By Leslie Ann Aquino
President Duterte earned praise from a Catholic prelate on Tuesday.
Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos particularly lauded the President for promising to take care of the wellbeing of Filipino migrant workers during his State of the Nation Address (SONA).
“It is commendable that he promised to fight and work against their abusive employers,” he said in a statement.
The head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People also thanked the President for recognizing the sacrifices and contributions of OFWs.
“As CBCP ECMI chair, and on behalf of our OFWs, I am thankful to the President for mentioning our beloved OFWs as he appreciates their sacrifices and services for their loved ones and their contributions for the betterment of our economy,” said Santos.
“He also mentioned the resiliency of OFWs which is very admirable, which amidst separation and hardship, they still persevere with their works, working with honesty and with caring dedication,” added the prelate.
On Monday, Duterte vowed to make sure that the welfare of Filipino migrant workers remains the government’s foremost foreign policy concern.
He also condemned the deaths and abuses experienced by OFWs in the hands of their foreign employers.
But such statement failed to impress Migrante.
“We’re not buying his airs of compassion towards us anymore. What we need is more than talk, more than a statement of condemnation,” the group said in a statement.
“We have long been crying for justice. We want retribution for the death of Joanna Demafelis, Jakatia Pawa, and all the OFWs killed in foreign lands…In truth, his inutile regime has not done anything significant to ensure that justice will be given to our fallen OFWs,” Migrante added.