Been flooded with email inquiries including one in my Cbox about the alleged Filipino group scam in Riyadh. As what I’ve said the Philippine Embassy is the proper authority that can give us precise information regarding the issue.
Today, 16 September 2006, an Arab News article titled “Filipino Group Linked to Alleged Scam Explains Activities to Embassy” is the answer to all our inquiries. However, continuing investigation of the issue is in the process.
Mr. Alexander Asuncion a former Bagong Bayani awardee is a friend of mine whose column “Batas Paggawa” in Arab News Pinoy Xtra is a widely read article among the OFWs in the Kingdom. The column tackles explanation of our rights as a foreign worker under the Saudi Labor Law.
On the other hand, Samahan ng Mangagawang Masang Pilipino (SMPII) is a community accredited partner of the Philippine Embassy who were part of the OFW Congress-Riyadh led security volunteers during last May 2006 Filipino Community Night that coincides GMAs visit at the Philippine Embassy.
I don’t really know much about SMPII but I met some of its members in Filcom leaders meeting including Mr. Tanaliga. The said group is actively involved in overseeing the welfare of its members and participates advocacies for the betterment of OFWs in the Kingdom. In fact, the group was one of the signatories of OFW Congress-Riyadh, OFWs 10 Point Recommendation submitted to GMA.
For me, the best solution of this issue is for the members of SMPII to come out and clear the name of their group by issuing statement that there is no scam involved in the internal affairs of their organization especially collecting huge amount of money for membership. This statement should be submitted to our Philippine Embassy. The organization already denied conducting illegal activities forbidden in the Kingdom.
In my own opinion Mr. Alex Asuncion column in Arab News Pinoy Xtra is just a sort of an advise for all OFWs to be careful in joining any community group that requires big money as membership fee and cautions fellow Filipinos not to get involved in any exercises or activities prohibited to all expatriates in the Kingdom.
SMPII moved for reconciliation with Mr. Alex Asuncion on the alleged threats is a nice gesture to clear the mess once and for all.