democracy, and sovereignty in the Philippines. These attacks led to attempted deportation of a Filipino worker in Taiwan and are carried out through government officials’ Facebook pages, such as that of Lorraine Badoy, the Undersecretary of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) and Spokesperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC). Moreover, anonymous Facebook pages such as “For the Global Public” and “Enlightened Youth” are also used to spread false information and black propaganda.

Terror-tagging, or “red-tagging”, is a dangerous tactic used by fascist governments in an attempt to discredit individuals and organizations that express critical views. In the Philippines, red-tagging is used to justify harassment, arrests, and assasination by state forces and its armed goons. Jory Porquia, a former MIGRANTE International organizer abroad and coordinator in Iloilo City was killed inside his home after long series of redtagging. Zara Alvarez, a human rights worker who was placed on a government “terror-list” in 2018, was recently murdered this August. Similarly, Brandon Lee, an environmental activist who survived an assassination attempt by state agents in 2019, was vilified by the Philippine military for years prior. With Duterte’s Terror Law now in effect, we can only expect more brazen attacks.

As human rights abuses and poverty continue to worsen under the Duterte administration, it is important that Filipinos and their allies overseas continue to raise their voices against tyranny. We understand that this commitment to justice will only elicit further contempt from the Duterte administration. Despite this, we affirm our commitment to supporting and defending the necessary work bravely being done by the Migrante International, Anakbayan Europe, GABRIELA USA BAYAN USA and the many other progressive organizations fighting for genuine change in the Philippines.

Signed,

(Initial signatories of organizations)

BAYAN USA

MIGRANTE USA

GABRIELA USA

ANAKBAYAN USA

Asia -Pacific

Abra Migrant Workers Welfare Association

Association of Concerned Filipinos

BAYAN Hong Kong & Macau

Gabriela Women Organization Hong Kong Bank Chapter

GABRIELA Hong Kong

Filipino Migrant Worker’s Union

Filipino Friends

Filipino Lesbian Organization

Filipino Women Organization (FILWOM)

Filguys Gabriela Association

Friends of Bethune House

Likha Filipino Migrants Cultural Organization

Migrante Artista ng Bayan

Migrante Pier
Mission Volunteers (MOVERS)

Samahang Migrante

Sta Maria Migrants Association

Cuyapo OFW Association

Hong Kong
Filipino Migrant Domestic Workers Union

Filipino Migrants Association (FMA)

Filipino Mission-Ward Methodist

Filipino Women Migrant Association (FILWOM)

Luzviminda Migrante

Migrante Shatin

Migrante Tamar

Migrante Tsing Yi

Migrante Tsuen Wan

Migrante Tuen Mun

Migrante Visayas

Migrante Yuen Long

Organic Environmental & Cultural Organization

Pangasinan Organization for Welfare and Rights (POWER)

Philippine Independent Church- Choir

Pinatud A Saleng Ti Umili (PSU)

United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL MIGRANTE HK)

Promotion Of Church People Response (PCPR Hong Kong)

KASAMMAKO

MIGRANTE EPS

New Era Foundation

Pag-Iribang Bicolnon in Korea

Aguman Kapampangan

TERESA

Migrante Taiwan

Bayan Australia

Gabriela Australia – Victoria

Philippine Australia Womens Association (PAWA)

Gabriela Greater Sydney

Gabriela Central Coast

Gabriela Western Australia

Migrante Melbourne

Migrante Melbourne East

Migrante Melbourne North East

(Samahang Tatak Pinoy – STP)

Migrante Melbourne West

Migrante Southwest (Sydney)

Lingap North (Sydney)

Migrante Perth (WA)

Anakbayan Melbourne

Philippine Studies Network of Australia (PINAS)

Advance League of Peoples Artists (ALPA)

Promotion for Church Peoples Response – Australia

Philippine Caucus for Peace (PCP)

Europe

AnakBayan Europe

Campaign for the Human Rights in the Philippines – United Kingdom

Europe Network for Justice and Peace in the Philippines

Promotion of Church Peoples Response (PCPR) – Europe

Filipinol Ecumenical Migrants Ministry – IFI

Federation of Domestic Workers Association – United Kingdom

FOA-Au Pair (Denmark)

Gebriela Germany

Gabriela London, UK

Gabriela, Rome Italy

Gabriela Switzerland

Kanlungan Filipino Consortium – United Kingdom

Kasama Ko – Greece

Makabayang Samahang Pilipino – The Netherlands

Migrante Austria

Migrante Bologna

Migrante Como

Migrante Cyprus

Migrante Denmark

Migrante Firenze-Italy

Migrante Iceland

Migrante Ireland

Migrante-Mantova, Italy

Migrante-Milano, Italy

Migrante Amsterdam

Migrante-The Netherlands-The Hague

Migrante -Utrecht

Migrante Sectoral Partylist – Europe

Migrante-Zurich, Switzerland

Milan OFW Kapitbisig – Italy

Nagkakaisang Pilipino sa Pransya

Pinay sa Holland – Gabriela

Samahan ng mga Kabataan sa Netherlands

Ugnayang Pilipino sa Belgium

Umangat Migrante Italy

ON LOCSIN’S TWEET & DFA’S RESPONSE TO STRANDED SEAFARERS

On DFA’s response to Migrante International’s call for the immediate repatriation of 11 stranded seafarers of Ocean Star 86

Trying to save its face, the Department of Foreign Affairs published today its response to an earlier statement by Migrante International castigating Duterte’s officials for their inaction on the plight of 11 seafarers stranded for more than a year inside the ship Ocean Star 86. Just like President Duterte, DFA officials are pathological liars who have mastered the art of deceit. 

If they in DFA have really been making arrangements for their repatriation, why is it that they still have not provided any information to the seafarers and their families? The ship has been docked in Dongshan’s port for more than three days and yet the crews have not heard any update on their repatriation. 

Stranded crews of Ocean Star 86

PHOTO: ABS-CBN News — Teleradyo

From DFA’s own statement, it is plainly obvious that its officials are only good at making “regular representations” to their bureaucratic counterparts in China and the ship owners wearing ties and suits while continuing to leave our wretched kababayans in limbo. If we are to believe DFA, these “regular representations” are supposed to ensure that seafarers will “be paid their salaries and other allowances” but the crews of Star Mariner can attest that they still have not received their unpaid wages and benefits from their ship’s owner since their repatriation in July. 

Ocean Star crews waited for three months before they received relief from the consulate. From July to September, Ocean Star crews have only received food packages three times and every set provided was only good for one week. DFA now wants to play the hero for the rare times it handed food relief. The seafarers requested for alcohol-based disinfectants and face masks but none of these items were included in the packages. 

On Locsin’s tweet rejecting pardon for convicted Filipino ‘drug dealers’ in the Middle East

Locsin’s job is to find out first if these Filipinos were victims of drug traffickers. As for his threat to let the law abroad destroy these incarcerated Filipinos who sought to destroy the people whom Locsin claims as his own, we can never put our faith in Locsin’s words when he allowed convicted killer US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton to leave without a hitch after being granted absolute pardon by President Duterte, another self-confessed murderer. 

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