Palace: We can’t allow abuse against foreign workers in PH

Published August 12, 2019, 7:35 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Argyll Geducos

Malacañang expressed that it will not allow any illegal act committed against any worker from another country in the Philippines whether committed by a Filipino or foreign employer.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo made the statement after a 27-year-old Chinese national died after falling from the sixth floor of his office building in Pamplona Dos, Las Piñas City last week.

The Las Piñas police suspected that the employer of the victim identified as Yang Kang was holding the Chinese national prisoner as the latter was handcuffed when he was found.

Security camera footage also revealed Kang climbing out of a window. He was also seen peering out the window before he detached its grills and climbed out.

In an interview, Panelo condemned the act saying the Palace is concerned about what happened.

“We, as we said, condemn and we’re concerned about what happened and we condole with the victims of that person,” he said.

“We cannot allow any illegal act committed to this country by any person, whether a foreigner or our own citizen, against workers of another country working here,” he added.

Because of the spate of illegal recruitment of Chinese workers in the country, Panelo said that it is up to the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to establish rules on how to hire foreign workers.

“Nasa Immigration yun. Kailangan kasi (It’s up to the Immigration. What they must do is) they come here compliant with the immigration laws. ‘Pag hindi (If not), we’ll have to run after them,” he said.

“Kahit pa i-recruit nila (Even if they are recruited by their fellow Chinese here), they have to still pass through immigration laws, regardless who are recruiting them,” he added.

However, Panelo said it was not yet certain whether Chinese workers are really entering the country illegally.

“That’s an impression. Hindi pa natin alam yun kung illegal yung pagpasok nila (We’re not yet sure if they entered illegally),” he said.

“Ang alam natin maraming Chinese ngayon (What we know for now is there are a lot of Chinese nationals here). But whether they’re illegally staying or extending their stay, we have to receive a formal complaint para malaman natin (so that we will know),” he added.

Last week, Panelo urged foreign workers to report their employers who violate Philippine laws. He urged Chinese nationals who allegedly suffered from abuse while working in the country to file complaints with the police.

Earlier, Malacañang agreed with Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. that the government needs to stop issuing visas to foreigners upon their arrival to the country following concerns on the influx of Chinese nationals.

According to Panelo, the government should really be concerned because undocumented foreigners are able to set foot in the country.

“They are undocumented, then we should really raise concern about them. Paano sila nakakapasok dito (How are they able to enter the country)?” he said.

“May influx na magtataka ka bakit nakakapasok sila? So hindi lamang worry yung number, yung worry mo pa kung paano sila nakakapasok. Binabantayan ba natin ito o hindi (The influx causes you to wonder how are they entering the country. So your worry is not just the volume, but on how they are being able to enter. Are we looking into this)?” he added.

The Palace official then said that the Bureau of Immigration should do something about the issue.

“Kung yung kanilang pag-stay dito (If their stay here is) more on they want to work here but they’re still violating the immigration laws, eh madaling gawan ng paraan yun (we can easily solve it). We’ll just expel them legally,” Panelo said.

“Immigration will have to do something about the entry of foreign nationals in this country, whether or not they are Chinese o hindi (or not),” he added.