Justice sought for death of 6 Filipinos in Japan

A FILIPINO migrant workers’ group is calling on the Philippine Consulate General’s Office in Osaka to move for the early resolution of an incident that resulted in the death of six Filipinos in Japan.

“(It) must seek justice for the victims, including the injured, and ensure the immediate repatriation of the victims’ remains if necessary,” said Migrante-Japan in a recent statement.

The victims, three men and three women in their 20s and 30s, died after they figured in a traffic collision on November 28 in Mie Prefecture.

The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said that fatalities were all Filipino-Japanese resident visa holders.

They were on their way to work in Mie Prefecture’s Kameyama City when the minibus they were boarding collided with a trailer truck.

Mie Prefecture has always been known as an area populated by nikkeijins or Filipinos of Japanese descent.

The DFA identified the victims as Mabini Bangi Paler III, 30; Analou Paler Dogami, 30; Randy Bayron Cornel, 30; Alma Dula Adarlo, 33; Remedios Bertoldo Cargullo, 24; and Ceferino Salengua Pedro Jr., 28.

Twelve other passengers of the minibus who were slightly injured from the road accident have already been released from hospital, according to the department. Nine others, who suffered serious injuries are still confined and are being treated.

The passengers of the minibus were all working for a company makes flat-panel televisions for Sharp Corporation, one of the electronics giants in Japan.

“Migrante-Japan views their death… as a tragedy. We condole with the family of the victims for their loss and sympathize with the family of those injured. Losing a family member in such a tragic manner is always hard to fathom. We are one with them in seeking justice for their loved ones,” the group said.

Migrante said that since the Philippine government intensified its labor export policy, Japan has become one of the most favored destinations of Filipinos seeking jobs overseas for its sheer proximity to the Philippines and the prospect of earning more than what ordinary workers can possibly earn in the Philippines.

Traditionally, Japan is not open to migrant labor, only highly skilled workers and women entertainers are allowed to enter the job market.

However, because of massive unemployment and the continued underdevelopment of the Philippine economy, more Filipinos are lured to enter Japan unmindful of its strict immigration policies and the risks that go with it.

To date, estimates place the number of Filipinos in Japan at around 200,000 not including irregular or undocumented workers numbering around 30,000.

Aside from entertainers, the number of Filipino women married to Japanese men and custodial mothers of Japanese-Filipino children has also increased.

Migrante believes that instead of relying on labor export, the Philippines must push for genuine national development.

It says that national industrialization and genuine land reform are key programs that can create real jobs for the millions of unemployed so that in the future, we Filipinos, need not work abroad in order to survive.


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