OFWs in distress, families join calls for Aquino to resign

11001918_10153040766514098_5536910407980611270_n“Kung naging pabaya, pahamak, inutil at hugas-kamay si Pang. Noynoy Aquino sa madugong operasyon sa Mamasapano, matagal na niyang ginagawa ito sa aming mga OFW.”This was the statement of distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their kin in a press conference today as they joined calls for Aquino to resign.

“For OFWs and their families, Aquino’s role and Malacanang’s consequent efforts to cover-up his accountability in the Mamasapano tragedy is the last straw. Patunay lamang ito na kung kayang ipain at isubo ni Aquino ang sarili niyang hukbong sandatahan sa tiyak na kamatayan, paano pa ang mga kawawang OFW at mamamayan?” said Sol Pillas, Migrante International secretary-general.

In the press conference, Pillas was joined by Noela Garcia, a victim of maltreatment and sexual harassment; Olivia Ramos who was used as a “human target” for her employer’s firing practice; the mother of Rose Dacanay, an attempted rape victim and OFW in Saudi jail after being falsely accused for killing her employer; and, relatives of workers in RHM Company in Saudi who are currently seeking immediate repatriation due to labor violations and withheld wages.

According to Pillas, the distressed OFWs represent the situation of OFWs who fell victim to the Aquino government’s neglect and abandonment. “All of them bear witness to this government’s criminal neglect and incompetence. All of them have sought the government’s help and have been found wanting. All of them have no qualms now lending their voices to the growing clamor for Aquino to resign.”

Chanting, “Tama na, sobra na, Aquino resign na!”, the OFWs said that they feel for the widows of the PNP-SAF and the loved ones of the others killed, injured and displaced by the Mamasapano bloodbath.

For her part, Ramos said, “Taus-puso ang aming pakikidalamhati sa kanila dahil alam namin kung paanong maghugas-kamay sa responsibilidad ang gobyerno. Nakikiisa kami sa mga nananawagan para sa katotohan at pananagutan. Matagal na naming ayaw sa gobyernong ito.”

“Kahit nakauwi na ang ilan sa amin, patuloy pa rin ang panawagan namin para sa hustisya pero nananatiling walang aksyon ang gobyerno. Kaya naman natutuwa kaming mas marami na ngayong namumulat at nananawagan na paalisin si Aquino sa pwesto,”Garcia said.

Pillas added that it is now more clear who Aquino’s “real boss” is. “The US’ hand in the attack cannot be denied. It is now clear that under direct orders from the US, Aquino by-passed the chain of command at the expense of sending hundreds of Philippine troops to suicide missions, in blatant disrespect of any existing peace pacts and national sovereignty.”

Amid coup rumors, Pillas called on all patriotic officers and personnel of the Armed Forces and the Philippine National Police to instead join the Filipino people in calling for Aquino to step down from office. She also enjoined all freedom- and justice-loving Filipinos all over the world to launch and join protest actions calling on Aquino to resign.

Migrante International supports the formation of a transition council to replace Aquino. On March 17, the 20th death anniversary of Flor Contemplacion, Migrante and its chapters and affiliates worldwide will be holding a “Global Day of Action for Aquino’s Resignation”. ###