Labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno mourned with the Filipino workers and people over the execution of the three Filipinos convicted of drug trafficking in China, and lambasted as “shallow” Pres. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s order to concerned government agencies to make sure no Filipino will be used as drug mules by international syndicates again.
“This is very sad day for the Filipino workers and people. The execution of Sally Ordinario-Villanueva, Elizabeth Batain and Ramon Credo is a painful reminder of how far Filipinos have been pushed by extreme poverty, chronic joblessness and low wages in the country, and how the Philippine government is powerless in protecting migrant Filipinos abroad. We feel the pain of Villanueva, Batain and Credo’s loved ones, as fellow Filipinos who are also suffering from the lack of decent jobs with living wages in the country,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
“Their execution is yet another reminder that the government’s policy of trying to attract foreign investors to provide jobs in the country is thoroughly bankrupt, failing to provide jobs for the majority of our people while pressing down the wages of those employed. We fear that more Filipinos will die abroad in similar circumstances unless a policy of nationalist industrialization and genuine land reform is carried out in the country,” Labog added.
KMU also criticized Pres. Aquino’s statement directing concerned government agencies such as the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration to ensure that Filipinos will not be recruited by international drug syndicates again.
“It is precisely this ‘pa-pogi’ and business-as-usual approach of the government to the country’s problems that is causing Filipinos to find work abroad and to be recruited by international crime syndicates. Mr. President, the cause is chronic poverty, hunger, unemployment, extremely low wages and your government’s anti-people policies – which you cannot solve by simply mobilizing the POEA and OWWA to issue warnings to would-be migrant Filipinos,” Labog said.
“Pres. Aquino’s statement only tells us that his government will not be doing much to really address poverty and unemployment in the country, but is desperately trying to appear to be doing something for the Filipino workers and people whose outrage at the condition of our country is fast mounting,” Labog added.