OFWs in Hong Kong Protest vs Cha-cha


Overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in Hong Kong held a picket protest in front of the Philippine Consulate General office to denounce renewed moves to amend the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

BY BULATLAT
MIGRANT WATCH

Overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in Hong Kong held a picket protest in front of the Philippine Consulate General office to denounce renewed moves to amend the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

In a statement, Dollores Balladares, chairperson of the United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK) , said, “Our rejection of charter change is a rejection of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and all that she stands for – corruption, fascism, subservience to foreign power, all-out sale of Filipino migrants and criminal neglect and irresponsibility to the plight of Filipinos abroad.”

Balladares said Arroyo ‘has not given anything to OFWs but lies and obsession with photo-ops [photo opportunities].’

Balladares accused Arroyo of using their remittances, fees and taxes for her ‘self-serving ends, including efforts to change the Charter.’

The migrant leader said the Overseas Worker Welfare Administration (OWWA) Medicare funds have been transformed as ‘Arroyo’s election kitty bank.’

“She [Arroyo] has committed the worst sins in depriving OFWs of genuine services and protection since she came into power,” Balladares added.

The group said that the Arroyo government has ‘never provided enough medical assistance, legal assistance, repatriation funds, shelter services and assistance to victims of illegal recruitment and overcharging.’

Balladares said that amid the financial crisis, the Arroyo government has ‘nothing to offer but empty assurances of support.’

“Worse, they are not merely empty but blatant lies and media gimmickry as shown by what happened to laid off workers from Taiwan who were slyly used for GMA’s media projection,” she said.

Balladares said, “Filipinos abroad shall never support GMA’s [Arroyo’s initials] drive to continue her rule in perpetuity as aimed for by the Charter Change.”

Meanwhile, Norman Uy Carnay, coordinator of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan-New Patriotic Alliance) in Hong Kong criticized the proposals to allow 100 percent foreign ownership of land and public utilities. Carnay said these are tantamount to a sellout of the nation’s sovereignty and patrimony.

She said, “We, OFWs, join the rest of our people in calling for the junking of the charter change and the ouster of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo” “We fervently wish for a GMA-free 2009.”(Bulatlat.com)

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