Recall & Dismissal Proceedings vs. PH envoy, Labor Attache in KSA
- Overseas Filipino workers & families, Migrant groups
- Saudi Arabia
Immediate recall of PH envoy to Saudi Arabia Ezzadin Tago, Labor Attache Adam Musa, and Case Interpreter Abdullah Umpa
(July 6, 2013 Press Statement originally posted at http://migranteme.blogspot.com/2013/07/saudi-ph-envoy-labor-attache-and.html)
Philippine officials abroad, either belonging to diplomatic mission or those at the labor and welfare offices (POLO-OWWA), are not only expected to provide utmost assistance to overseas Filipino workers in deplorable situation but are also duty-bound to fulfill their respective offices mandate –that is providing assistance to OFWs especially in distress and deplorable situation.
However, this had not been the case -and on several similar previous incidents- on the reported brutal dispersal and arrest of around 40 undocumented and stranded OFWs in Riyadh, Saudi’s capital. The stranded OFWs alleged that no less than the PH envoy, the labor attache and the welfare officer in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia reported and asked the Saudi police to come and take over that eventually led to brutal dispersal, arrest, and alleged torture of some of the stranded OFWs.
PH envoy to Saudi Arabia Ezzadin Tago, Labor attache Adam Musa, and Welfare officer Abdullah Umpa were tagged by the victims, the stranded OFWs, who reported and requested the Saudi police in their vain attempt to disperse the 40 stranded OFWs peacefully sit-in at POLO-OWWA compound premises. (See attached written complaints of the 7 stranded OFWs sent to the undersigned along the list of stranded OFWs awaiting repatriation in Riyadh, KSA.)
By their act, clearly PH ambassador Tago, Labor attache Musa, and Welfare officer Umpa are likened to ‘Makapili’ of recent time, hence they’re the ‘modern Makapili’.
‘Makapili’ is a person during the Japanese occupation who wears a bayong (woven bag) with two holes to see over his head to avoid recognition and point at anybody in the lineup of people caught by the Japanese soldiers as member or sympathizers of the Huk (Hukbo ng Bayan laban sa Hapon or Hukbalahap).
We see no violation of Saudi laws as the sit-in demonstration by the 40 stranded OFWs was peacefully done. They were at the POLO compound premises to air a legitimate grievance as they see that embassy and labor officials are not properly giving them assistance and are only dilly-dallying of their repatriation.
It is very understandable that the stranded OFWs decided to collectively and voluntarily stage a peaceful sit-in demonstration inside the POLO compound on Tuesday out of their desperation to be repatriated. They believed that embassy and labor officials are not properly attending their repatriation formalities despite coming forth and back with their accomplished documentation to embassy and labor officials for several times.
PH embassy and labor officials in Riyadh should have faced and talked to the stranded OFWs to explain to them the repatriation formalities and assure them of their assistance. Instead, PH officials reported and asked the Saudi police to disperse the 40 stranded OFWs who are inside the POLO compound.
It was actually Amb. Tago, Labor attache Musa, and Welfare officer Umpa who placed the stranded OFWs in jeopardy by reporting and asking the Saudi police to disperse the 40 stranded OFWs inside the POLO compound who were only there to peacefully air their grievances and demand prompt assistance from the PH officials who are in fact duty-bound to assist undocumented OFWs longing to be home.
The act of using terror to coerce the stranded OFWs highlighted PH embassy and labor officials’ incompetence to handle situation like this.
We condemn in the strongest terms possible the act of the PH embassy and labor officials in Saudi Arabia by facilitating and conniving with the Saudi police the dispersal of the peaceful sit-in of the 40 stranded OFWs inside the POLO compound.
PH embassy and labor officials in Saudi Arabia should respect the human rights of our fellow OFWs, the Philippines being a signatory to the UN Convention on the Protection of Migrants and members of their Families.
Ambassador Ezzadin Tago, Labor Attache Adam Musa, and Welfare officer Abdullah Umpa, should be held accountable. We demand from the Aquino III govt. their immediate recall and initiate swift dismissal proceeding against the 3 Saudi-based officials.
We urged international human rights organizations to join us to condemn the brutal dispersal of the 40 stranded OFWs including women and children by the Saudi police led by PH embassy and labor officials in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The Recall & Dismissal Proceedings vs. PH envoy, Labor Attache in KSA petition to Overseas Filipino workers & families, Migrant groups was written by MIGRANTE Sectoral Party of OFWs and Families and is in the category Civil Rights at GoPetition.