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”. ###

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“Aquino, Pontio Pilato!” Filipinos worldwide enjoined to transform “Nat’l Day of Mourning” to “Global Day of Mourning for Justice”

image courtesy of Luisita Watch

image courtesy of Luisita Watch

Global alliance of overseas Filipinos Migrante International extended its most heartfelt condolences to the families of those who died in the Mamasapano clash.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those killed from both sides. To the 44 PNP-SAF who were cold-heartedly sent to their own execution and to the MILF fighters who defended what to them are their territories especially as the Aquino government has practically recognized this assertion through a peace pact which is yet to be approved by Congress. They were sent to their own death row on specific orders. Heads must roll, and the biggest bloated head should be made accountable most of all,” said Garry Martinez, Migrante International chairperson.

Martinez slammed Pres. BS Aquino’s primetime speech last night, saying that “the speech elicited more questions than answers and it also made clear to the public that Aquino and his clandestine operators have blood on their hands.”

“Aquino did a Pontius Pilate, and Pontius Pilate had the gall to quote the Bible. He offered no sympathy, no categorical answers and no clear solutions and plans of action. All he did was double-speak, he evaded the questions with the clear intent of sowing more confusion among the public. He delivered all these with the sole purpose of exonerating himself of all and any accountability, short of declaring to the nation and the world that he is practically a clueless commander-in-chief,” Martinez said.

Martinez said that the public should continue to be relentless in pursuing answers to questions that arose because of the bloodbath. “If the so-called mission involved a high-ranking target, why were the AFP and PNP top brass and the DILG kept under the dark? What were the roles played by alleged operators ex-Gen. Purisima and Exec. Sec. Ochoa? What was Aquino himself doing in Zamboanga on the weekend of the mission? Why were US troops in the area and present during the clearing operations?”

“The most pressing question: Who gave the go-signal? This was deliberately not answered by Aquino. He obviously knew of the planned attack and for this alone he should step down from office.”

Martinez added, “As to who gave the orders, the question must be asked: Aquino, sino ang tunay na boss mo? The US’ hand in the attack cannot be denied. If it is true that the US called the shots, at the expense of sending hundreds of Philippine troops to suicide missions, in blatant disrespect of any existing peace pacts, then what should be under serious fire now are not efforts for peace by any party but any and all military treaties and agreements with the US. Pinag-aaaway-away ng US ang Pilipino sa kapwa Pilipino, Pilipino sa Pilipino ang nagpapatayan, dahil sa pagkatuta nitong si Aquino sa tropang Kano.”

Martinez called on all patriotic officers and personnel of the Armed Forces and the Philippine National Police to join the Filipino people in calling for Aquino to step down from office, and to join the movement for a just and lasting peace in the Mindanao and the rest of the country through a genuine peace pact between the Bangsamoro and the PH government and the resumption of the GPH-NDF peace talks.

He also enjoined all freedom- and justice-loving Filipinos all over the world to transform Friday’s “National Day of Mourning” into a “Global Day of Mourning for Justice” to denounce Aquino’s accountability in the Mamasapano clash. ###