Friday, 18 May 2012
Wednesday, 9 May 2012
Aurora Gonzales of Jaro, Iloilo City went to the Blas F. Ople Policy Center to follow up the case of her son, 31-year-old Gerald Gonzales.
Gerald, an engine cadet, was on board a hijacked cargo vessel owned by Dubai-based Azal Shipping & Cargo in 2010. He is the only Filipino onboard the Iceberg 1 ship.
Mrs. Gonzales said she received a call from her son at 2 a.m. on March 29, 2010 informing her that their ship has been hijacked.
Since then, the OFW’s family has been relying on updates from the local manning agency, Inter-World Shipping Corporation.
“We urge the Department of Foreign Affairs to go the extra mile in requesting for international assistance because the shipping company concerned has not been forthcoming with answers as to extraordinary delay in the release of Gerald Gonzales,” Susan Ople, head of the Blas F. Ople Policy Center said.
The manning agency, in turn, has been sending e-mails to the operations manager of Azal Shipping & Cargo in Dubai to request for information.
“Gerald’s mother showed us an e-mail thread filled with terse assurances from Azal Shipping & Cargo that the crewmembers are still onboard the vessel and are fine. If they are fine, then what’s holding up the negotiations? Two years is a long time to be in the hands of Somali pirates,” Ople added.
Gerald left the Philippines on April 7, 2009 on his first contract as a seafarer. The family has not received any allotment from the Dubai-based shipping company since the seafarer was held captive. Other Filipino crewmembers went home prior to the hostage-taking incident since their contracts have ended.
Sunday, 29 April 2012
|Marty Syjuco, director of documentary film "Give Up Tomorrow"|
NETHERLANDS - A documentary film about a Filipino-Spanish teenager who was convicted in the 1997 massacre case in Cebu won the highest award in the "Movies That Matter" film festival in the Netherlands.
Pinoy producer Marty Syjuco's "Give Up Tomorrow," a documentary film with a controversial and sensitive theme, won the Audience Choice Vara Awards in
Syjuco was coy but very happy to receive the award.
“This is my first film. I was not a filmmaker prior to this film. We are so honored and grateful,” Syjuco told ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau.
“Give Up Tomorrow” centers on the case of Paco Larranaga, one of the 7 who were convicted for the kidnapping and murder of sisters Mary
Joy and Jacqueline Chiong in 1997.
Paco, the son of Spanish pelotari Manuel Larranaga and a member of the influential Osmena clan in Cebu, has been serving a life sentence for 15 years now.
It was on Feb. 3, 2004 when Paco and his other six co-accused were sentenced to death by lethal injection in a Manila court.
His death penalty was then commuted to life when capital punishment was abolished in the Philippines two years later.
Paco was then transferred to a prison in Spain in October 2009 under the Transfer of Prisoner Treaty between Madrid and Manila.
Apart from the Supreme Court of the Philippines, Paco’s appeals for a reinvestigation of his murder case and release reached the Fair Trials International and different human rights bodies in Europe.
The documentary film attempted to show the many loose ends in the trial of Paco’s case.
A young Dutchwoman who watched the film at the festival was very touched.
"I think he [Paco] is innocent especially if you look at what Amnesty International said and what the U.N. said about it and I believe he should be free,” said Jorinde.
Syjuco is related to Paco because his brother is married to Paco's sister.
Syjuco said that the VARA award is very meaningful because it comes from the very prestigious Movies that Matter Festival, which is associated with Amnesty International and one of the biggest and most important human rights festivals in the world.
“It also brings further attention to the injustice that Paco continues to suffer and our ‘Free Paco Now’ campaign. To receive the award in the international city of peace and justice is incredible, especially since we have a campaign to bring justice to an innocent man,” Syjuco said.
“Also this award means that our film will have a television broadcast in Holland and we're so thrilled that the entire country will get to see our film,” Syjuco added.
The documentary film received a huge amount of support from those who are petitioning for the pardon and release of Paco.
During the Movies That Matter festival, the “Free Paco Now” petition collected 500 signatures.
Tuesday, 24 April 2012
Friday, 20 April 2012
"Pearl Girl" Mandy Tieman,
Adriana "Gata" Pinaya Johanssen,
Monica (Moni) Del Valle,
Nikki Blout (NIKnSTIX),
Drashti Thakkar (D.T.),
Taryn Lee Young (TarynDrumfire),
Ankita Bhardwaj (Basement),
Lindsey Raye Ward,
De'Arcus Curry (dbaby).
Thursday, 19 April 2012
In his speech during the Abu Dhabi Dialogue among labor ministers, Aquino noted that 60% of Filipinos working abroad and 12% of all migrant workers are stationed in countries, who were represented in the meeting.
“Suffice it to say: We all have a significant stake in this; and our discussions today will affect the lives of tens of millions of our people, at the very least, perhaps even more,” Aquino said.
“What all of us want is clear: we want recruitment for our people to be both fair and efficient; we want workers to be treated with dignity; and we want to be able to go back home in a convenient manner, and to be successfully reintegrated in our respective societies. In other words, the idea behind our meeting today is to make sure of one thing: that the people do indeed come first.”
Aquino said that his administration’s objective is to attract more investments and create jobs here so that Filipinos would not be forced to look for work abroad.
“Our reform efforts are focused on attracting more investments, creating more jobs and giving our countrymen reason to believe that a good life awaits them here, at home. In this regard, we have been quite successful. Investors are regaining their confidence and putting up more and more businesses here; and if we build on our momentum, I think we can achieve our dream of keeping more of our countrymen here,” he said.
The Abu Dhabi Dialogue is a regional consultation composed of Asian countries of labor origin and destination, including the Colombo Process countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam) and 9 more countries of migrant worker destinations (Bahrain, Kuwait Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen).
Part of the discussions would be the adoption of the 2012 Framework of Regional Collaboration of the Abu Dhabi Dialogue, which would include a pledge to “respond effectively to problems inside and outside workplaces by improving inspection and enforcement of labor standards, laws, and adopt specific protocols for resolving most common problems/ disputes.”
Tuesday, 17 April 2012
MANILA, Philippines - South Korea's ruling Saenuri Party (New Frontier Party) is becoming increasingly concerned about the racist attacks against Jasmine Lee, a Filipina who became the first naturalized Korean to win a seat in parliament.
Yonhap News reported on Tuesday that the party is concerned about the false rumors about Lee being spread on social networking sites, as well as negative comments against her.
"The party is expressing serious concern over the spread of false information regarding Lee Jasmine and attacks against her on social networking services," Saenuri spokesman Hwang Young-cheul was quoted by Yonhap as saying.
Lee, who is originally from Davao City, was elected as a party-list candidate of the Saenuri Party last week.
Since her win, Lee has been the subject of racist comments attacking her ethnicity and background. False rumors have also surfaced that Lee promised free medical care for illegal immigrants and preferential treatment for children of multicultural families in South Korea.
The 35-year-old widow is a well-known advocate for multicultural families and the Filipino community in South Korea. She met her husband Lee Dong-ho when she was still a college student at Ateneo de Davao, and moved to Seoul in 1995. She became a naturalized Korean citizen in 1998. Her husband died in 2010.
Monday, 16 April 2012
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has warned prospective overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) against using the country’s backdoor to work abroad.
POEA chief Hans Leo Cacdac said workers, mostly women who were deployed after leaving through the southern backdoor, usually end up stranded without work permit or are forced to accept low paying jobs.
“Human traffickers use exit points in the southern provinces to deploy workers without proper work documents to countries such as Malaysia, South Korea, China, Morocco, Lebanon, Syria, and other Middle East countries,” Cacdac said.
He said that from the southernmost parts of Mindanao and Palawan, traveling by sea to Malaysia is the more convenient way for a human trafficker to move his victims to their final country of destination.
Recently, Cacdac said the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Kuala Lumpur reported that five Filipino women were being held in a nightclub in Malaysia, which is controlled by a large syndicate involved in human trafficking for prostitution.
It was learned that the syndicate transported the victims through the Zamboanga-Sandakan-Kota Kinabalu-Johor Bahru route.
Cacdac added that based on recent studies, most of the human trafficking victims in the Philippines were travelers deceived by their recruiters about their real jobs or the conditions of their employment overseas.
“Hence, I would advise aspiring OFWs to be doubtful when recruiters offer Mindanao and Palawan as exit points,” he said.
Sunday, 15 April 2012
MUSCAT, Oman – Filipinos at the Filipino Workers Resource Center in Muscat are concerned about the condition of a 51-year-old household service worker who allegedly became mentally unstable after her agency sold her to another employer.