21 July 2010
An alliance of Filipino migrant rights group in the Middle East today expresses alarm on the two reported separate incidents of killings involving OFWs in Kuwait last week.
“We could not help but to express apprehension upon knowing the killings of fellow OFWs in two separate incidents in Kuwait; what concerns us is the way how they have been killed and the motives of the brutal killings,” said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator.
Monterona said though one of the reported killings involving a Filipina and her Egyptian husband might be based on domestic problem, “but stabbing the Filipina wife 31 times by her Egyptian husband is more than brutal, but also degrading,” he added.
Monterona also expresses alarm on the killing of the other Filipina whose dead cold body has been dumped in the dessert by the alleged perpetrators, her employer husband and wife.
“The 2 separate incidents is a mere reflection of how badly OFWs are treated by their employers or even by their very own husband, and this is not isolated to the two victims but to all OFWs especially here in the Arab countries,” Monterona opined.
Monterona said the 7 to 10 cases of abuses and maltreatment Migrante chapters in the Middle East have been recorded daily corroborate to this bitter reality of working abroad.
And yet, he said, there is no protection mechanism put in place by various RP posts for Filipino workers abroad.
“Previous administrations failed to conclude with the host-receiving governments human rights-centered bilateral agreements that clearly spell out how OFWs will be protected from their abusive employers, considering that OFWs too have been contributing to the host government local economy and development,” Monterona added.
“The government response by closely monitoring and follow up these cases is not and could not give a firm assurance that no more brutal killings involving OFWs will ever happened,” Monterona averred.
Monterona noted so far OFWs and their families have been hearing only marching orders and directives from President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III to the Foreign Affairs department and other concerned government agencies to attend OFWs woes and concerns.
“We are expecting that Pres. Aquino III will re-iterate his marching orders and directives during his first State of the Nation’s Address, but this time he should make it clear, bold and specific what actions to take such as providing more on-site services and protections for OFWs abroad, lowering or scrapping of unnecessary fees and charges imposed to OFWs by the government, among many others,” Monterona ended. (Bulatlat.com)
John Leonard Monterona
Migrante Middle East regional coordinator