26 September 2011

Mysterious deaths

 An average of two Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) mysteriously die monthly in the Middle East, a Filipino migrant rights watchdog reported.
According to Migrante-Middle East regional director John Leonard Monterona, the figure is based on combined reports from Migrante chapters throughout the Middle East citing local news reports and from the kin of the OFWs who have sought its assistance.
Monterona clarified that the figure Migrante has does not include those reported to various Philippine diplomatic posts.
“We are quite certain there were other cases of deaths shrouded in mystery and reported to the Philippine embassies, consulates, and its satellite offices in the Middle East,” Monterona said.
He said majority of reported OFW deaths come from Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria and usually involves household service workers, more popularly known as domestic helpers.
The latest were those of Janice Joy Pampangan, an OFW from Jordan, and of Juvy Montesoso from Kuwait. Thier remains were recently repatriated. Their kin suspected there was foul play and have asked for reinvestigation.
Monterona said amid numerous unsolved cases, the government and concerned agencies seem not bothered and until now have done nothing to provide protection to OFWs.
Migrante welcomed the move by Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” E. Estrada and Manuel B. Villar Jr. to investigate the death of these OFWs.
Aside from knowing the status of their cases, Monterona said his group will press the DFA to divulge all unsolved cases of OFWs.
By Roy C. Mabasa




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