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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Migrante On Vecina’s homecoming: How about the 20 Pinays in Saudi harem?

Migrante International, a global alliance of Filipino migrant organizations, welcomed the news of May Vecina's homecoming but raised the plight of 20 Pinays who are allegedly being raped in an agency office in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia.


"Will the 20 Pinays being rape by Abu Khalid have to wait for two years before they can have the same red carpet treatment from Vice President Noli De Castro? Do they also have to thank the government for failing to give them decent jobs here in the Philippines and become sex slaves abroad?" asked Garry Martinez, chairperson of Migrante International.


The group revealed that 5 of the 20 reported domestic helpers being held in Maqpoon Belahodood General Service Company's office in Dammam, Saudi Arabia are allegedly being rape every night when they are summoned by the agency's owner, Abu Khalid.


"3 Pinays who recently escaped Abu Khalid's place are now in the embassy premises while the other two ran away to an undisclosed area. Also, 15 Filipina domestic helpers are still left in the agency's office. Up to now, we have not heard anything if the Philippine embassy in Riyadh has already informed the Presidential adviser for OFWs, who is Vice President Noli De Castro," Martinez added.


Migrante claimed that they brought May Vecina's case to the attention of the government during the time they were campaigning for Marilou Ranario's case, another OFW whose death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in Kuwait last year.


"We urge Vice President de Castro to immediately assist the Filipinas being repeatedly raped in Saudi. We are pretty sure that their case would also help boost his ratings for the coming presidential elections," Martim\nez said.


The group demanded that Ambassador Antonio Villamor and Labor Attache David Des Dicang should ensure the safety and wellbeing of the victims and assist them in filing the necessary cases against Abu Khalid.


"We would like to remind the government that repatriating the victims alone, without prosecuting the rapist, is tantamount to covering up the heinous crimes committed against our poor kababayans. It is incumbent upon them to make sure that the rapist would not be able to victimize another Filipina," Martinez concluded.

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