A global alliance of OFW organizations cautioned President Arroyo in using the wake of Joel Llorente, a returning OFW who died while on board a plane, to cover for her administration's alleged criminal neglect on OFWs welfare protection.
"It is precisely the Arroyo administration's failure to address the basic needs of the Filipinos that kept OFWs like Llorente to keep on working even while sick. It would be the height of hypocrisy to use his wake as a publicity stunt when in the first place it was her labor export program that eventually killed Llorente," exclaimed Garry Martinez, chairperson of Migrante international.
President Arroyo visited the house of Llorente at Payatas, Quezon City, to sympathize with the mourning family of the said OFW and to assure that necessary benefits would be given by OWWA.
"About 3,400 Filipinos are leaving their loved ones daily to work abroad due to worsening poverty and widespread unemployment here in our country. On the other hand, an average of 10 bodies of overseas Filipinos likewise arrives everyday. No amount of token commiseration with one victim can expunge GMA's record of criminal negligence for the plight of the OFWs ," Garry Martinez added.
According to the group, President Arroyo signed administrative order 247 last December 4 instructing POEA to focus more on marketing OFWs abroad to ensure the number of deployed Filipino workers in different countries this year will increase.
"We would like to remind President Arroyo that three of her fellow Kapampangans could be beheaded any moment since her administration failed to raise the issue of the torture they experienced at the hands of Saudi authorities so they would forcibly admit to the crimes they never committed. President Arroyo should really stop her practice of using OFWs to gain media mileage," Martinez concluded.