Flora Belinan, Migrante-Baguio-Benguet and the third nominee of Gabriela Women’s Party said, “Women and children bear most of the social cost of migration. It is the women who suffer the agony and uncertainty, especially if their husband-OFW is in jail.”
Belinan said almost all OFWs jailed in other countries suffer the same hardships. In the first place, she said, the Philippine government should have intervened immediately especially since most, like the 23 miners, were mere fall guys. Torture and imprisonment are unnecessary sacrifices that OFWs and their families have to face.
The miners, now left with no job, said that their records have already been tarnished with their 11-month imprisonment in Saudi Arabia. “We are anxious that no other company in any country would accept us,” Magciano said as he aired the sentiment of the group.
Belinan agreed that when an OFW’s name is tarnished in a country, it would be hard to land another job in another country. She lamented that there are not enough decent-paying jobs around to provide employment for returning OFWs.
“Sino sana ang kakalinga sa mga kababayan nating nagtatrabaho sa ibang bansa no saan a ti gobyerno?” (Who should care for our compatriots working abroad if the government fails to do so?) Belinan said.
The eleven miners who included Nick Mallare,42; Romeo Colas, 48; Hector Dominguez, 41; Sammuel Dagwase, 40; Nestor Apid, 42; Jose Mangilit, 46 and Raul Pongus, 48, will file a case to clear their names. Twelve unnamed others, including Tandagan, are still languishing in the Madina jail.
No one expects this to happen to them, said Belinan. In the first place, Belinan said, no one wants to leave his family to work abroad if not for the lack in gainful employment in the country, she added. Lyn V. Ramo for NORDIS/(Bulatlat.com)