‘Recall and investigate incompetent embassy officials’- group

MIGRANTS group renewed its call to recall and investigate incompetent Philippine embassy officials.

Migrante-Middle East issued the statement amid reports on four overseas Filipino workers (OFW), among those held hostage in Algeria, who returned yesterday complaining about the incompetence of PH embassy officials.

Per reports, the four OFWs arrived on board Qatar Airway flight QR-646 at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 at around 4:00 p.m.

The four OFWs are Mario Catiis, Crisostomo Carabia, Larry Villariza and Ramon Tortosa, who work for a Japanese corporation that facilitated their repatriation.

“The refusal of our 4 fellow OFWs who were victim of the Algeria hostage siege to decline all the offers for VIP treatment by Immigration and customs officers upon their arrival at NAIA was an act of protest,” said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator.

Monterona said their 4 fellow OFWs were really upset because of the treatment and incompetence of PH embassy officials who are supposed to provide all the needed assistance to them after their horrific experience.

“This is not an isolated case. Every time our fellow OFWs in dire need of assistance from our PH officials abroad, we often heard allegations that they were not properly attended and given assistance. This is criminal neglect, plain and simple,” Monterona averred.

Monterona said his group will support and encourage the four OFWs to issue a signed affidavit and formally lodge a complaint against the PH embassy officials who were accused of incompetence.

“A copy of their complaint must be sent to Pres. Aquino, whom we think are very much aware of the poor records of his embassy officials abroad in terms of providing assistance to distress, abused, and OFWs victims in general. He must act on this swiftly,” Monterona suggested.

Monterona observed that PH diplomatic missions abroad wantonly neglecting the 3rd pillar of PH foreign policy, that is ‘protection of rights and promotion of the Filipinos overseas’ especially OFWs whom the government hails as ‘Modern Heroes’, but were actually ‘Modern Slaves’ too, so to speak, in foreign countries.

“Migrante officers, Migrante Sectoral Party, and our allied OFWs organizations active in providing assistance to distressed and abused are willing to share insights of our rich experiences to PH diplomatic missions abroad how to improve its services to OFWs,” Monterona said.

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