MIGRANTE Japan condemns the airing of anti-migrant TV program

MIGRANTE Japan condemns in the strongest terms the airing of “Taikyo no Shukan” (“At the very moment they were deported”) tackling the plight of undocumented migrants in Japan over Fuji Television last October 6, 2018.

Using a typical reality show format, the two-hour program was shown on a prime time slot where a Fuji Television team was seen following a group of immigration officers called “G-Men” crackdown visa “overstayers” in dormitories, factories and squalor homes.

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MIGRANTE Japan believes that the whole concept of the program is xenophobic. It has turned the plight of undocumented migrants into another piece of entertainment which we fear may further fuel anti-migrant sentiments in the country – a problem that has been on the rise in recent years.

In the first segment of the program, immigration officers were seen storming the apartment of a Vietnamese man for alleged violation of his trainee visa. He and two others were arrested and interrogated on camera and then deported 24 hours later.

Then, another segment showed immigration officers raiding a factory and arresting a group of Indian nationals while the owners of the factory who should be equally liable never appeared on camera.

The final segment investigated on Chinese “squatters” who have planted vegetables on a public land along a riverbank in Kyoto

Japan has been experiencing serious demographic crunch for more than four decades now largely due to its aging population and low birthrate. The entry of migrants to Japan from mostly Asian countries is favorable to the country than it is a problem which the Japanese government through media is trying to project.

MIGRANTE Japan thinks that it is hypocritical of the Japanese government to treat undocumented migrants this way while seeking to recruit at least 500,000 migrant workers in the next few years to deal with its serious labour shortage.

MIGRANTE Japan believes that Fuji Television has crossed the line of decency by allowing itself to be used by the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau to propagate the way it handles and treats undocumented migrants. In the process, Fuji Television has also disrespected the over 2 million foreign migrants in Japan whose enormous contributions to society have kept the economy of Japan safe from spiraling downwards.

Instead of humiliating and poking fun at the plight of undocumented migrants, Fuji Television should have tackled the ugly side of immigration detention facilities which is unknown to many Japanese. Over the years, there has been an increasing number of documented violations of human rights committed inside various detention facilities around the country.

Since 2009, 13 undocumented migrants have died inside detention facilities. In 2013, 75 Filipino detainees were forcibly dragged into a chartered plane headed for deportation back to the Philippines even if some of the deportees have pending cases in court. Many migrants also complain of constant harassment and intimidation while in detention, deprived of medical attention and psychologically tortured to force them into signing the deportation order.

MIGRANTE Japan is also calling out the Philippine government through its embassy in Tokyo and Consulate in Osaka to immediately act on this and issue a statement denouncing the airing of the said television program. This is the least it can do to safeguard the interest and protect the rights of over 274,000 Filipinos in Japan.

As migrants, we are deeply appalled by how fellow migrants are being portrayed in Japanese media. We are not criminals and we are not a threat to Japan. The truth is, we are marginalized and vulnerable to abuse. We work hard under low wages and precarious work conditions. We were driven by severe poverty in our homeland, but we work hard to make a niche for ourselves in society. We, therefore, do not deserve to be treated this way.###

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On the red-tagging of Migrante Taiwan members

Migrante International strongly denounces the malicious red-tagging and defamatory attacks being posted online by a certain Chen Ni Kao aka Janet Palattao against our organization as well as against our members and lead-organizers in Taiwan.

In a Facebook post, dated 10 October 2018, Palattao tagged Migrante members as belonging to the CPP-NPA, or the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army. At a time when the red-tagging of progressive groups and individuals in the Philippines has led to the killings and enforced disappearances of many activists, Palattao’s wanton red-baiting of Migrante gravely endangers the lives of our members and lead-organizers around the world. Even more, it imperils the safety and security of our members in Taiwan.

In light of the brutal massacre of nine peasant activists in the Philippines recently due to red-tagging, we demand that Palattao recant her ludicrous allegations.

Claiming that she has the full backing of many brokers and employers, Palattao likewise threatened to get the list of Migrante members so that she can furnish the list to brokers and prevent OFWs from getting transferred.

Migrante finds Palattao’s evil intents against her fellow Filipinos as merciless and reprehensible considering that many distressed OFWs who seek Migrante’s help are already straining under difficult circumstances in their desire to support their struggling families back home in the Philippines. For seeking harm and deprivation to the livelihood and sustenance of poor Filipino migrant workers, Palattao uncloaked herself as a brute of obnoxious character.

Under the same malevolent sway, we have found out that Gina Lin, an officer of MECO’s Assistance to Nationals, has been actively prodding Chen Ni Kao in her malicious online posts and redbaiting tirades against Migrante International on her social media account.

This barrage of disparaging online diatribes went going after Filipinos in Taiwan boosted their support to Migrante’s campaign in keeping the Manila Economic and Cultural Office open on Sundays to service OFWs whose only available free time is limited on that day of the week.

Furthermore, Palattao vilified Migrante just because our members in Taiwan set off actions to express their legitimate demands and collective sentiments on the socio-economic conditions in the Philippines. By posting social media threats against our Migrante members for merely exercising their universally recognized rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, Palattao is putting herself as an overseas agent of Duterte’s Fascism and tyranny.

Once and for all, we demand an immediate stop to these defamatory assaults being hurled against Migrante International and to our members in Taiwan. Until Palattao recants and ends her wicked collusion with Gina Lin of MECO, Migrante International will back whatever legal actions our members in Taiwan will undertake. Decisively, we shall pursue intervention from Taiwanese and Philippine authorities to thwart Palattao’s pronounced ill intents against OFWs receiving assistance from Migrante.

We are calling on the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) to immediately act and intervene to stop Palattao and Gina Lin from further jeopardizing the safety of our Migrante members and lead-organizers. If ever both government offices fail to exert any intervening action, Migrante International shall hold MECO accountable for whatever untoward incident or harm that may befall our Migrante members and officers in Taiwan as a result of the online incitements by Palattao and Gina Lin.

Utmost to our concern and responsibility in view of this disturbing episode in Taiwan is to guard our members from all possible ramifications of these attacks on their lives, security and work. Since Migrante’s inception, we have been advancing the rights, welfare and dignity of Migrant Filipinos far and wide. Regardless of whether they are Migrante members or not, we will remain steadfast in our commitment for every migrant Filipino in every corner of the globe.

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JUSTICE FOR MASSACRED FARMERS IN NEGROS! In “Red October” ploy, the Duterte regime is the sole destabilizer and murderer

In the strongest terms, Migrante International vehemently condemns the massacre of the nine farmers on the 20th of October in Sagay, Negros Occidental. This vicious act of terrorism was perpetrated at a time when we are honouring this peasant month of October the greatness of those who tirelessly till the land at the sweat of their brows and whose produce, feed the nation.

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Photo: Migrante at this year’s October 19 “Martsa Laban sa Kagutuman at Pasismo” protest action for peasants’ rights in Mendiola.

Plagued by landlessness and extreme feudal exploitation, hungry farmers have collectively risen up to occupy idle lands previously stolen by greedy landlords and hacienderos. The growing “Bungkalan” movement is seen by farmers as the answer to the stubborn refusal of regimes past and present to address landlessness in the country through genuine agrarian reform.

This heart wrenching tragedy is part of a massive and systematic policy of violent tyranny being waged by the US-Duterte regime against progressive groups critical of his bloody three-pronged war (Oplan Tokhang, Oplan Kapayapaan, Martial Law in Mindanao).

Last week, NDFP consultant Adel Silva, three activists namely Ediecel Legaspi, Ireneo Atadero, Hedda Calderon as well as their driver Julio Lusania were illegally arrested in Sta. Cruz, Laguna by PNP-CIDG-ISAFP on trumped up charges based on illegally planted evidence. Despite the issuance of release orders to free three of the five detainees after the dismissal of the trumped up case on illegal possession of firearms, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) continues to illegally detain them in blatant opposition to the court order.

Just two days after the arrests of the Sta.Cruz5, Anakpawis member Cesar Carreon was abducted by 9 masked men in Mexico, Pampanga. Three days after his disappearance, his lifeless body was found in Candaba, Pampanga. In the same region, Central Luzon Bayan Muna peasant organizer Joey Torres remains missing up to this moment.

In Nueva Ecija, peasant advocates Yolanda Diamsay and Eulalia Ladesma were likewise illegally arrested and severely tortured by combined elements of CIDG, 7th IBPA and the Philippine National Police. This points to how far state agents are consciously willing to break the law and trample on human rights at the pleasure of the ruling class and the Duterte regime’s imperialist masters.

It is now becoming clear that AFP’s fake “Red October” swill is actually its own drawn-out plot to persecute as gory and as appalling as possible all those who rise up to oppose the regime’s tyrannical rule and the centuries old feudal oppression being inflicted by big land lords.

For its outright rejection of genuinely addressing inflation, widespread hunger and the torrent of shabu imports, the US-Duterte regime is plotting its own ruin and ouster. There is no other destabilizer and murderer in the “Red October” ploy but the Duterte regime itself. Its attempt to blot out the seething anger and resentment of the public over his tormenting neoliberal policies and repressive rule will end up in futility.

Duterte’s extreme hatred towards progressive voices is no secret. Just a few weeks ago, Duterte himself has placed the life of Naga landslide survivor Sheila Eballe in danger after tagging her as an NPA trained speaker for strongly denouncing big quarrying operations in her own community. In the same manner, AFP and PNP has red tagged all groups and sectors who dared to stand up for human rights and resist the emergent authoritarian rule in the country.

The people will no longer be deceived by the regime’s fake posturing of purported public service through empty words and cheap theatrics. Clearly, the Duterte regime is out to kill and maim to serve and protect the interests of the ruling class and its US imperialist master.

As the Duterte regime seeks favour from big landlords, land grabbers, drug lords and wealthy oligarchs in its effort to salvage its reign from collapse, we expect that the regime’s evil machinations will resort to more attacks and killings to obliterate the likes of activists and peasant victims who militantly offer their lives for the just cause of combatting state-imposed hunger and poverty through collective struggle.

Now more than ever, the US-Duterte regime is incurring the boiling wrath of the Filipino masses. AFP and PNP’s efforts to silence progressive groups will utterly fail. No amount of intimidation, harassment and persecution will ever shake our conviction in defending the oppressed and struggling for social justice.

The united voices and actions of Filipinos both here and overseas will thunder and conquer the evil forces that have been bloodily wreaking havoc on our democratic rights. The US-Duterte’s reign of terror is doomed to fail and the people will totally crush the impunity of the regime’s blood-soaked hands.

#JusticeForSagay9 #JusticeForCesarCarreon #FreeStaCruz5
#StopKillingFarmers #StopTheAttacks #ResistCrackdown
#FightTyranny

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Migrante cries enough of fake partylists out to plunder OFWs money as Mocha’s candidacy drew flak from OFWs  

On the day of Mocha Uson’s filing for candidacy as a representative of AA-Kasosyo partylist, she revealed that she personally chose the “particular party” because they “both share the same visions.” OFWs and their families fully agree that Mocha Uson truly belongs to AA-Kasosyo for it is among the trapo-backed fake OFW partylists that have been used by plunderers as vehicles for corruption and the institutionalization of the abhorrent labor export program.

Kasosyo Mocha Buwaya

Recently, OFWs exposed ACTS OFW partylist  Representative Aniceto “John” Bertiz as a wolf in sheep’s clothing for his arrogant treatment of Filipino migrants in Hong Kong and his recruitment agency’s direct involvement in victimizing OFW Shiela Mabunga. In the same degree of notoriety, OFW Family Club partylist chose Jo Christine Napoles, daughter of pork barrel scam queen Janet Lim Napoles, as its third nominee in 2013.

Now, another fake OFW partylist group is out to wreak havoc by fielding a clown who has been branded by many netizens as “fake news queen.” Her group AA-Kasosyo partylist is among the entities tied to the Php 10 Billion pork barrel scam allegedly masterminded by Janet Lim Napoles.

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In 2011, AA Kasosyo partylist representative Nasser Pangandaman allocated Php 12 Million from its pork barrel to Kaupdanan Mangunguma Foundation Inc (KMFI) – an NGO identified with Napoles.

The Duterte regime being the chief protector of plunderers backed the dismissal of Janet Lim Napoles’ illegal detention case. So while criminal masterminds like Janet Lim Napoles have found favor in the eyes of President Duterte, OFWs and their families like Kian delos Santos, Carl Arnaiz and Allan Rafael have found themselves as sacrificial victims in Duterte’s war against the poor. In a nutshell, it is the Duterte regime who is the real terrorist and Mocha Uson of AA-Kasosyo partylist who is the real terrorist sympathizer.

There is not a kernel of truth in Mocha’s declaration of running in the elections for the sake of OFWs. From her own mouth she has revealed that her aim is to go after the Makabayan bloc in Congress in fulfillment of Duterte’s mad pursuit against his critics.

Mocha Uson’s claim that the Makabayan bloc is plotting against the system unmasks her as one of the beneficiaries of this rotten system that breeds trapos and bogus partylist groups falsely claiming to represent OFWs. Under this malevelont system, OFWs continue to be peddled in foreign countries and treated as milking cows to fill the pockets of corrupt plunderers.

A major attack is looming against overseas Filipinos as the Duterte regime is set to impose mandatory insurance and mandatory SSS to all OFWs next year that will certainly have grave impacts on their livelihood. The regime has found it necessary to plant a fake OFW partylist in Congress like AA-Kasosyo to justify its policies that will bleed OFWs’ pockets dry. Likewise, it is the Duterte regime’s way to antagonize and stop Makabayan legislators from criticizing additional state exactions on OFWs.

Enough of fake partylists bastardizing OFW representation and plundering OFW money! Migrante is calling on OFWs and their families to continue exposing fake OFW partylist groups and wage the struggle of bringing down the rotten system that reeks of corruption and bloody crimes against OFWs and the rest of the Filipino people. 

URGENT APPEAL FOR ACTION to stop the deportation of LOIDA QUINDOY!

A Filipina migrant in Japan is facing deportation on October 18, 2018 after the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau informed her lawyer by telephone just hours after filing “suchikbo -, a legal instrument that requires immigration to inform lawyers of detained foreigners about their impending deportation.

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Loida Quindoy is a 56-year old Filipina who came to Japan in 1996 as a spouse of a Japanese national. Like many OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) today, she was driven out by poverty in the Philippines and the desire for a better life abroad. Loida did not have a rosy life in Japan; she was a victim of spousal violence before she finally divorced her husband in 2000. As a consequence of the divorce, she lost her 3-year long-term spouse visa. However, through sheer hard work and by paying her tax dues, she obtained a permanent residence status in 2009.

In 2007 Loida remarried to a fellow Filipino who, unfortunately, had a “bad record” with Japanese immigration – a history of ‘overstaying’ and use of an assumed identity. He was involuntarily deported back to the Philippines in 2011 and Loida’s permanent residence status was arbitrarily revoked in 2012. The Immigration Bureau found Loida guilty of allowing her husband to join her in Japan by signing his “application for eligibility” as a spouse of a permanent resident. Since 2012, Loida has been on provisional release (‘karehomen’) and was not allowed to work. She has sustained herself through family and friends.

Loida tried all available legal remedies to reinstate her residence status, but the Immigration Bureau was determined to deny her a second chance. She was harassed, intimated and threatened with involuntary deportation many times, but she endured all that because she wanted to stay and be with her family in Japan.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo has provided no assistance and support to Filipinos who are in similar situation like Loida. Instead, the embassy has committed its support to help the Japanese government by discouraging the exodus of undocumented Filipinos to Japan while encouraging overstays and those in detention to go back to the Philippines.

Last October 11, 2018, Loida’s provisional release was finally revoked, without warning and even if there was no violation of any condition set therein. Now, the Immigration Bureau is bent on enforcing her deportation from Japan on October 18, 2018.

Loida is suffering from various health issues some of which were largely due to anxieties and psychological stresses that she experienced throughout her ordeal. She is suffering from hypertension and had undergone two medical operations since 2012 – one on her gallbladder and another on her shoulder. She no longer has families in the Philippines who can take care of her.

Loida also has an unfinished mission in Japan. Being an active member of the Music Ministry of the Filipino Nazarene Christian Fellowship (FNCF) she has been an inspiration to young Filipino couples and their children. Her work as a welfare case officer of the KAFIN Migrant Center (KMC) and administrator of its half-way house for victims of domestic violence and human trafficking has helped a lot of Filipinos in her immediate community.

Most importantly, Loida’s family – her son and two granddaughters are all living in Japan. They are her only source of joy. To forcibly deport her back to the Philippines would mean separating her from her own family which is the worst that could happen to her.

Loida Quindoy has been living in Japan for the past 22 years, or almost half her life. She is not a criminal to be treated this way by a government that has earned so much from her perseverance and hard work. Her mistakes are too small compared to the punishment she had endured and continues to endure. The Immigration Bureau is wrong to force her deportation. It violates her human rights and international humanitarian law. Loida deserves to be with her family. Her mission in Japan is needed by her compatriots. Let us not allow this to happen to Loida and to others who are in a similar situation. Loida deserves a second chance. She is good for the community and society as a whole.

STOP THE DEPORTATION OF LOIDA QUINDOY!

RECOMMENDED ACTIONS: 
We request for support by sending letters of appeal to the following agencies in Japan to STOP THE DEPORTATION OF LOIDA QUINDOY, and to the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo to make representation on behalf of Loida Quindoy and provide her with necessary legal and welfare assistance.

H.E. TAKESHI YAMASHITA
Minister
Justice Ministry of Japan
1-1-1, Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo 100-8977 Japan
Fax No: +81 3-3592-7393

The Director
Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau
5-5-30 Konan, Minato-ku
Tokyo 108-8255 Japan 
Telephone no: +81 3-5796-7111
Fax No: +81 3-5796-7125

H.E. KOJI HANEDA
Ambassador
Embassy of Japan
2627 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City 1300
Philippines
Telephone No: (02) 551-5710 (Trunk Line)
Email: ryoji@ma.mofa.go.jp

H.E. EDUARDO M.R. MENEZ
Deputy Minister
Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines
5-15-5 Roppongi, Minato-ku
Tokyo 106-8537 Japan
Telephone No: 
Fax No: +81 3-5562-1603
Email: Eduardo.menez@philembassy.net

Hold selfie or groupie protests holding support messages for Loida Quindoy and post, or send this to:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/299234224012566/

Hold pickets in front of the Japanese embassy or consulate to demand the reinstatement of Loida Quindoy’s residence status.

Migrante stands with striking Sumifru workers. Decries state-sponsored violence

Migrante International strongly denounces the violent dispersal, harassment and arrests inflicted by privately hired goons in connivance with PNP and AFP against striking Sumifru workers. Yesterday, the hired lapdogs drove away and brutally assaulted the members of Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa Suyapa Farm organized under the National Federation of Labor Unions – Kilusang Mayo Uno (NAMASUFA-NAFLU-KMU).

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In the Global Workers’ Rights Index, the Philippines is ranked as among the worst countries to work in. Up to now, the absence of a national minimum wage and job security due to contractualization exacerbates the plight of Filipino workers as they face threats, violence and intimidation in their struggle to assert their basic rights.

Many big corporations in the Philippines are emboldened by state sponsored violence and suppression of workers’ rights. Among big business entities guilty of oppressing workers is Sumifru, a Japanese company under Sumitomo Corporation which recently made it this year as one of the world’s worst violators of workers’ rights.

Through Martial Law in Mindanao and its de facto imposition in the rest of the country, the US-Duterte regime has been attempting to quash the labour movement to dismiss the legitimate demands of workers in favour of capitalist exploitation.

Due to Duterte’s systematization of contractualization and his neoliberal attacks through the TRAIN-induced price hikes and depression of wages, workers have found no other recourse but to mobilize and realize their collective strength in the struggle to achieve emancipation from oppression.

The regime’s refusal to address the plight of local workers has banished millions of Filipinos overseas and made them vulnerable to slave-like conditions. Instead of addressing the problems of forced migration, the US-Duterte regime employed Fascist methods to red-tag and suppress members of progressive labour movements in the Philippines.

No amount of Fascist repression will ever shake the conviction of striking workers in the legitimacy of their cause and advocacies. Migrante is firmly confident in the militant fortitude of the striking workers of Sumifru and all the other progressive labour forces in different parts of the country. OFWs and their families are fully united with all workers engaged in the struggle for national democracy.

Stand with Sumifru workers!

Support NAMASUFA strike! End Endo now!

No to mandatory insurance for OFWs! Genuine protection, not neglect and extortion!

Migrante International vehemently opposes another state exaction by the Duterte regime through POEA Governing Board Resolution No.04 ordering the inclusion of returning OFWs in its compulsory insurance policy.

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This resolution exhibits the government handing over to the private sector its responsibility of providing protective services to OFWs. Unsatisfied with extorting mandatory insurance from new hires, the regime is now itching to suck billions and billions of money from rehires to further boost the profit of private insurance providers.

By charging each rehire with the insurance cost of US$144, POEA-accredited insurance providers are set to rake at least Php 7.6 billion every year hinging on last year’s deployment figure of almost a million rehires. This whopping amount does not even include collections from new hires. Without question, this is plain highway robbery!

In most cases, additional exactions either end up as salary deductions or as excessive charges by recruitment agencies and many OFW repatriates do not even receive their insurance claims. Instead, their ticket fares are drawn out from their salaries.

As if the numerous ordeals of OFWs and their families over Duterte’s TRAIN-induced price hikes are not yet enough, the regime is once again augmenting their agony by having POEA act as a bloodsucking conduit to subsidize private profit.

If the president is truly working for the interest of OFWs as he falsely claims, we challenge the Duterte government to scrap POEA Governing Board Resolution No.04 and fully assume its responsibility of protecting the rights and welfare of OFWs and their families instead of relentlessly plundering them for the sake of big corporate interests.

Scrap POEA GBR 04-2018!

Serbisyo hindi negosyo! Proteksyon hindi koleksyon!