An alliance of Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Middle East today urges Malacanang to protest on the report issued by the US Department of State linking OFWs as source of funds, among other sources, for the extremist Abu Sayaf Group (ASG).
Citing news reports, the US State department issued its country report on terrorism dated August 5 saying “The ASG is funded through acts of ransom and extortion and may receive funding from external sources such as remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFW) and possibly Middle East-based extremists.”
Reacting to this, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona said this is quite alarming because such report is unfounded, unfair, and irresponsible as there is no truth to it.
“Such sweeping accusation linking OFWs as source of ASG's funds is unjust; OFWs, in the first place, are forced to accept jobs overseas due to anti-labor policies of the government such as contractualization, union busting, meager wages, lack or no benefits, among many others, and no available decent jobs for them in the Philippines,” Monterona said.
Monterona added such baseless report linking OFWs as funds sources for ASG pose a serious threat not only to the jobs of OFWs but as well as to their rights and well being's safety.
“It may send a wrong signal to the host governments especially here in the Middle East, who are active on its campaign against “terrorism” of extremists groups that is believed to have link to ASG in
He cited for instance the Saudi government's intensified efforts and campaign against terrorist groups in its neighboring country
Monterona said OFWs and their families should be spared from “war on terror” as they should not be a target of attack.
“For OFWs protection, we demand from the Aquino government to question this baseless report of linking OFWs as source of funds for ASG, and ask the
“There is no blood in our remittance"
UNIFIL-HK joins protest vs
“To even insinuate that the Abu Sayyaf bandit group may be receiving funding from overseas Filipinos through the remittance we send is an idiocy and is insulting to OFWs. There is no blood in our remittance.
Militant OFW organization, the United Filipinos in
“We work hard to earn barely enough because we are one of the lowest paid among workers. Now the
Balladares also chided the timing of the US State Department’s accusation that happened just as news of the review of the Visiting Forces Agreement or VFA came up.
“We shall not be made pawns for the
According to Balladares, the accusation of helping terrorists put in danger the safety of OFWs and families of overseas workers in the
“With the malicious suspicion cast on OFWs and our remittance, will we also be made targets for repression? Will not our jobs be made insecure by this unfounded charge and thus also put in peril our family’s future? US policies in the
In this light, Balladarez also criticized Pres. Noynoy Aquino’s silence on the wrongful and unjust accusation to overseas Filipinos.
“President Noynoy Aquino was quick to speak out against the
UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK challenged Aquino to make true his promise of change by “standing up for his own people” and demanding apology and explanation from the US State Department on this injustice done to OFWs.
“We raise protests when we hear of disparaging and racists remarks against Filipinos. The