Statement on the Arab News Story concerning Filipina Maid allegedly raped

PE-Press Release # 62

 

Riyadh housemaid discloses multiple-rape ordeal

related post: the other side of maltreatment and abuse  

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Personal note to fellow OFWs:

When I read the news item last Thursday, I immediately contacted Consul General Ezzedine Tago and DFA USEC Rafael Seguis requesting them to provide the necessary assistance to the maid whom as per news item a Butuanon. Being also a Butuanon/Agusanon I am concerned to the plight of the so-called raped victim.

Yesterday I contacted again ConGen Tago asking status of the case. He informed me that a press release will be out soon to clarify the matter. Upon receipt of the Press Release I wrote to Arab News asking them to clarify first their story prior publishing a news report.

Rape case is a serious matter and it is the image of the host country is at stake and false accusation can tarnish the good relationship of both countries diplomatic ties.  So I’m asking the Arabnews management to please reprimand your writers for exercising caution in reporting unverified and unconfirmed report.

To fellow OFWs,  Filipino Community organizations and individuals willing to lend a hand to those in needs, WE should also be cautious and verify first the exact situation of any distress calls. Physical appearance and the way would be complainant narrates her ordeal in the hands of her employer are just a few of many things that we should observe in verifying the authenticity of any given story. I am not saying that we will not heed of any such calls or request for assistance but we should be careful and see to it that our help are worthy enough.

I just want to remind my kababayan that making a fool out of yourselves doesn’t make any good, instead it may put you more in serious trouble.

Bong Amora

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A Royal Pardon, Long Live the King!

Successful Surgery

Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud (L) and Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud

The world celebrates after the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and Saudi Arabian King Abdullah successful surgery for the removal of a blood clot and adjustment of the King’s slipped disk. The King’s health is not only of great importance to the Saudi’s and Muslim world but a global concern as well.  Saudi Arabia under the King’s leadership controls more than a fifth of the world’s crude oil reserves.

Most online news item carries the story of the “successful surgery” done in New York. “May God the Almighty protect the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and grant him good health and a speedy recovery.” Long live the King!

Customarily, the Royal family circle who governs this blessed nation gives thanks to ALLAH by way of sharing HIS goodness to other people. Last year, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah ordered the release of some prisoners held for public rights who do not pose any danger to public security. This was announced after the Crown Prince Sultan, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense and Aviation arrived from successful medical trip abroad.

Also, September of this year, a royal pardon by His Highness Saudi King benefits illegal migrants, particularly those who violates the country’s residency laws, that includes Umrah, Haj and other holders of visit visa who overstays in the Kingdom. The King ordered the royal pardon after Riyadh Governor, Prince Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud underwent spinal surgery in the United States in August.

Absconders

While, the world celebrates the King Abdullah’s successful surgery, the Saudi authorities have detained 32 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in the Eastern Province after conducting early morning raids on various villas and flats in the Thuqba area, Alkhobar, on Wednesday, Arab News reported.

According to the report, 26 of the 32 were women. The Philippine Embassy Charge d’Affaires Ezzedin H. Tago assures that they are closely coordinating with authorities in the Eastern Province to find out what charges will be filed against them and their rights will be fully protected. Those arrested are mostly absconders who ran away from their employers, claiming contract substitution, abuses, maltreatment and other labor malpractices.

The embassy and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office are doing their best to help hundreds of complains from our distressed OFWs. POLO finds ways to talk to employers on their behalf to reach for an amicable solution. In cases where amicable settlement is not possible, the embassy find ways to have them repatriated back home. On the other hand, POLO assists the aggrieved OFWs to file formal complaint with the Saudi Labor Office where the process takes months and even years.

Honorable Khalid Abdullah Al-Dawud, a judge at the Court of Grievances, referring to major reasons that lead to the delays of delivering justice in this country said inaction on the part of any one of these agencies (police, the public prosecution, prison authorities and judges) could lead to prolonged court proceedings, even if the case involves a petty crime and insufficient number of qualified court translators is another reason behind some delays.”  

Sponsorship System and Saudization

Saudi Arabia under the sponsorship of specific employers, the foreign worker is at the mercy of his employer. Even when sponsors did participate in an attempt for a possible settlement or negotiations, kafil or sponsors sometimes bargained for repayment of recruitment fees, visa fees and others in exchange for unpaid salaries; or to provide an air ticket home in exchange for a full settlement of the case. The distressed OFWs again with no choice accept the offer in exchange for home or without the sponsor’s approval, longing for home would be in vain.

This year’s report says that there is an estimated three million illegal residents in the Kingdom in various nationalities. I cannot say that these counts only runaways but the figure is very alarming and the number of such absconders has increased and constitute a real security threat to the Kingdom. Not to mention that Saudi Arabia today has its own problem of unemployment and reining in inflation are the major challenges facing the Kingdom’s economy, Saudi economic experts says.

Arab news item says “the Kingdom also draw attention to the need to extend improved government support to small and medium enterprises (SMEs)  to check the influx of foreign workers in the Kingdom’s job market.”

In the same news, the labor Minister H.E. Adel Fakieh admits that serious efforts is needed to employ qualified Saudis in the place of foreigners who dominate most local sectors.

And why prolong the agony and failure of Saudization? The answer is just very simple – “abolished Sponsorship system” and let the Saudi government or private companies under the supervision of the Saudi government should act as sponsors of foreign workers. In this manner the government can control the flow of foreign workers and give way to its Saudization effort.

If this happens, everybody happy, there will be Saudi’s in all government and private institutions and once and for all eradicate sponsorship (kafala) system that protects employers from legal responsibility to respond to charges of contract substitutions,  non-payment of wages, forced labor, or abuse and maltreatment to expatriates.

Bahrain abolished the system in 2009, and Kuwait reportedly plans to do so by February 2011 and just recently Qatar is considering ending the sponsorship system. Saudi Arabia will soon follow and the rest of the GCC member countries.

A prayer for the King

But how about those three million illegal residents in the Kingdom? My favorite idiomatic expressions is the answer - “separate the grain from the chaffs” and give them a “Royal Pardon”  once and for all; and those found worthless should be totally banned from entering the country.

WE (OFWs) pray for the speedy recovery of His Majesty, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques  and his safe return to the Kingdom and so with the future announcement of the most awaited “Royal Pardon.”  LONG LIVE THE KING!   -end-

By: Bong Amora

What is a Diplomat?

Online news article titled “OFWs in Saudi lobby for career diplomat” caught my attention.  So I decide to post this entry to make a correction about the mentioned article and for everybody to know who among the two Tago’s is the real diplomat?

(A) Abdul Hannan M. Tago

Abdul Hanan Tago

To my knowledge Abdul Hannan M. Tago is a bilingual journalist, who speaks four languages Arabic, English, Maranao and Tagalog.  He obtained his BA in Arabic Literature major in Mass Communication and Public Relations from Al-Azhar University and  M.A. in Political Science  from Arab League Institution, Cairo, Egypt.

He is a community leader and a respected Maranao in the Filipino Muslim community.  His proficiency in Arabic opened the doors to become one of the correspondents  of  Arab News, the leading English newspaper in the Middle East. He joined Arab News in 1992 where he has been working ever since and presently the Executive Assistant to the Editor-in-Chief.

Abdul Hanan Tago is also a regular writer in leading Arabic newspapers Al-Sharq Al-Awsat and Al Eqtisadiah.  

(B) Ezzedin Tago

Min. ConGen E. Tago

The other Tago is no less than Ezzedin Tago, the current Philippine Consul General in Jeddah and currently designated as Charge D’ Affaires of the Philippine Embassy. Ezzedin Tago is also a son of a former career diplomat from Lanao del Sur and who was among the first graduates of the International Philippine School in Jeddah and himself a career foreign service officer. Consul General Ezzedine Tago  was just recently confirmed by the Commission on Appointments  to the rank of Career Minister. (see  ConGen Ezzedin Tago Profile

Among those confirmed are Romulo Victor Israel Jr., and Adrian Elmer Cruz as Foreign Service Officer, Class I and Gerardo P. Abiog Foreign Service Officer, Class II.

Consul Cruz and Vice Consul Abiog was formerly posted in Philippine Embassy, Riyadh overseeing the implementation of the Philippine Overseas Absentee Voting while  Vice Consul  Jun Israel is still in the Kingdom waiting for his new tour of duty.  

If  H.E. President Noynoy Aquino could not appoint a new Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by end of this year, the OFW Congress-Riyadh is planning to hold a general assembly meeting and elect its Executive Council members this coming end of December and at the same time endorse Minister Consul General Ezzedine Tago to the Ambassadorship vacated by former Ambassador Antonio P. Villamor.

There are at least 10 names vying for the position that was already submitted to the office of the President  but until now the President has yet to decide who among  in the list is capable for the job.  

What is a DIPLOMAT?

A diplomat is a person appointed by a state to conduct diplomacy with another state or international organization.  In other words, a person who represents their government.

The main functions of diplomats revolve around the representation and protection of the interests and nationals of the sending state, as well as the promotion of information and friendly relations. Diplomats in posts collect and report information that could affect national interests, often with advice about how the home country government should respond. Then, once any policy response has been decided in the home country’s capital, posts bear major responsibility for implementing it. Diplomats have the job of conveying, in the most persuasive way possible, the views of the home government to the governments to which they are accredited and, in doing so, to try to convince those governments to act in ways that suit home country interests. In this way, diplomats are part of the beginning and the end of each loop in the continuous process through which foreign policy is made. http://en.wikipedia.org 

How to become a diplomat?

A person whose career or profession is diplomacy; working as a political officer, monitoring developments in the host country; or representing the country in press and public affairs; in consular and immigration work; or as a commercial officer.

A career diplomat is responsible for formulating, implementing, and supporting country’s foreign policy.

To become a diplomat, a person should need to spend two thirds of his/her working life abroad protecting and promoting the country’s interests as well as assisting its citizens in need of help.

To become a diplomat, a person must have at least five traditional career tracks:  Consular, Political, Economic, Management, and Public Diplomacy.  An individual in any one of these tracks will hold diplomatic titles in the countries in which they serve and, over the course of a successful career, may climb the career ladder to the top rungs, even ultimately becoming competitive for an ambassadorial slot. -  New World Dictionary 4th Edition

The Triumph of Boxing

THE TRIUMPH OF BOXING

by DOODS A. AMORA, PEE

MOMENTS OF DESTRUCTION   What a fight!

It was a classic dismantling of the last Mexican warrior standing – the Great Antonio Margarito…!

And total annihilation without doubt; in a surgical demolition from the very first round to the end…!   

The Triumph

The fight was a confirmation of the testament of PACMAN as the gladiator on top of them all. At an official weight of 144.6 lbs, Pacquaio winning the 154 pound – Super Welterweight Championship Belt (Junior Middleweight in other boxing bodies) is an overwhelming achievement, probably the first of its kind. Remember, Pacquaio was not even supposed to be qualified to the division’s minimum weight requirements!  That made the conquest even sweeter in what history’s unparalleled eighth crowns in eight weight divisions. Oscar Dela Hoya made it as a distant second at six; Sugar Ray Leonard, five; Floyd Mayweather Jr. at three … and the other big names, I can’t recall anymore

The aftermath of the fight saw Margarito suffering a broken bone on the face. Other reports are saying something about a broken eye socket. Whatever it is, Antonio would have to stay longer at the hospital for surgery and more thorough check up. From the looks of it, he may have ended his career this early – and sadly, Margarito will never be the same again.

But then to me, the beatings he got in this lopsided fight may transcend beyond the present obviousness of a broken facial bone, I mean – I’m afraid Antonio may now be treading the path to Parkinson in the near or distant future – himself ending up in what he mimicked on Coach Roach days before the fight.

PACMAN QUITS!

As promised, Antonio Margarito didn’t quit. Robert Garcia, his Trainer, didn’t quit either. Referee Laurence Cole didn’t signal to a quit.

It was the Filipino Destroyer who quit!

In Rounds 11 & 12, Pacquiao took it easy and ceased throwing big bombs at the already devastated foe – but  …. read more>>>>>>>>> 

The Venom of Success

THE VENOM OF SUCCESS

 By Doods A. Amora, PEE

The fight with Antonio Margarito is inching closer – two more weeks of heavy training… the remaining days are for tapering down.

So then, Pacman has only two weeks of last hour cramming. Mentally and physically, it’s not enough. Coach Roach is concerned. To his mind, a lot of set maneuvers in sequenced drills have yet to be perfected.

The fans are worried. I too, am anxious.

PACMAN VS. MARGARITO

Again, too many distractions… too many sidetrips.

This time, I’m not sure if the Filipino people can accept defeat. That of course includes those so-called ‘constituents’ of the Politician – the very ‘constituents’ who love him because he is the Congressman.

Yet I doubt that the Filipino nation (me, included), the so-called “Sambayanang Filipino” (in traditional politicians’ over-used flatter) prefers to see their idol in coat & tie, dining & mingling with the elite.

The Congressman

I still would like to believe the “Sambayanang Filipinowants to see their idol’s hands raised in a stunning knock-out victory! That’s Planet Pacman is all about – nothing else.

Sidetrips…? Being a Congressman in Planet Pacman, is icing of the cake. In the highest degree, it is the self-actualization of the man’s long-time hierarchy of dreams. Hence, the congressman in Manny is bonus, at least, in the thoughts of many.

No question about it. That is his…  to read more >>>>>>>>

Father’s Day Sticky Post: “Dahil Ako’y Tatay”

DAHIL AKO’Y TATAY

by: Brigido “Briggs” Napicog  (OFW-KSA)

Pitong tatauning, batang sumisigaw, tatay,tatay, tatay
Patakbong yumakap, sa amang dumating, galing hanap buhay
Sa mukhang kay amo, ay masasalamin mo, ang ligayang tunay
Sabik na kumalong, sa amang sang linggong, di niya nasilay

"Kalong"

Kahit na nga pagod, sa sanglinggong gawa, yaring kanyang ama
Anak na kaylambing, buong pagmamahal, niyakap din niya
Kasunod ng kanyang, malalim na hugot, ng buntong hininga
At nang kumawalay, napalis ang hapong, kanyang nadarama

Ito’y isang tagpo, ng ikot ng buhay, nang akoy naron pa
Nang akoy naron pa, sa sariling bansat , kasamay pamilya
Subalit nang dahil, sa pamilyang mahal, tumulak mag isa
Lumayo sa bansa, sapagkat pag asay, hindi ko makita

Sino sa atin ang, mulat mula pa ay, inibig malayo
Sa sariling bayang,kinasanayan na, ng isip at puso
At sino rin ba ang,ninais mawalay, higit pa nga lalo
Sa’ting kaibigan, kaanak kadugo’t, pamilyang binuo

Ikaw ako’t sila, di bat isasagot, wala kahit isa
Ngunit nagaganap, upang ang pangarap, mabigyang pag asa
Paanong di gayon sa sariling bansa, ay di nga makita
Liwanag sa daang, nilayong tahakin, nitong bawat isa

Dal’wang taong singkad, nagtiis naghirap, sa bansang kay init
Ngayon akoy lulan, ng isang sasakyan, na pang himpapawid
Habang naglalakbay, lumilipad din ang, diwa ko at isip
Di ko maitago, para sa pamilya, aking pagka sabik

Kung nooy sang linngo, kung akoy umuwi, galing hanap buhay
Ngayoy dal’wang taon , ano sa tingin nyo, tagpong masisilay
Anak kong kaylambing, ramdam ko na noon, mahal akong tunay
Hindi bat mas higit, dapat kong itugon, DAHIL AKOY TATAY.