Migrante on Monday assailed Arroyo for deliberately delaying the repatriation of 120 stranded OFWs in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia so that she can use them as "photo-ops" when she arrives in the country Wednesday. Speaking over the radio this morning, Palace spokesperson Cerge Remonde announced that Arroyo will personally bring home the stranded OFWs staying at the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Center in the Kingdom.
But Migrante reported that during a dialogue with OWWA Administrator Carmelita Dimzon more than a month ago regarding the issue of stranded OFWs in Saudi Arabia, Dimzon confidently assured the group that the OWWA can repatriate the OFWs in two days. The dialogue was facilitated by Senator Loren Legarda.
"The two days have long been over and yet no repatriation has happened. And now this. We believe there could be no other reason for the delay but to indulge Arroyo's proven penchant for photo-ops. She plans to parade these poor OFWs before the media when she arrives on Wednesday in a desperate bid to justify her extravagant junkets overseas," said Garry Martinez, chairperson of Migrante International.
Over the weekend, Migrante dared OWWA to bring home all 300 stranded OFWs even before Arroyo lands in the Kingdom if only to disprove suspicions that the government is deliberately putting off the stranded OFWs' repatriation in time for Arroyo's arrival.
"Stranded OFWs have fallen sick and some have already died in overcrowded and stomach-turning deportations centers in the Kingdom. Her audacity to delay their repatriation for a photo-op speaks volumes on how this administration treats our OFWs."
"On Wednesday, the nation will again stand witness to yet another one of Arroyo's heartless media gimmicks at the expense of our poor OFWs," Martinez concluded.