17 November 2010
“How fair is the investigation? It has been a week since the investigating team has conducted its probe in Hong Kong and up to now, there’s no word on its results. By this week, DOLE must make the results public for Agnes Tenorio and other fellow OFWs. We have the right to know.”
This was called today by Dolores Balladares, chairperson of the militant United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK) as she chided the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for its silence on the status of the investigation on Labor Attaché Romulo Salud’s verbal abuse and neglect of OFW Tenorio.
“Is the investigation over? When will the report be finished? What were the findings and recommendations? Will it be Secretary Baldoz who will decide on the recommendations? When will this be done? Was Labatt Salud suspended to prevent prejudice on the probe? These are just some of the questions that DOLE has been silent about and such silence does not bode well for the credibility of probe,” she added.
According to Balladares, for as long as DOLE is not transparent with the investigation, “there will be suspicions of possible whitewash and cover up.”
Last week, the investigating team DOLE formed arrived in Hong Kong and interviewed Tenorio and Eman Villanueva of the UNIFIL-HK in November 9.
“The silence is worrisome. In the spirit of transparency and fair process, DOLE should have kept informed all concerned parties on how the investigation is going on. Parties involved should be assured that the information provided to the investigating team are included and properly reflected in the report”, the migrant leader added.
Balladares said that thousands of OFWs are awaiting the final resolution of the complaint against Salud. To date, she reported that more than 12,000 signatures have been collected from OFWs in Hong Kong in only a few hours of petition signing for the past three Sundays.
“This is a show of overwhelming support of fellow OFWs to Agnes’ plight. With the available evidence and the public acknowledgement made by Salud himself, there is no more doubt that the verbal abuse occurred”, Balladares stressed. “If ever Salud is absolved of his grave misconduct via this investigation, it will only fuel more anger among OFWs and will only strengthen our belief that the government is not there for our rights”, she added.
Meanwhile, UNIFIL-MIGRANTE pledge to do all it can to ensure that justice will be served to Agnes Tenorio and other OFWs who have been victimized by abusive government officials. “We will be watching this case very closely and make sure that abusive government officials are made accountable and justice is served to their victims,” Balladares concluded. (Bulatlat.com)
Dolores T. Balladares