Migrante lauds Wulandari’s release. Calls for Mary Jane Veloso’s freedom

Finally reunited with her family, Migrante International extends its heartfelt wishes to Dwi Wulandari as she begins her life anew. We are elated that she has finally achieved justice after suffering terribly from her ordeal which started back in 2012 upon her arrest for alleged drug smuggling in the Philippines.

On March 29, the Court of Appeals ruled that she was innocent of all the charges. The original life sentence verdict handed by the Pasay City Regional Trial Court in 2017 was overturned after an appeal on her case was raised with the help of public lawyers. Arrested in September 2012 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Wulandari was charged with smuggling illegal drugs into the Philippines.

Just like Mary Jane Veloso who is still on death row in Indonesia, Wulandari was a victim of big international trafficking syndicates and drug smugglers who have been preying  on vulnerable migrants. Many of these trafficking victims embarked overseas to fulfill their dreams of better lives for their loved ones, only to be tricked by vicious traffickers who reverse migrant aspirations into dreadful years of nightmare and torment.

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(Photo by Jakarta Post) Dwi Wulandari (center) embraces her loved ones upon her return in East Java on Sunday.

We welcome this recent Court of Appeals (CA) decision to overturn Wulandari’s verdict. How we wish that the appellate court granted the same favor to Mary Jane Veloso when she pleaded for her right to deposition in Indonesia. Since CA barred Mary Jane from testifying against her traffickers, the Veloso family are now fighting for her life in the Supreme Court.

May Wulandari’s case be a strong message to the Supreme Court of the Philippines as we reiterate our call to let Mary Jane Veloso speak the truth so that justice will finally be served.  We want all the international human trafficking syndicates and big drug smugglers to pay for their crimes against Mary Jane Veloso and Dwi Wulandari.

Mary Jane’s Supreme Court case has been dragging for months. We fervently hope that Wulandari’s new found freedom will be reciprocated by the Indonesian government with a bestowal of clemency for Mary Jane Veloso so she can be finally relieved from the debilitating years of suffering and incarceration.

As Dwi Wulandari begins her new life in sweet reunion with her family, Migrante likewise longs for the moment when Mary Jane Veloso will finally be granted her freedom and be reunited with her loved ones. Migrante International vows to continue pursuing justice for all OFWs and their families who continue to be afflicted by the Duterte regime’s deadly labour export program and by his stiff refusal to address  the roots of forced migration in the Philippines.

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AS DRONE ATTACKS AND MISSILE BLASTS ROCK SAUDI ARABIA, MIGRANTE SLAMS DUTERTE GOVERNMENT FOR FAILURE TO LAY OUT CONTINGENCY MEASURES TO ASSIST OFWS

On account of the escalating war between Saudi Arabia and Yemen’s Houthi rebels, Migrante International expresses alarm over the Duterte government’s failure to lay out and implement comprehensive contingency measures to secure the safety of the OFWs in Saudi Arabia.

As we have observed in the past, the Philippine government only comes to the rescue when OFWs are already caught up in fierce armed battles and lives have already been lost. We are appalled that the Philippine government is once again exhibiting the same attitude in response to the Saudi crisis.

The barrage of ballistic missiles and drone attacks in Taif, Jeddah, and allegedly in Makkah reveal that the conflict is rapidly advancing forward into Saudi Arabia’s interior. Despite the mounting strife between competing powers in the Gulf region, the DFA ‘s Philippine Consulate General in Jeddah has by far merely issued an advisory a few days ago, 20th of May.

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PHOTO: Abante Tonite

Worse, embassy officials in Saudi Arabia spent several weeks electioneering for Duterte’s candidates instead of preoccupying themselves with the work of ensuring the welfare of OFWs.

For the sake of the almost 1 million Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia, the Duterte government needs to conduct an accurate general evaluation of the current situation and draw lessons from similar events that occured in Libya, Syria and Iraq.

We demand that President Duterte and concerned government agencies ensure that concrete actions are already available for OFWs who need immediate evacuation and assistance especially from regions and cities located near Yemen’s border or in any part of Saudi Arabia within missile range. According to the Consulate in Jeddah, in regions closest to the Yemeni border, about 15,000 Filipinos work in Jizan and 7,850 are in Najran.

Most importantly, without a solid reintegration program anchored on pro-labour policies like higher wages and end to contractualization, OFWs will continually find themselves as commodities of the government’s labour export program with the Duterte regime as the number one pimp.

Migrante International will continue to monitor the Duterte government’s actions in Saudi Arabia as we keep up raising the collective voices and concerns of OFW families who are distraught by serious threats to the safety and security of their loved ones in Saudi Arabia and in other parts of the world.

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Hustisya para kay Constancia “Connie” Dayag! Kilalanin ang Karapatan at Kagalingan ng bawat OFWs!

Ipinaabot ng Migrante-Philipipines ang marubdob naming pakikiramay sa naiwang mahal sa buhay ni Constancia Dayag. Nakikiisa ang migranteng Pilipino sa hangarin ng kaniyang pamilya na matamo ang katarungan at indemnipikasyon sa pagkamatay niya sa kamay ng kaniyang employer sa Kuwait.

Si Constancia, 47 taong gulang, ay idineploy ng gobyernong ito bilang domestic worker sa kaniyang among Kuwaiti noong Enero, 2016.  Noong Mayo 14, patay na nang dalhin siya sa Al Sabah Hospital sa Kuwait matapos makaranas ng malalang pambubugbog. May bakas din ng paglapastangan sa kanyang pagkababae nang makitaang pinasukan ng pipino ang kaniyang ari.

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Ikinalulungkot ngunit higit na ikinagagalit namin ang pangyayaring ito. Pagkatapos patayin ang ating mga kababayan na sina Joana Demafelis, Josie Lloren at ilan pang mga domestic worker sa Kuwait noong isang taon, pinatutunayan ng kalupitang sinapit ni Constancia na walang pagbabago sa kanilang kalagayan. Nananatili silang inaalipin ng kanilang mga amo at pinababayaan ng gobyernong Kuwait at Pilipinas. Nagpapatuloy ang patakarang pumapatay sa mga tulad nilang napilitang magsilbi sa banyagang amo sa pag-asang matutugunan ang pangangailangan ng kanilang pamilya sa Pilipinas.

Pinatutunayan din ng pangyagaring ito na walang silbi ang Memorandum of Understanding sa pagitan ng Kuwait at Pilipinas. Wala itong pinagtibay kundi ang regularidad ng eksportasyon ng mura at siil na kababaihang manggagawa sa Kuwait.

Kagyat na nananawagan kami na dalhin sa hukuman at maagap na mapanagot ang amo ni Constancia sa kalupitang ginawa nito. Kailangan din na maagap na matugunan ng gobyerno ng Pilipinas ang kahilingan ng pamilya na madalaw nila si Constancia sa Kuwait habang mabilisang ipinoproseso ang pag-uwi ng kaniyang labi sa Pilipinas.

Dapat managot ang gobyerno ng Kuwait at Pilipinas sa pagpapanatili ng kaayusan kung saan nagiging bulnerable sa abuso at pagmamalupit ang mga katulad ni Constancia.  Sa kalagayang ganito, nananawagan kami na repasuhin ang MOU ng Kuwait at Pilipinas at tiyakin na ganap na napoprotektahan ang ating mga kababayang manggagawa sa Kuwait. Mula noong isang taon ay naghapag na ang Migrante ng kongkretong hakbangin kung paanong ang mga karapatan ng mga Pilipinong domestic worker sa Kuwait ay mapoprotektahan.

Itigil na ng gobyerno ang pagbabalat-kayo nito na tagapagprotekta ng karapatan ng mga migrante dahil malinaw sa bawat pinipirmahan nitong tratado na mas pinapaboran nito ang interes na ipagpatuloy at pasahulin pa ang ipinatutupad nitong Labor Export Program. Hindi sasapat ang asta nitong tumutugon sa kagyat na pangangailangang pang-ekonomiya ng mga biktima samantalang inutil ito sa pagtitiyak ng ganap na hustisya para sa kanila.

Sa pamilya ni Constancia, nawa’y tibayan ninyo ang inyong kalooban at hindi tumigil sa paghahanap ng katarungan. Kaisa niyo ang mga migrante at buong sambayanan sa inyong laban.

The Philippine election is a sham! We shall not be duped! Oust Duterte!

Migrante Australia joins the Filipino people in protesting against the outcome of the May 13 National and Local Elections. We reject the unfolding result of this election as election irregularities continue to be collected and documented by independent watchdog like Kontra Daya. http://www.votereportph.com.

The results of the election favours heavily the Administration senatorial candidates or President Duterte’s chosen whose loyalty is only to him. Duterte’s state machinery was in full force.

  1. Government resources, paid for by Filipino people’s taxes, were used to promote pro-administration candidates and sustain their nation-wide campaign. There were massive and rampant vote-buying.
  2. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) were instructed to target and harass opposition groups especially the progressive partylists and candidates. Duterte used his presidential position to denigrate opposition and progressive candidates. Police and military personnel were out spreading black propaganda materials against the opposition candidates and progressive partylists.
  3. Duterte, complete control of the Commission on Elections, manipulated the automated polling system. The election saw over P10 Billion of taxpayers’ money spent on an automated election that lacked transparency. There were more machine and software failures this year compared to previous elections. Most glaringly, the transmission of election returns was marred with suspicious lapses and a staggering 7-hour server delay. COMELEC denied requests for open data and independent checks.
  4. Mindanao, still under Martial Law, saw military presence inside precincts, which is a violation of election law. Also, the military and police agencies are supposed to be non-partisan and must remain neutral.
  5. Duterte’s trolls milled out lies about opposition candidates and partylists. Five partylists under MAKABAYAN coalition were reported to have been “disqualified” by COMELEC days before election day.

 

  1. Those of us who are overseas absentee voters suffered a similar fate with disenfranchisement, late deliveries of ballots, postal delays, broken seals, stamp/postage issues and receipt discrepancies.

Migrante Australia joins the Filipino people in protesting the highly irregular election results. We will not concede defeat! We will continue to fight for genuine democracy, national sovereignty and social justice. Oust the fascist and corrupt Duterte regime now!

 

Migrante Australia

17 May 2019

 

Filipino migrant group in NZ join demand for Truth, Accountability: Black Friday protest vs #HocusPCOS: COMELEC + Duterte “Magic” = More TraPos, Fake PLs

The multiple failure of SD cards, vote counting machines, the secrecy of the location of COMELEC’s Central Server and the “meet-me-room” operations, on top of massive disenfranchisement for overseas Filipino voters – all of these are glaring indicators of fraudulent automated elections. Migrante Aotearoa therefore joins the demand of election watchdog groups and all Filipinos in demanding transparency and full accountability of COMELEC.

Migrante Aotearoa, a rights and welfare advocacy group and New Zealand chapter of Migrante International, joins the Filipino people in mourning and protest over the record-low turn-out of Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV) and massive fraud that tainted the May 2019 elections.

No thanks to the COMELEC and Duterte ‘magic,’ the Philippines now have more Trash Politicians, a.k.a TraPos, and fake partylist groups dominating Philippine government.

In NZ, Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa, the architect and executor of Duterte’s failed drug war through extra-judicial killings ranked #1 in the Senate race. The top party-list group was ACT-CIS of the Tulfo family, which up to now, hasn’t returned the PhP60M to Department of Tourism. How can we ever forget that Erwin Tulfo, a paid mouthpiece of red-tagging, propaganda, and fake news, came to NZ to peddle the student visa scam that left hundreds of hopeful Filipinos in staggering amount of debts after being lured to come to NZ?

Out of 19,1981 registered voters from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and New Zealand, voters turn-out was only 17.27% and only 3,448 valid ballots received on time.

On top of failing to ensure delivery of ballots for OFWs on time, COMELEC is deplorable for allowing more fake party-list groups like ACT-CIS to run. The administration-funded fake party list groups bastardize the party list system which is supposedly for the marginalised sectors. The people behind ACT-CIS and AA Kasosyo do not represent any marginalised sector.

Clearly the election results were not the legitimate results of the people’s vote but a tampered, manipulated product of Malacaṅang’s dark magic.

We mourn and protest the record-low voters turnout for Filipinos in NZ and around the world. We call on Filipinos to remain vigilant for truth, justice and meaningful change. Let us continue to speak out against the promoters of extra-judicial killings that victimised children and loved ones of Filipinos working abroad. Let us stand up against the biggest plunderers that condemn our homeland to the vicious cycle of poverty, unemployment and indebtedness.

Reference: Mikee Santos – Chairman, Migrante Aotearoa

migranteaoetearoanz@gmail.com

 

This election is dirty, as dirty as the mouth of Duterte! – Migrante Austria

Migrante Austria adds its voice to expressions of disgust against the conduct of the 2019 election. Reports have reached us of dubious technical glitches, a portent of the Duterte administration’s evil maneuvering. There was a 7-hour lull in showing the public the result of the computerized counting. But when the COMELEC presented the result, early morning of Tuesday, May 14, they showed a 92.89 percent completion of counting only to show an hour later a 49.76 percent completion. There are other reports of technical glitch. More than 1,600 SD cards were found defective at the time of election. Also, there are 961 vote-counting machines reported defective.

Social media accounts of our families and friends who participated in the last election have posted their grievances. One of the trends of grievances is a report that they received the election ticket but it reflects the candidate they did not vote for. Another is a report that the party-list they have elected reflected zero-votes on the precincts where they casted their vote.

Within the constitutional framework, it is through the election, as a democratic process that the choices of the people for leadership post are registered and heard. It has an element of sanctity because what makes us truly human is our right to self-determination, and exercise of free-will. Such reports of election rigging are a denial of the Filipino people’s right to participate in this democratic process. We will not let this pass sitting down. For many OFWs like us here in Austria and Hungary, election is the tool and mechanism to speak and be listened upon. We desire meaningful change in the hope that one day we can confidently go back home assured of food on our tables, free medical services for our aging parents, and free education for our young ones, exactly the very pretexts of our migration.

It is not hard to imagine who is the hand in all of this. Duterte himself reveals himself as the master of divisiveness and confusion, of thievery and murder. He allied himself with criminals and thieves like Imee Marcos, Bong Revilla, Jinggoy Estrada, among others who have not been cleared yet of graft and corruption charges by Philippine courts. He surrounds himself with blood-thirsty yes-men like Bato dela Rosa, Bong Go, Albayalde among others. His core is also revealed by whom he disenfranchised. He halted the peace talks between GRP and NDFP. He launched fake news portals red tagging human rights workers. He killed the dissenting farmers, indigenous peoples, and church people. These are portentous of election fraud.

“The blatant use of government resources to campaign for Duterte’s candidates was coupled with dispatching AFP and PNP to terrorize and harass voters, volunteers and progressive organizations campaigning for Makabayan partylists and candidates. Scores of our Makabayan coordinators and campaigners were illegally arrested and killed during the campaign period.” The aim is to ensure that no progressive party lists under Makabayan will get sufficient votes to garner seats in Congress.

On the day of election, the PNP themselves distributed newspapers containing black propaganda against senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares and the Makabayan bloc which was a flagrant violation of Election laws. These reveal the kind of man Duterte is. In an attempt to consolidate and monopolize power he resorted to rigging the election. He is self-serving and only heeds the interest of China and the US, to the detriment of the Filipino people whose suffering, and murder has become a normal course in life. No wonder that after the initial result has been counted, many in the Philippines have searched (through google) for places to migrate.

We cannot accept the process and result of this election. This election is dirty, as dirty as the mouth of Duterte. We are joining in the clamour for truth. We add our voices of dissent because the Filipino people and their constitution has fallen victim once again, for many times over to the criminal Duterte administration. We are refusing to be victims this time. We demand accountability.

Furthermore, Migrante Austria will continue to oppose the regime’s state exactions and labor export program. We will also continue to campaign for the Peace Talks being pursued by the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) to address the issues on CASER (Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms) especially the genuine agrarian land reform and national industrialisation. We shall also press on in demanding decent jobs and secured lives back home.

Our defense of democratic rights does not end after the casting of our ballots. We will pursue strengthening the will of the Filipino to fight for full national independence, democracy, development through genuine agrarian land reform, national industrialization, social justice and cultural progress. Further, fostering the solidarity and mutual support between the Filipino people and other peoples to unite in defeating and resisting #DuterTyrannyNOW!

Trabaho sa Pinas, hindi sa labas!

Stop the attacks!
Oust the US-Duterte regime!

Reference:
Mike Garlan
Secretary General, Migrante Austria

 

Pahayag ng Migrante Italya ukol sa Dayaan 2019

Tulad ng dapat naming asahan, ang naganap na oversea’s voting dito sa Italya ay isang malawakang disenfranchisement sa mga mga botanteng ofw. Mula sa naitalang 62,920 rehistradong botante, 13,006 o 20.67% lamang ang nakaboto, mababa ng mahigit isang libo kumpara sa halalan 2016 at higit paring mababa kung ikukumpara sa 167,859 na napatalang bilang sa census ng Italya, kahit ipagpalagay natin na isangkaapat (⅟₄) ng kabuuang bilang na ito ay hindi mga kwalipikadong botante.

Bago pa man maganap ang aktwal na halalan, ipinaabot na ng mga balangay ng MIGRANTE sa Italya sa embahada, konsulado at COMELEC, sa pamamagitan ng pakikipagdiyalogo, na ang kanilang desisyong gawing postal voting lamang ang paraan ng pagboto ay nangangahulugan ng higit pang pagpapaliit ng bilang na maaaring makaboto. Malaking kapabayaan sa bahagi ng COMELEC at ng embahada’t konsulado ang hindi maagap na paglalabas ng malawak at maayos na impormasyon sa paraan ng pagboto gayong nagkaruon na sila ng ganitong desisyon sa maagang bahagi pa lamang ng Nobyembre 2018.

Higit pang pinalala ito nang kawalan ng maagap na abiso sa pagtatakda ng deadline para sa mga rehistradong mga botante na nakalipat ng tirahan pagkatapos ang eleksyong 2016, na mag-update para sa pagpapadala ng kani-kanilang mga balota. Dahil din sa ang mga ballot packet ay hindi mga registered mail kundi karaniwang postal stamp lamang, may hindi matiyak na malaking bilang na mga balota ang hindi nakarating sa mga botante at may ilan namang huli na nang dumating.

Kung kaya’t mismong ang COMELEC sa pamamagitan ng embahada at konsulado ay nagpalabas ng gipit na sa panahong anunsyo na ang mga hindi nakatanggap ng mga balota ay maaaring magtungo sa kanila para makahingi ng spare ballot. Sinagkaan din ang dapat sana’y maayos at mabilis na pagbabalik ng mga ballot envelops. Sa kadahilanang ang mga ito’y walang return stamps, kinakailangan pang ang mga ofw mismo ang gumastos sa pagpapadala nito.

Maging ang talaan ng Certified Voter’s ay hindi naging masinop, may ilang mga botante ang nawawala sa listahan bagaman nakaboto nuong nakaraang eleksyon. Mayruon namang nakatanggap ng dalawang balota sa isang ballot packet. Samantala, hindi na nabigyan ng kaliwanagan ang aming reklamo kaugnay sa isang insidente nang pag-iiwan ng campaign material ng senatorial slate ng kasalukuyang administrasyon sa lugar ng botohan.

Ang halalang ito ay isang malinaw na pagbabaliwala sa karapatan naming mga ofw. May malaking takot ang administrasyon ni Duterte na madinig ang tunay na sigaw ng mga migrante sa labas ng bansa, kung kaya’t puspusan nitong hinahadlangan na lumaki ang bilang ng mga dapat makaboto. Hindi tinatapos ng eleksyong ito ang laban ng mga ofw at pamilya nito para sa karapatan at kagalingan ng sambayang Pilipino. Maaaring natapos na ang punong punong anomalyang eleksyon subalit magpapatuloy ang aming paglaban para sa lipunang wala nang sapilitang migrasyon.