Tip of the iceberg

PRESIDENT Aquino was reportedly outraged upon learning that Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Shulan Primavera was accused of sexually harassing a Filipino runaway maid who was working at his home while waiting for her repatriation.

He has recalled the embattled 63-year-old diplomat back home in order to face investigation and answer charges hurled against him.

Primavera is a seasoned diplomat, having served in various foreign posts in the past.  He was ambassador to Egypt and Indonesia, and was foreign affairs assistant secretary for the Middle East and African Affairs.

Our lawmakers were equally outraged at the shocking revelation, courtesy of Susan “Toots” Ople, a former labor undersecretary and daughter of the late foreign affairs secretary Blas Ople.

This incident, many believe, is just a tip of the iceberg.

Actually, the problem is much bigger than what it seems.

Days before the Filipino runaway maid exposed the alleged sexual perversion of Ambassador Primavera, we also learned that this kind of sinister arrangement has been going on as early as 1980’s in other foreign diplomatic posts in the Middle East.

In Saudi Arabia, we learned that Filipino runaway maids have reportedly been pimped by callous personnel of the Philippine consulate when they sought for assistance for their immediate repatriation.

Our diplomatic sources claimed that these Filipino runaway maids, who are considered illegal workers, have been “sold for sex” in exchange of some hefty sum of money.

Because they badly need money to send home, these Filipino runaway maids are lured to the illegal transaction, clinching to the knife’s blade or in our vernacular, kumakapit sa patalim.

These unscrupulous government personnel should be ashamed of themselves for taking advantage of some people’s miseries.  Naipit na nga sa gusot, itinutulak pa nila sa lugmok ng putikan.

Obviously, this is just one of too many tragic incidents.

Elsewhere, we hear stories of our poor Filipino workers abroad who are forced to swallow their own pride, dignity and even self-respect because they have to survive the ordeal of working in a foreign land.

Our hearts bleed for these poor overseas Filipino workers.

Our legislators should conduct a thorough investigation to hold these erring foreign service officers who prey on our poor and hapless OFWs accountable before the bar of justice.

Enough of paying lip-service to our OFWs. If they are really our modern heroes as we call them, then it is about time that we hear and listen to their plight and send foreign service officers who really have a big heart for them.

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