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Monday, January 11, 2010

On the case of OFW mistaken for a fugitive, Migrante demands an apology



A militant alliance of overseas Filipino workers groups today demanded an apology from Qatari and Philippine authorities after an innocent overseas Filipino worker (OFW) was mistaken for a fugitive and was recently arrested and locked up for seven days in Doha, Qatar.


"What a colossal blunder of the Deparment of Foreign Affairs and Bureau of Immigration officials! This is so typical of the incompetent, erring government officials of President Arroyo's government dealing with migrant issues," declared Garry Martinez, Migrante International chairperson.  


The OFW, Jason Aguilar, a welder from Calumpit Bulacan, is now back in the country after being deported by Qatari authorities. Radio reports mention how he has been traumatized by his experience.


"At the very least, Qatari and Philippine authorities should issue an apology to Jason Aguilar and his family for this serious case of mistaken identity. This blunder has already cost the poor OFW his job, leaving his family who depends on his earnings, with a bleak start in the New Year," continued Martinez.


The Migrante leader likewise "demanded that the OFW be indemnified by the Philipine government authorities for this terrible ordeal and those officials who have bungled up their job should immediately be dismissed from their jobs.


"Migrante International urges the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to undertake the necessary measures so that Aguilar's name will be cleared at the soonest and that he be indemnified for this terrible ordeal," he said.


The organization is also calling on the representatives of the Senate and the Lower House to decisively act on pending investigations on errant and abusive officials abroad.


Migrante mulls boycott of Cebu Pacific


Migrante International, the largest alliance of overseas Filipino workers' groups worldwide, today said they are contemplating on calling for a boycott of Cebu Pacific after several complaints of discriminatory practices have surfaced against the airline.


Cebu Pacific recently drew flak after it reportedly told a special child and his mother to get off the plane saying that the airline has a policy disallowing it.


"Cebu Pacific must be taught a lesson. There are reports that this is not the first time the airline has done this despicable policy. To protest the airline's discriminatory practices, Migrante International is contemplating on calling for a boycott of Cebu Pacific among OFWs worldwide and their families here in the country; specially if the airline has not done anything to rectify," said Garry Martinez, Migrante International Chairperson.


He said, Migrante fully supports the victim's pursuit of justice. He likewise called on other victims of Cebu Pacific's discriminatory policies to surface. ###


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