hearing news reports that 25 distress OFWs from Doha, Qatar would soon be
repatriated after Vice President Jejomar Binay interceded, during his March
30-31 visit to Doha, by asking the host government to allow them to be
repatriated, in effect waiving the immigration requirements imposed by the
host government to run away and stranded OFWs.
John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator, said
he received calls from some of the 62 detained OFWs in Bahrain asking for
assistance to inform VP Binay that they too are still languishing
in Bahrain and that have been pleading from the PH embassy in Manama,
Bahrain for their repatriation.
Monterona said he was not surprised at all upon receiving calls from
distress and jailed OFWs asking for assistance.
"It won't be a normal day if I have not received calls from our fellow OFWs
but distress asking for help, but what surprised him is that there are 62 of
them detained in various jails in Bahrain. This is a significant number," he
"I have known that there are about 50 distress OFWs at the Filipino
workers resource center managed by the PH embassy in Manama, but it was
disturbing to receive information, direct from the detained OFWs, that there
are 62 of them," Monterona lamented.
Monterona said according to the jailed OFW, who requested not to be named
and whom he had spoken over the phone yesterday, "some of them have been
languishing more than the jail term imposed by the jail authorities."
"Most of them are 'absconders', who were forced to run away from their
employers due to abuse and maltreatment; while others were charged of
immorality, theft, and other petty crimes," Monterona revealed.
"We will be formally informing VP Binay about the plea of the 62 jailed
OFWs in Bahrain especially their request to visit them and intercede, on
their behalf, with the host government for their repatriation. He could work
an amnesty grant for jailed OFWs," Monterona added.
Monterona is also urging VP Binay to consider visiting Bahrain and to
personally look on the situation of distress, stranded, and jailed OFWs.
"He has been hopping from one Arab state to another, and getting fruitful
results in attending various issues and concerns and even the repatriation
of OFWs, then the VP is urged to include on his Arab working tour going to
Bahrain, and maybe include Jordan and Lebanon as there are distress OFWs in
these countries, too," Monterona said.