Global alliance of overseas Filipinos Migrante International chairperson Garry Martinez described Pres. BS Aquino’s fifth State of the Nation Address as “a litany of rhetoric, exaggeration and more lies”.
“Facing isolation and the dissent of the people, BS Aquino attempted to deodorize the real state of the nation by providing the public with clichés and incomplete and selective data to further justify and defend the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), sprinkled with theatrics and the usual bashing of critics. Yesterday’s biggest SONA protest under his term is proof that the Filipino people are not buying any of it,” Martinez said.
He said that BS Aquino again did not mention the failure of land reform, and had the gall to lie about the number of workers’ strikes erupting in the country due to low wages and contractualization. “These are integral problems that the government failed to address. These are the reasons why more and more Filipinos are being forced to migrate and look for jobs abroad under his term despite risks and separation from their families.”
BS Aquino has enforced a more aggressive labor export policy. By 2012, at least one-fourth of the country’s labor force has gone abroad to find work. There are now 15 million Filipinos abroad. According to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, 1.5 million Filipinos were deployed abroad in the start of BS Aquino’s term. Since 2010, the number of OFWs leaving the country increased from 2,500 daily to 4,884 in 2013. Last year, the BS Aquino government has breached the two million mark in deployment of OFWs for a year, the highest record in history since labor export was enforced in the 1970s.
Martinez also said that BS Aquino again did not mention anything about the plight of overseas Filipino workers, especially what the government is doing to protect OFWs in conflict-ridden countries due to US-backed wars in Libya, Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Kuwait and Afghanistan. “BS Aquino’s puppetry and dogged support for the US continues to place our OFWs in perilous conditions and the government is mum about it.”
“Aside from thanking Filipino migrants for their relief efforts and donations to victims of Yolanda, no mention at all. For your information, Mr. Aquino, donations from our kababayans abroad poured in because they saw how inept and slow government response was and felt, rightly, that they had to step in to compensate for your criminal neglect,” he said.
Martinez also called on Filipinos around the world to be vigilant against BS Aquino’s instructions to Congress for the “passage of a Joint Resolution that will bring clarity to the definitions and ideas still being debated upon” on the DAP.
“This is a clear message to Congress, his allies, to help him legalize DAP. It is a message to the Supreme Court that he is out to defy and challenge their decision on the DAP. Let us all be vigilant and guard against any attempts of BS Aquino to evade accountability on the multi-billion peso DAP scam,” he said.
Martinez said that, in the wake of the biggest SONA protest, Filipinos around the world are as early as now preparing for bigger protest actions against BS Aquino’s DAP on August 25, a year after the Million People March. ###