11 October 2010
Hon. Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III
President, Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace, Manila
We have known that as of now there is no RP ambassador to Saudi Arabia after the recall of Ambassador Antonio Villamor, a political appointee by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
We would like to convey to you that we prefer to have a career diplomat. The 1.2-M OFWs in Saudi Arabia deserve the genuine and pro-active service of a well experienced career diplomat with strong credentials on various OFWs woes and concerns.
We uderstand that it is your government’s platform to change the decadent system in the government and this must include the various diplomatic post abroad. Thus, we urge you to consider the deployment of a career diplomat rather than appointing your political allies for the RP ambassadorship in Saudi Arabia.
The 1.2-M OFWs in Saudi Arabia deserve genuine service from the government, under your leadership, being the recepient of the billions of OFWs remittances that is keeping the economy afloat; OFWs deserve ‘pay back’ from you rather than your political allies by sending a well experienced senior career diplomat in Saudi Arabia.
It is almost 4 decade now since deployment of OFWs in the ’70’s; OFWs in Saudi Arabia have long been deprived of genuine service, on-site services and welfare programs that would alleviate the deplorable conditions of OFWs mostly domestic and construction workers as the most vulnerable among OFWs sectors.
The 7–10 OFW cases of abuses and maltreatment, aside from illegal recruitment cases, Migrante chapters in the Middle East have been receiving daily is a serious concern that the government must seriously looks on.
A highly qualified career diplomat, as Ambassador in Saudi, first job is to ensure that OFWs’ well-being, rights and welfare will be protected.
We hope that this matter would merit your attention and would act favorably.
For OFWs rights and welfare,
John Leonard Monterona (signed)
Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator