It has been weeks now since the whole world witnessed on how the Malaysian authorities mercilessly deported Filipino workers and up to now horrible stories of how infants die of famine and dehydration and women raped helplessly by Malaysian police continue to make the headlines. However, despite of the grueling experience, the Filipino deportees would still want to comeback because of the simple reason that there is less hope living in the Philippines.

With the intensity of human rights violations committed against the Filipino workers in Malaysia it would be logical to say that more horrendous human rights violations are being committed against them here in our own country. They have lost faith in the government that have kept on making promises for economic prosperity only to find out that it would be meant only for the few elites in our society. The migration of Filipinos including our Muslim brothers and sisters in Mindanao since the time of Marcos up to the present only attests to the fact that the government has failed miserably in ensuring economic development and bringing better lives for the Filipino people.

Now, almost every year, we are witness to the maltreatment of hundreds of our fellow Filipinos making a living in other countries, some of which have never realize their dreams for their families. Eventually, they would come home in closed boxes or caskets. Now we could only watch in dismay as Filipinos are hounded like pigs in the Malaysian peninsula and die on their way back home.

The response of the Arroyo government to the issue is as inutile as its employment program that she kept on bragging would create 1 million jobs for the Filipinos. And as a clear insult to our senses, it sent people to Malaysia to investigate if in deed the Malaysian police committed human rights violation against the Filipino deportees though it is very clear to all of us that hundreds of children have already died and Malaysian authorities have ruthlessly raped Filipino women.

This is the sorry state of the Filipino workers here and abroad. This reality only manifests on how the Philippine government treat the Filipino workers. They don’t care as much as the other countries would do including the Malaysian government since they see the workers without jobs as problems and not part of the solution to the problem. Most of all, these clearly manifest on how bankrupt is the economic program of the national government. The economy is geared only to suit the interests of the few elite and foreign capitalists that exploit our vast resources at the expense of the people.

The Alliance of Progressive Labor calls on the Arroyo government to ask the Malaysian government to stop the inhuman treatment of Filipinos. Justice should be given to the Filipino deportees and that they should be provided decent jobs here in the country. The Arroyo government should have a clear economic agenda that would improve the lives of the people particularly in Mindanao where our Muslim brothers and sisters have been longing for social, economic and political equality since time immemorial. JTM

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