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

 

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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.

Migrante Australia on the recent 2019 National and Local Elections: “Para sa Bayan Naman Ito! “

Overseas Filipino workers make an annual remittance of over US$5 billion a year yet a simple pre-paid envelope to ensure that they can exercise their right to vote was “too expensive” for the government.

It was the same story in Australia – overseas absentee voters had to pay for the stamps or deliver their sealed ballots personally to the Consulate office. When asked why a pre-paid envelope wasn’t provided, we were told “one dollar lang naman at saka para naman ito sa bayan, di ba? Kami nga, $2 per mailed ballot”. When we prodded further, we were told that pre-paid stamps will be very costly. “Imagine if we have 100,000 registered OAVs, that’s already AUD$100,000”, a consulate official said.

In Australia, ballots were mailed out on the 11th of April, a Thursday and it usually takes 2-3 business days for regular letters to be received by the addressee. When we asked why the ballots were not sent out earlier, were told that they had to wait for COMELEC to approve the budget for the mailing of the ballots. In Sydney, at least 600 ballots were returned (RTS – return to sender) to the Consulate.

While nothing controversial happened throughout the ballot feeding – the most exciting being “fake ballot detected” (the ballot paper was stained, like dried watermarks) – the fact remains that overseas Filipino  workers whose voice matters in the election have been disenfranchised through the non-provision of self-stamped envelopes.

The overall May 13 national and local election results in Australia is yet to be known. In a phone call to the Embassy this afternoon, we were told that they were transmitting the election results to Comelec today and that the result will be on their website tonight. May it be so.

To overseas Filipino workers, this election is a nail to the coffin. The Duterte government does not care about our rights and welfare. It is a blatant disrespect and disregard for our human rights.

Migrante Australia

16 May 2019

Migrante on Dayaan 2019: Duterte regime employs electoral fraud to continue his Fascist butchery and plunder of the Filipino people

Drooling after an unbridled sway of Fascist dictatorship and vicious plunder, the Duterte regime unleashed the entire state-machinery to deprive Filipino voters of their right to freely exercise suffrage in a free and fair conduct of the midterm national elections. As progressive organizations rooting for Makabayan partylists and candidates endured the onslaught of threats and black propaganda, this year’s election process was wrecked with all sorts of irregularities and election violations.

In the same manner, overseas Filipino voters are troubled by late deliveries of ballots, postal delays, broken seals, stamp issues and receipt discrepancies. OFWs are bearing the brunt of disenfranchisement in this election and this demonstrates the Duterte regime’s apathy in ensuring the unhampered exercise of our constitutionally guaranteed right to vote in the national elections.

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COMELEC’s declaration that the May 13 elections was a success is appalling. The poll body is obviously unmoved by the uproar from disenfranchised voters both in the Philippines and abroad concerning reported mismatch in voting receipts, rejected ballots, transmission delays and the deplorable glitches that plagued 1,000 SD cards and hundreds of vote counting machines (VCM).

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 Duterte regime is drenched with blood and must be requited for its crimes.

PNP’s last-minute smear operation of distributing newsletters containing black propaganda against senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares and the Makabayan bloc was a flagrant violation of Election laws.

Capitalizing on the Martial Law in Mindanao and its de facto implementation nationwide, the Duterte regime placed hundreds and who knows, even up to a thousand PNP officers as Board of Election Inspectors. This is an outright shot of the regime to manipulate the election process.

For several hours, the transmission of results from the server was in a complete halt. Without any clear explanation from COMELEC, just as the transmitted election returns reached 92.89% when the rest of the country was asleep, it suddenly went down to 49.76% at daybreak. More than just the absence of transparency, this likewise demonstrated the poll body’s ineptitude

Furthermore, last week’s declaration of two pro-Duterte parties (PDP-Laban and Nacionalista Party) as “dominant opposing parties” bodes ill on the credibility of the elections. Not only is this a transgression of the election code, this strips the opposition of the chance to obtain copies of election returns and certificates of canvass for scrutiny.

Now that the stooges of the ruling elite have dubiously made it to the top 12 through automated sorcery, we can be very certain that a rubber-stamp congress will work in favor of the US-Duterte regime’s anti-people agenda for the next three years. Expect this elitist buffoons to push for charter change, removal of term limits, and granting the US-Duterte regime with more “emergency powers” to swell the ambit of his despotic reign.

Despite all the vicious attacks, repression and black propaganda, the Duterte regime failed to stop the Filipino people from supporting Makabayan partylist groups that have always worked hard to uphold and secure the interests of the basic and marginalized sectors of society. Drawing support from the electoral campaign of Migrante chapters worldwide, the resounding success of Bayan Muna is a testament to the indefatigable confidence of the Filipino people to the legitimate causes of Makabayan partylist organizations on behalf of the struggling masses.

In one accord with our Makabayan legislators, Migrante International shall persist in championing the interests of Filipino migrants and their families. Freedom-loving OFWs will continue to oppose the regime’s state exactions and labor export program. Anchored on genuine agrarian reform and national industrialization, we shall 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. As the people’s movement advance in strength and numbers, we solidly assert our defiance against the US-Duterte regime’s tyrannical reign of terror until it finally reaches its ultimate doom.


Trabaho sa Pinas, hindi sa labas!

Stop the attacks!

Oust the US-Duterte regime!

 

#####

 

 

KASAMMAKO STATEMENT ON THE SSS-NPS SECURITY AGREEMENT

Philippine Social Security System and the Korea National Pension System

The Katipunan ng mga Samahan ng Migranteng Manggagawa sa Korea or KASAMMAKO together with Filipino Employment Permit System (EPS) Workers Association (FEWA) and other Filipino organizations in South Korea opposed the eventual approval of the Philippine Senate of the Social Security System (SSS) and National Pension System (NPS) Security Agreement. The Philippine Senate’s approval of the SSS-NPS Security Agreement  will terminate the payment of lump sum refund of contributions of migrant workers to NPS immediately after their three or five years employment in South Korea.

The guide to South Korea’s National Pension for Foreigners has the provision on lump-sum refund to wit:

In principle, a lump-sum refund is not paid to foreigners, however, in the case of foreigners falling under any of the following items, when they leave Korea, reach the age of 60, a lump-sum refund equivalent to the amount of contributions paid plus the fixed interest is paid to them, or to their survivors if they should die.

  1. A foreigner whose home country has concluded a social security agreement with Korea to secure benefit rights by combining the insured period in each country.
  2. A foreigner whose country grants Korean a benefit corresponding to a lump-sum refund.
  3. A foreign worker whose visa falls under E8 (Employment for Training), E9 (Employment Permit System or non-professional employment), or H2 (Visiting employment).

With NPS-SSS Security Agreement between the government of South Korea and the Philippines, provision number 1 applies. This means that Filipino migrant workers can no longer avail of the lump-sum refund of their contributions to the NPS when their contract ends after three or five years. Their NPS contributions will be combined with their SSS contribution and if they are members of SSS they will benefit from it when they retire either at the age of 60 (optional) or 65 (mandatory); if they are not, their contributions are forfeited in favor of the government of South Korea.

Without the NPS-SSS Security Agreement provision number 3 applies. This is the present principle that applies to Filipino migrant workers whose visa falls under E8 and E9. Migrant workers whether members of SSS or GSIS or not can apply for lump-sum refund of their contributions to the NPS a month before their three or five-year contract ends.

KASAMMAKO believes that NPS-SSS Security Agreement is impractical for OFWs in South Korea because not all migrant workers are members of SSS, and if they are members of SSS and would want to have an uninterrupted contribution to ensure that they receive pension at their retirement, they can still continue paying their monthly contributions through their family members who are left in the Philippines.

Furthermore KASAMMAKO believes that the Filipino migrant workers in South Korea deserve to personally receive their lump-sum refund of NPS contributions and not through bureaucratic arrangements. The Philippine Senate approval of the NPS-SSS Security Agreement is a disservice to the migrant workers because it will forfeit the benefits that are due to them.

KASAMMAKO fears that once the SSS-NPS bilateral security agreement is passed by the Philippine Senate, migrant workers will not get their lump sum refund from NPS and that their contributions remitted to SSS as a result of the equalization scheme will be used for the whims and caprices of corrupt officials of the Philippine government just like what happened to OWWA funds, GSIS and SSS funds. The migrant workers who are the rightful claimants of their pension contributions should get their lump sum refund at the end of their contract.

KASAMMAKO together with FEWA and other migrant workers organizations call on the Philippine Senate to:

  1. Reject the NPS-SSS Social Security Agreement between South Korea and the Philippines so as to ensure migrant workers the continuing availability of NPS lump-sum refund after their employment period.
  2. Protect migrant workers’ human and constitutional rights especially the right to be consulted with matters that directly affect them and the access to public information.
  3. Ensure better livelihood for all Filipinos in their home country and avert forced migration due to unemployment, poverty and hopelessness.

For KASAMMAKO:

Carlo Oliver

Chairperson

 

 

Posisyon ng mga MIGRANTE sa Italya hinggil sa RA 11199 (Social Security Act 2018)

Kaming mga balangay ng Migrante sa Italya ay nagkakaisa sa pagtutol sa sapilitang paniningil at sa mga nirebisang matataas na bagong “premiums” ng SSS. Ang mga organisasyon, mga komunidad at ang buong ofw dito sa Italya ay hindi nasangguni kaugnay sa implementasyon ng RA 11199 (Social Security Act 2018) na ito, at partikular sa pwersahang paniningil sa kontribusyon para sa SSS. Sa konserbatibong pagtataya, humigit kumulang sa Php 4 Bilyon kada taon ang posibleng makolekta sa kabuuang bilang na 167,859 na mga Pilipinong nasa Italya, kung pagbabatayan ang bilang na 138,752 ang mga ofw na maaaring pumasok sa kategorya ng pagbabayad ng sapilitang kontribusyon. Malaking halaga ito kung ang usapin ay paano ang pagtitiyak na tuwirang pakikinabangan ito ng mga kontribuente at napakaliit na halaga naman ito kung ikukumpara sa Php 437 Bilyong hindi nakolektang mga “premiums” at “penalties” mula pa 2010 sa Pilipinas.

Sa mga bansa sa Europa, ang mga ofw ay kabahagi na sa serbisyong panlipunan at seguridad. Sa Italya ang nangangasiwa rito ay ang INPS (Istituto Nazionale delle Providenza Sociale), isang sangay ng gobyerno na katumbas ng ating SSS sa Pilipinas. Ang malaking bahagi ng kontribusyon ng mga regular na ofw ay karaniwang binabalikat ng “employer” sa paghuhulog ng kontribusyon sa INPS. Ang INPS naman ang magbabalik nito sa ofw bilang serbisyo sa panahong siya’y magkasakit, maimbalido, manganak o magpensyon.

Ang buong buong pagpapatupad ng RA 11199 sa mga ofw sa Italya ay mangangahulugan ng panggigipit sa ating mga kababayan at pagpapahirap sa kanilang kalagayan. Ang batas na ito’y maaaring magresulta ng epektong “double collection” sa mga “employer” na maaring magresulta ng pag-iwas nila sa lakas paggawang Pilipino o ang pagpapasa ng responsibilidad nito sa huli. Sa kalauna’y ito’y magsisilbing karagdagang pasanin ng ating mga kababayan, karagdagan pa sa mga pahirap nang bayarin sa OEC, singil sa pasaporte, kontribusyon sa OWWA at iba pa.

Kung kaya, ang mga balangay ng organisasyong Migrante kasama ang ating mga kababayan sa Italya ay naghahapag ng mga kahilingan tulad ng mga sumusunod :

  1. Itigil ang implementasyon ng RA 11199. Ibalik bilang boluntaryo ang pagpapasapi at kontribusyon sa SSS.
  2. Ibalik ang dating presyo sa singil sa mga “premiums” ng kontribusyon.
  3. Maglunsad ng malawak na konsultasyon sa mga ofw sa bawat bansa sa mga balaking pagbabago sa SSS.
  4. Magsagawa ng bilateral na kasunduan ang gobyernong Pilipinas at Italya kaugnay “social security”, partikular sa pensyon at ang pagsusuma ng mga naihulog na kontribusyon ng manggagawang ofw mula pa sa Pilipinas.
  5. Buuin ang IRR (Implementing Rules and Regulations) ng bilateral na kasunduan sa pagawa sa pagitan ng Italya at Pilipinas at bigyan ng representasyon ang mga ofw sa pagbubuo ng IRR.

Sa kasalukuyan ay mayruong bilateral na kasunduan ang Italya at Pilipinas kaugnay sa paggawa ngunit nakalipas na ang dalawang taon ay wala parin itong IRR (Implementing Rules and Regulations). Maaaring dito ilaman ang kaugnay sa “social security” kung hindi man magkaruon ng hiwalay na kasunduang bilateral.

  1. Itigil ang instrumentalisasyon ng RA 11199, kabilang na ang iba pang mga singilin (OEC, OWWA atbp.) sa paggipit sa mga ofw para sa maluwag na paglabas at pagbalik sa bansa. Ang mga ganitong gawi ay walang pinag-iba sa pangingikil ng may kapalit.

Para sa mga ofw at kababayan,

UMANGAT-MIGRANTE ROMA | MIGRANTE-BOLOGNA | MIGRANTE-MILAN/COMO | KAPIT BISIG MILAN – MIGRANTE | MIGRANTE-FIRENZE | MIGRANTE-MANTOVA | MIGRANTE-CASERTA