(WITH PHOTOS) Migrante stages lightning rally in Mendiola to call for Aquino’s resignation

photo courtesy of Pinoy Weekly

photo courtesy of Pinoy Weekly

Global alliance of overseas Filipinos Migrante International staged a lightning rally in Mendiola today to call for Aquino’s removal from office in light of the series of tragedies and atrocities that have plagued Filipino migrant workers in the past few days.

Barely a week before the 20th death anniversary of Flor Contemplacion, another overseas Filipino worker (OFW) was beheaded in Saudi Arabia, four Filipinos have been abducted by Islamic State jihadists in Libya, 13 Filipino seafarers are still missing after a Taiwan ship sunk in the South Atlantic Ocean and many other modern-day Flor Contemplacions continue to suffer because of the government’s criminal neglect.

Chanting “Tama na, sobra na, palitan na!”, the rallyists said that these recent atrocities and injustices against OFWs, compounded by Aquino’s other crimes and transgressions against the Filipino people in light of the Mamasapano bloodbath, massive corruption in government, the Yolanda tragedy, poor social services and unending price hikes, further crystalize the demand of Filipinos all over the world to hold Aquino accountable for criminal neglect and incompetence.

Migrante International reiterates the demand for Aquino to resign or be ousted. “We do not want more OFWs to die or be placed in clear and present danger because of government failure and criminal neglect. We want Aquino out,” said Garry Martinez, Migrante International chairperson.

“Twenty years after the death of Flor Contemplacion, Filipino migrants and their families are once again roused into collective action and determination to exercise their democratic right to bring about regime and system change,” he said.

Migrante International is part of NOW! (Noynoy Out Now!), a broad multisectoral formation calling for Aquino’s resignation and the formation of a People’s Council to replace him.

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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On Dec. 18 Int’l Migrants’ Day, OFWs from 16 countries march to Mendiola to call for Aquino’s ouster

oustFive days after the execution of overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Carlito Lana in Saudi, Filipino migrants from all over the world marched to Mendiola calling for the ouster of Pres. Benigno Aquino III.

Migrante chapters in the Philippines and from 16 different countries gathered in Manila today to commemmorate International Migrants’ Day by demanding accountability from the Aquino government for the worsening conditions of Filipino migrants and their families.

The march was participated in by delegates from Migrante chapters in Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Italy, Austria, United Kingdom, Netherlands, United States, Canada and Australia. Delegates from Migrante chapters in Davao, General Santos, Socsargen, Calabarzon, Tacloban, Nueva Ecija, Bataan, Pampanga, Pangasinan and the National Capital Region were also present.

“Today, we call for an end to forced migration and modern-day slavery. Today, we stand with OFWs all over the world in the continuing protest against a corrupt, anti-people and anti-migrant government that has treated OFWs as milking cows. Today, we stand with Filipinos all over the world in condemning Aquino’s corruption and subservience to foreign dictates,” said Garry Martinez, Migrante International chairperson.

Martinez called on all Filipino migrants and their families to join the movement calling for an end to the Aquino regime. “After four years of corruption, mendacity, puppetry, oppression and human rights violations, Aquino has once again roused the Filipino people into collective action and determination to exercise their democratic power to bring about regime change as mounting calls for his ouster continue to gain strength around the country and all over the world.”

The marchers presented a chain- and whip-brandishing Aquino effigy depicting how Filipino migrants have become “modern-day slaves” because of the regime’s more aggressive and unapologetic labor export policy.

Martinez said that under the Aquino administration, OFWs have experienced unforgivable government neglect, the biggest budget cut for OFW services, more exorbitant state exactions and fee impositions, anti-migrant policies that have placed their welfare at stake and an ever-worsening domestic crisis that has aggravated forced migration.

Meanwhile, Aquino and his cohorts’ involvement in the pork barrel scam and the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) is yet another “unforgivable” for Filipino migrants and their families.

Martinez said that it is indefensible reprehensible and outrageous how Aquino and his cohorts have squandered billions of pesos in DAP and pork while scrimping on funds for Filipino migrants in distress and their families. “DAP is not savings. DAP is not good. DAP was not done in good faith. DAP did not produce good results. What Aquino did through DAP was to pull in billions of pesos into a huge sum of presidential pork. DAP was used for bribery, patronage politics and to consolidate Aquino’s clique in government in time for the 2016 elections. Filipinos around the world want Aquino out. We do not want him to stay until 2016,” he said. ###