"Trafficking in persons degrades the dignity of a human person and exploits the vulnerability of people. …Trafficking in persons is becoming a menace, and is now a global phenomenon that affects not only the dignity of the person, but, also the reputation of the nation, whether it is a source or destination country."
Those were the words of Dir. Finardo G. Cabilao, defining trafficking with much objectivity but with pain, truth, compassion and care for the person and country. And behind those words are the very reason that propels him to assists the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who have been victimized by unscrupulous illegal recruiters and human traffickers. And for his belief, he lost his life. The authorities ruled out robbery as a motive for his death. His untiring effort then, to assist victims of human trafficking remains suspect for the killing.
Kanlungan Centre Foundation is a witness to Mr. Cabilao's tireless effort in extending assistance to OFWs. He helped us in looking for missing and trafficked OFWs; he helped us in the repatriation of a number. He was in constant communication with us these past few weeks. And for some months, he helped us locate and repatriate about 10 to 15 victims of trafficking. He saves lives that the persons may continue to live in dignity.
And while it is true that, often, NGOs and the government are in a constant battle of ideas, Kanlungan found a friend and an ally in the person of Dir. Finardo Cabilao. And we mourn for his loss. And we can only attribute to him the words of K. Gibran.."protecting other rights is the noblest and most beautiful human act." In life and in death, we commend the deeds of Dir. Finardo G. Cabilao as we call on the governments of the Philippines and Malaysia to resolve the case and let justice take its course.
The Officers and Staff
KANLUNGAN CENTRE FOUNDATION
14 August 2009