Southern Tagalog labor center Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan – Kilusang Mayo Uno (PAMANTIK-KMU) expresses its disgust over BS Aquino government’s vain efforts in saving the life of migrant worker Mary Jane Veloso, saying that if Aquino is genuinely sincere in helping Veloso, it should have done so much earlier than now.
The government was lying through its teeth that a second judicial review has been filed by noon of April 25 in efforts to acquire a stay on the execution of Veloso. As of press time, the Philippine legal team has only submitted the review ten minutes before 4 in the afternoon after translating her parents’ affidavit into Bahasa.
Such is the inaction taken by the government on our migrant workers, their situation is no different to that of workers in the Philippines. Like Mary Jane, we are forced to subsist on low wages and cram in poor labor conditions. Since the jobs available here in the country have measly wages and no benefits, Filipinos are forced to search for work abroad – even if it means endangering their lives.
Mary Jane’s case is not an isolated one but a prevailing reality among Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). The sorry state of our labor force is the reason why almost 6,000 Filipinos leave the country every day. In the midst of lack of social services, widespread corruption and state impunity – we cannot blame if Filipinos risk themselves for a better future outside our islands.
Recently, BS Aquino insulted millions of workers with a 15-peso “allowance” only in the National Capital Region, and the two-tiered wage system which drastically decreased the minimum wage based solely on “productivity” .Labor unions in the Southern Tagalog region and throughout the nation, have been victim of union-busting through the connivance of capitalists and government agencies, such as what happened in Sagara Metro Plastic, Carina Apparel and Hoya Glass Disk Philippines.
The consequences of BS Aquino’s anti-worker policies have resonated not only in our country, but to Filipinos around the world. His hands are full of blood as he continues to threaten millions of lives through neoliberal policies that cause extreme poverty, corruption, violation of human rights – all brought about by his puppetry to the imperialist U.S.
The case of Mary Jane Veloso is another reason why we should tirelessly call for the ouster of Aquino because of his countless crimes to the Filipino people. ###