Peter and I are currently at the BMI Hendon Hospital. Peter, thank goodness is being seen, currently undergoing a gastroscopy/endoscopy.
While at the visitor lounge, I saw loads of newspapers where the front page carried the story of Victorino Chua, a Filipino nurse, convicted yesterday of two murders and poisoning of another 20 victims, who were in his care.
So much salacious and disconcerting information came out after a long investigation which led police to travel to the Philippines for fact finding. It seemed they’ve found a lot.
It is now being touted that Chua might not have qualified as a nurse. The police found a growing racket of falsifying degrees and certificates along Recto Avenue in Manila. For as little as £45 one can get a very impressive certificate.
The Philippines is not solely to blame, the UK should have ensured the legitimacy of people they have hired after all, these new recruits are in some ways have the lives of ill, poorly, unwell and vulnerable people at their hands.
It is really sad that Chua besmirched the reputations of the 25,000 currently registered Filipino nurses working in hospitals around the United Kingdom; they are doing a good job but have now to contend with suspicions for their legitimacy as far as patients are concerned. It was reported that there may be more nurses, from a handful to hundreds, with bogus certificate working in the NHS!
As many know, Filipinos work in most countries in the world. Wherever they work and, certainly in the UK, Filipinos are regards as hard working, reliable, law abiding, unobtrusive and friendly.
Many are overqualified (being university graduates) for the work they do mainly in domestic service.
To prepare these maids made in Manila can enrol in an academy, which would train them in anything housekeeping.
Many came to the UK as excellent trained nurses and carers. Not so well known is that the Philippines has excellent technical colleges & universities and produced many computer technicians, programmers and coders who use their expertise around the world.
These workers, the carpenters, engineers, nurses, teachers and domestic helpers alike are known in the Philippines as OFW (Overseas Filipino Workers). They send millions of pounds to their families back home and contribute greatly to the national economy. Many international companies now outsource services to the Philippines too.
Maids Made in Manila
Stephen Sackur, a BBC correspondent has recently posted an interesting article about these workers & the growth in both the economy and population in the Philippines. Here is the article.
The Philippines has one of the fastest growing economies in Asia – but there aren’t enough jobs to go around. So every year the government teaches thousands of people the skills they need to get jobs abroad.
When I arrive at the state-run Housemaids Academy in Manila morning exercises are well under way. A squad of uniformed cleaners is poking feather dusters into all corners of the sitting room. In the kitchen trainee cooks are immersed in the finer points of salad preparation.
The academy has the feel of a soap-opera set – each room meticulously dressed to ape the reality of a grand residence. Below stairs is a classroom filled with old fashioned school desks. Here, I’m told, the trainee house servants take lessons in hygiene, respect and personal finance.
The Philippines government schools tens of thousands of maids, chauffeurs, mechanics and gardeners every year, with the express purpose of launching them into long-term service abroad.
For the state it’s a win-win. These economic exiles – there are are currently some 10 million of them – send back foreign currency which is the lifeblood of the Filipino economy. And the extraordinary exodus of labour acts as a safety valve in a country struggling to provide home-grown jobs for a population rising by more than two million every year.
“We are proud of what we are doing,” one of the trainee maids, Maria, tells me. “We are national heroes.” That was a phrase first coined in a government propaganda campaign, and it’s clear that the 20 young women now gathered around me – all immaculately uniformed and polite to a fault – desperately want it to be true.
“It can’t be easy leaving your families behind,” I suggest.
“We have no choice,” replies Evelyn, an elfin figure no more than 5ft tall. “I have a baby at home but no way to support him. The wages I earn in Kuwait will mean my mother can raise him.”
Many of the other trainees nod in sympathy – almost all, it seems, are facing the prospect of separation from their children for at least three years, possibly many more. Their reality will be prolonged servitude in an alien culture.
The mood in the academy has darkened. Half the young women before me are now weeping.
Alongside the remittances of overseas workers, there’s a new phenomenon keeping the Philippines economy afloat. It’s known as BPO, business process outsourcing – you could call it the rise of the call centre economy. More and more Western companies have moved their low-cost back-office operations to the Philippines.
“We’ve overtaken India,” Dyne Tubbs, a manager at Transcom call centres, boasts as we survey her army of Filipino telephonists handling calls on behalf of a UK parcels delivery company. It’s midnight in Manila, 4pm in London and the phones are red hot, as they will be until dawn.
“British companies love us because our English is not accented. The brightest graduates from our universities fight to get a job here. We only take the smartest kids. And after we’ve finished training them they even get your British sarcasm,” says Tubbs.
One third of the Filipino population is under 15 years old. The country may have found a unique niche in the global economy but current rates of economic growth, though impressive, will not sustain a population projected to double from 100 to 200 million within 30 years. Which is why Jane Judilla may just hold the key to the Philippines economic future. Jane isn’t an entrepreneur or a politician, she’s a reproductive health worker who spends her days in some of Manila’s most squalid slums.
Thanks to a law pushed through by the government last year, she’s now permitted to offer the poorest Filipinos free access to condoms, the contraceptive pill, even sterilisation for women who want it. The Catholic Church, which commands the loyalty of 90% of Filipinos, fought the initiative tooth and nail but the clerics lost.
Judilla introduces me to Sheralyn Gonzales, a whey-faced woman of 30 with 10 children and another on the way. I ask Gonzales whether she’s happy. “I’ll be happy when I’ve had the baby and can get sterilised,” she says. “My eldest has dropped out of school, and we can barely afford to educate the others. I tell my children to have two kids, then use contraception.”
If the next generation of Gonzales’s heed her advice their country’s future is promising. If not, tens of millions of young Filipinos may find themselves stuck in a poverty trap, still dependent on overseas labour as a means of escape.
GlobalGranary would like to dedicate this song to those people who are going to be away from their love ones.
It is true that Christmas can be the happiest time of the year but conversely a very sad time for some as well.
Wishing you a peaceful Christmas!
“Merry Christmas, Darling”
Greeting cards have all been sent The Christmas rush is through But I still have one wish to make A special one for you
Merry Christmas, darling We’re apart, that’s true But I can dream And in my dreams I’m Christmasing with you Holidays are joyful There’s always something new But every day’s a holiday When I’m near to you The lights on my tree I wish you could see I wish it every day The logs on the fire Fill me with desire To see you and to say That I wish you Merry Christmas Happy New Year too I’ve just one wish On this Christmas Eve I wish I were with you I wish I were with you Merry Christmas, darling
I feel so sad and so powerless hearing that Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) were amongst the casualties in a suicide car bombing attack in Yemen. Seven Filipinos were confirmed dead and 11 injured.
There were fifty-two killed in the attack including two German doctors, another two from Vietnam, a Yemeni and a nurse from India.
While we are grieving Nelson Mandela’s passing, we should also think of our kababayans, mourn them and pray for the repose of their souls. We should also pray for the injured and for their fast recovery.
I hope the embassy, if there is a Philippine Embassy in Yemen, is doing all they can in helping the injured and also the repatriation of the dead.
This news is so terrible that it brings more shame to the Government and the country. The senators, the congressmen and the President himself give themselves untold amounts of legally pilfered money by way of PDAF, bribes, etc and yet they do not provide medical help for those people who are really in need.
They seem to suffer from amnesia as far as OFWs are concerned. It seems OFWs & OFs begin and end with monies rolling in. Nothing more, nothing less! OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) & OFs (Overseas Filipinos) are just a huge group whose sole function is to bring in money to the country. They are treated as inanimate objects, like wallets and purses; when empty, put aside. Totally inorganic; tragic!
Spending shocking amount of pesos for a Luneta flagpole and yet can’t provide doctors to those OFW squatters in Jeddah.
This story is like Jesus’ nativity. “No room at the inn” and certainly no doctors to look after the people’s need.
We are calling those Medical NGOs to make Jeddah their immediate project and have the tent city squatters checked over. It seems the Government is not about to do anything. Our embassy is just a building of useless kwagos, I bet they are not losing any sleep over the plight of these poor undocumented Filipinos.
OCTOBER 9, 2013 Stranded OFW dies in Tent City
Louie Bedaho Belista, 36, who died due to a severe asthma attack, was the sixth person to die at the Tent City in Jeddah.
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO Bulatlat.com
MANILA — A stranded overseas Filipino worker who sought refuge at the Tent City in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia died due to asthma attack on Oct. 6, Migrante Middle East and North Africa reported.
“He was the sixth person to die at the Tent City in Jeddah,” John Monterona, Migrante Middle East and North Africa, said in a statement.
Louie Bedaho Belista, 36, died in the tent city in Jeddah around 11:30 p.m., according to Marlon Gatdula, chairperson of Migrante-Jeddah. He added that Belista, a nurse, was also helping treat fellow Filipinos who are sick.
Belista is among the thousands of stranded overseas Filipino workers are seeking refuge at tent cities in Riyadh and in Jeddah in front of the Philippine embassy and consulate, respectively, due to the implementation of the Nitaqat Scheme, a labor policy that requires Saudi companies to hire Saudi nationals to comprise at least 10 percent of their total workforce.
The said policy has resulted to crackdowns on undocumented workers, most of them have escaped their employers due to poor working conditions, and, at times, sexual abuses.
The Saudi government has moved the deadline to November 3 for all undocumented workers to be repatriated.
In Jeddah alone, there are 400 stranded Filipinos who have asked Philippine consulate officials to process their repatriation.
Monterona said they are have repeatedly warned the Philippine government and its consulate in Jeddah to fast track the repatriation, especially those with children, women, the old and sick.
Gatdula said Belista was confined twice in a hospital but he did not receive proper medication nor assistance from the Philippine government. His remains lies at the King Fahad Hospital morgue and that his family back in Nueva Vizcaya has already been informed by one of the officials of Migrante.
“Prior to his death, Mr. Belista sought assistance from Migrante after he complained that he did not receive medical assistance from Philippine consulate and labor officials,” Gatdula said.
Sixth to die
Migrante Middle East and North Africa said in a statement that Belista is the sixth person to die in the tent city. Of the reported five deaths prior to Belista, Monterona said, the Philippine government only confirmed three cases.
Monterona said more cases of Filipinos getting sick, or worse dying, in tent cities could happen if the government will not provide medical assistance and urgently process their immediate repatriation. He added that President Aquino should be held accountable for the deaths of the six Filipinos who died while waiting for repatriation.
He said, “the Aquino administration, like the previous regime, is not providing social services and on-site protection for overseas Filipino workers. Billions of pesos are being pocketed by politicians while there are hardly funds allocated for the welfare and protection of OFWs.” (http://bulatlat.com)
– See more at: http://bulatlat.com/main/2013/10/09/stranded-ofw-dies-in-tent-city/#sthash.UfS3V4S0.dpuf
The origin and formation of the Filipino people dates back at least 50,000 years ago, long before the development of the Austronesian languages.
Fast forward to March 16, 1521, when the Philippines was discovered by Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan.
Filipinos, in general, have always excelled wherever they were.
One such Filipino was our national hero, Jose Protacio Rizal, an FMG, yes, a foreign medical graduate, who obtained his Doctor of Medicine degree in Madrid, Spain, in 1885, 128 years ago.
He was a European-trained ophthalmologist, one of very few specialists at the time, when specialization was not even popular.
Rizal, believing in the brilliance of his people, exhorted the Filipinos to regain the pride in themselves and in their race.
Some say the history of the Filipinos in the United States dates back to 1763, when the Manilamen, as Filipinos were called then, all sailors on the Manila Spanish Galleons, jumped ship and settled in the bayous and villages at St. Malo and Barrataria Bay, Louisiana, just outside New Orleans.
That popular historical version puts it at 250 years ago, but actually records show that Filipinos, then known as “Luzonians,” first set foot in 1587 on Morro Bay San Obispo, now known as California — 13 years before the considered first settlers, who were from the Great Britain, arrived in the 1600 in what we now call the USA.
So, to set the record straight, they were Filipinos, and not British or American Indians who first set foot in America, some 426 years ago.
We, Filipino, are therefore technically not foreigners in the United States!
Today, there are more than 3 million of us in America and about 11 million overseas, comprising about 14% of the total population of the Philippines, which is almost 99 million.
Remittances from all us this year is expected to be 22.5 Billion, US dollars. Without this infusion of money to the Philippine economy, the government would literally shut down.
If all of us stop these remittances even for a few months, the country would go bankrupt.
The global Filipinos are indeed a vital and powerful lifeline for the Philippines, its government and its people.
Filipinos have a literacy rate of 96-98% and majority of us are fluent in English. No less than 47.9 % of us in the United States have at least a Bachelor’s Degree.
Twenty percent of the world’s seafarers are Filipinos. There are 1.2 million sailor and cruise employees around the world.
In the USA alone, there are 22,000 physicians and more than 50,000 Registered Nurses and caregivers, thousands in businesses, electronics, media, law, art and sciences…the rest in stores, restaurants, casinos, and in almost every facet of the economic and social infrastructure of the nations they live in, serving their communities.
Indeed, the more the world knows about Filipinos, the more they’ll love us….except, of course, our corrupt politicians and some snakes in our won forest.
So, imagine a world without Filipinos!
In the United States alone, most hospitals and clinics, factories, casinos would be handicapped severely, if not paralyzed and close, without Filipinos.
We, Filipinos, are indeed a Sleeping Giant, and we have every reason to be proud as Filipinos.
All we, global Filipinos, need today is to wake up from our slumber, unite, and claim the glory of a people long victimized and dominated, no longer by past foreign powers and conquerors, but by our fellow Filipinos themselves, our very own elected officials in the government, whose plunder of our nation, through pork barrel and other means of robbing our national treasury, has disenfranchised, marginalized and neglected our people, more than 30% of them now languishing in the gutter of poverty, robbed not only of clothing, food, and shelter, but of their dignity, honor, pride, and a future.
As these corrupt leaders fill up their pockets and bank accounts, the poorest of the poor Filipinos go to bed at night hungry, not only with empty stomach but with empty hope and empty dreams.
Fortunately, in 2010, the Filipinos at home and abroad have elected by an impressive landslide a man of integrity and honor.
While the progress of fighting the deeply-rooted culture of corruption is slower than we all would like to see, there are many encouraging signs of the change we all dream and hope for, like the arrest of former president Gloria Arroyo, who is facing several criminal charges, the impeachment and forceful removal from office of former Chief of the Supreme Court, Renato Corona, who is also facing charges for unexplained wealth and tax evasion, and about 4 weeks ago….the incarceration of Janet Lim Napoles, apparently the mastermind behind the ten billion-peso pork barrel (Priority Development Assistance Fund) scam.
She is expected to turn state witness against 37 others implicated in this scam, including Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, Senators “Jinggoy” Estrada, Bong Revilla, Gringo Honasan, and Ferdianad Marcos, Jr.
More than 4,000 vigilant Filipinos marched and rallied against the Pork Barrel scam near EDSA, which has led to the surrender of Janet Napoles and the ongoing investigation today.
I am sure more heads will fall.
There are several other investigations on corruption going on the Philippines…courtesy of the Aquino administration.
All these could NOT, would NOT, have happened if we had a president who was corrupt.
The impressive economic boon in the Philippines and the excellent international credit rating of the country today are the impact and fruits of an honest and transparent leadership from the top.
I only hope and pray that the one who succeeds Noynoy Aquino in 2016 is equally a leader of integrity, honesty, and transparency.
Otherwise, we shall be back to square one and waste all the changes and progress achieved so far.
Filipinos around the world, must come together, even in our diversity, even without unanimity, and unite for a common cause, and inspire our people towards responsible
citizenship, and our nation, towards good governance and ethical leadership.
When united, this sleeping giant could harness super power and clout.
Just think about it: If each of the 14 million of us outside the Philippines contributes just one single dollar, we shall easily and painlessly have $14 million as our war chest overnight…….for the humanitarian programs of many organizations like the PMAC and their medical missions, the Gawad Kalinga, and several others.
What we need is a revolution…… not a revolution of arms where blood shall be shed, but a revolution of principles, priorities, attitude, and discipline, where sweat and tears INSTEAD shall be shed to bathe our nation clean.
All the little miracles and providential omens developing in our country and among Filipinos around the world today are a manifestation of positive things to come.
You, who are here today, leaders of our people in your own right, embolden my sustained faith in the Filipino people.
You represent what is best in humankind, and your nobility and compassion towards our fellowmen ensure the Filipino a rightful place in history.
You are not only the source of hope for our people but the foundation of dignity and pride for the Philippines.
I have an abiding faith that the Filipinos are destined for greatness.
Leaving this world after this life is not a tragedy. Dying without making a difference, without significance, without leaving an inspiring legacy behind, is.
I am, therefore, making this clarion call to all of you within the reach of my voice, and to all within the reach of yours tomorrow, to unite and join the crusade, the revolution, and come together for a noble cause, to serve our poor, to renounce corruption, to reclaim our lost glory of the 1950s and ‘60s, and recapture our dignity, honor, and pride as a people and as a nation.
Ladies and gentlemen, with all these signs and symptoms and heartaches of our suffering fellowmen back home, let us not wait for SURGERY to open our heart.
Let us come together now as our brothers’ keepers, as our nation’s loving patriots, to serve a cause nobler and greater than our individual selves, and, someday soon make OUR appointment …..with destiny.
*Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, is Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus in Northwest Indiana and Chairman of the Filipino United Network (USA). He was Chairman of Cardiovascular Surgery at Cebu Doctors’ University Hospital, and former president of the Association of Philippine Physicians in America and the Society of Philippine Surgeons in America. His website is philipSchua.com and his email address is email@example.com
Author’s note. Encounters with Filipino seamen in Athens. This is a true story, with the dialogue reconstructed. In the 70s, I hitchhiked 25,000 kilometers for 18 months, drifting through 18 countries in Europe and North Africa. Totally broke, I settled in Amsterdam. My adventure was dubbed eastwind, the wind from the east blowing west. If Monching or Kardo (not their real names) or one who knows them, will read this, please keep in touch.
On my second day in Athens, I wandered into Syntagma Square in the center of the city.
“Hey you, Filipino,” a Greek waiter in all white spoke.
“Hello,” I countered.
“You Filipinos are the craziest people I have met ever.”
“Really now. How come?” I countered.
There were about ten waiters dressing up with white linen a long table about half a kilometer long across the entire square. It practically ended at the horizon.
He continued, “You see this table, 300 meters long? This table is for big shots like the mayor of the city or an important businessman. This table is expensive. Only rich people have their parties here.”
“What does that have to do with crazy Filipinos?” I asked.
“You see that crazy Filipino over there?” he pointed to one giving instructions to the waiters.
“That’s the crazy Filipino? Looks normal to me.”
“You don’t understand. He is a humble second officer in a Panamanian ship that just landed in Piraeus yesterday. He can’t possibly afford to hire this long table.”
“If he is a Filipino seaman, he can,” I said.
“That’s what I mean. You guys are crazy. He saves his salary for five years and spends it all in one birthday bash. He is inviting all Filipinos in the entire city of Athens, I mean all. Now, tell me, what is the logic in all that?”
“I don’t think you would understand even if I explained it to you,” I countered.
“Well, okay. Filipinos have a different way of looking at things. Money is not everything. You work your ass off, that’s okay. But for a Filipino seaman, you earn money to spend it.”
“I give up. You’re just as crazy. I wouldn’t kill myself for five years inside the belly of a lousy ship just for a birthday party. He’s crazy.”
“I agree. He’s crazy alright. But he likes a birthday bash. What can you say? I must meet him and get invited,” I said.
I walked over to him and he smiled upon seeing me, speaking in our native language, “Name’s Monching. What ship are you from?”
“Name’s Bernie. No ship. I’m not a seaman.”
“You’re invited anyway to my birthday tomorrow night. All Filipinos are invited, no matter who they are, what they are, nurses, musicians, bar girls, whoever. Listen, I’m busy. You go talk to my friend Kardo over there.” he pointed to another Filipino and left to give more instructions to the waiters.
I went over to Kardo. He had a huge dapple bag with him. He was in the US navy.
“What ship?” he asked.
“No ship,” I answered.
“What are you doing here?”
“Not much. Just passing through?”
“And you’re not a seaman?”
“That’s strange. You must be a tourist.”
Filipino seamen were not aware of Filipino drifters, hitchhikers, which were rare at that time. I did not bother to explain.
“Listen, man, I need help,” he whispered furtively, looking away to see if there was anybody else listening.
“You see this?” he opened the huge dapple bag. I peered in and saw a ton of blue seal Salem and Winston cigarettes, green and red like Christmas decor. “You help me. We sell this in the night bars. You get free drinks.”
“You’ve got about $2,000 worth in there, right?”
“Five. Okay, okay, I’ll give you a commission,” he whispered cloak-and-dagger style.
“I’m not interested in a commission. I’d like the drink though.”
“You’re on. Let’s go.”
“You navy men are crazy.”
“Of course, that’s the only way to be. Listen, this is nothing. I smuggled Harley Davidsons in Corsica.”
“You got anything in mind aside from making money on the side?”
“Of course. Women. You want a woman tonight? On me.”
And so we left Monching, fixing up his birthday party, and went around the bars. I was amazed the bartenders knew him. He must have been smuggling cigarettes regularly for years. We had one or two free drinks in every bar. After about ten bars, we were dead drunk. The dapple bag was now almost empty. Kardo treated me to American steak somewhere. I could hardly walk. I couldn’t go home, so Kardo dragged me to his three-star hotel. Pretty good. I ended up with a hangover and missed Monching’s party. I could have met the entire Filipino community of Athens but I had a splitting headache from retsina, the Greek wine which smelled and tasted like aviation gas to a Filipino.
Janet Napoles has travelled more in the last few days than most Filipinos. The irony is that she is in jail. Whatever next Boracay? Palawan? Buhol? Baguio? 🙁
Janet Napoles Bound To a Posher Cell
She really has some important people within the Government; that is becoming all too obvious. They can’t do enough for her. There is someone to wipe her nose, one to taste her food for her, one to revolve around her acting like an electric fan to cool her down, one as a human Katol to swipe any ambitious mosquito, one to make her a cup of cha-a like clockwork, all of them want to TeLL her FABLES so that she learns their brand of immoral lessons 😉 All of them have their heads firmly stuck to her backside. Arise Queen Janet of the Napoles Swine Heard.
Are all these goings-on for her safety or for her manipulation?
Oh yes, Philippine Government, we madlang people know what you are all doing.
We are watching you all squirm.
What you have done was so heinous. The monies could be been used for really deserving causes.
Do not cut a deal with the Government. What you need to do is tell the truth because only the truth will do at this time. Tell the truth for the sake of your family. Tell the truth for Jo-Christine’s sake. Has she not suffered enough? Have you not scuppered her chance to shine in the senate and the congress? Must she suffer forever being named as the primera hija of the woman who allegedly siphoned billions of Pork Barrel in the form of PDAF for her own personal gain?
Tell the truth for the sake of your sweetly stressed baby girl. Tell the truth that Jeane was a victim as much as the million of Filipino tax-payers. Tell the truth that Jeane shopaholic was all done through ignorance of the truth. As much as you wanted to bring up Jeane in the manner that majority of Filipinos can only dream of, you caused Jeane’s breakdown through your own deliberate fault. You broke your daughter, you cut off the very energy of that which gives her social life support. All you can do now is patch her together with the truth like any loving mother can do.
THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU ALL FREE. Unallege what is alleged!!! Vindicate yourself. Tell the truth and shame the devil.
As I said tell it as it was not how it should be! Geddit?!!! Do this in remembrance of Jo and Jeane. Two young women who still have a chance for a peaceful and honourable life, that is if you allow to have it.
Man up for your girls, at the end of the day that is really what must be done. Continued lying may have a grave repercussion. This is usually what happens, once everyone who are now kowtowing to your every whim have gotten their way, they’ll be gone faster than you can say HELLO! Where will you be then?
Napoles to Laguna facility
August 30, 2013 10:11 pm
by Ritchie A. Horario Reporter
Court orders her detention at Fort Santo Domingo
Janet Lim-Napoles will be transferred from the Makati City Jail to Fort Santo Domingo in Santa Rosa, Laguna, which authorities said was a more secure facility.
Judge Elmo Alameda of the Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 150 on Friday decided on Fort Santo Domingo for Napoles’ detention quarters on the recommendation of Director Roberto Fajardo, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group’s chief for the National Capital Region (CIDG-NCR).
Napoles’ lawyer, Lorna Kapunan, had asked the court to detain her client either in Camp Crame or at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.
But Fajardo said she will be safer in Fort Santo Domingo since it is also the training center of the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) Special Action Force (SAF).
Napoles, the central figure in the pork barrel scandal, surrendered to President Aquino 3rdin Malacañang Wednesday night, several hours after the President announced a P10-million bounty for her.
She was wanted on charges of illegal detention along with her brother Reynald Lim.
From the presidential palace, Napoles was driven under heavy escort to Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Camp Crame where she was fingerprinted, photographed and given a medical check-up.
On Thursday night she was transferred to the Makati jail.
At the hearing to determine where Napoles will be detained on Friday, state lawyers asked Fajardo if Napoles could be brought to the court if she is in Fort Santo Domingo. Fajardo said it would only take from 45 minutes to an hour to bring Napoles to Makati from Santa Rosa.
“From what I know, since she will implicating a lot of government officials the threat is high,” Fajardo said.
He said they inspected of the Santa Rosa facility where former president Joseph Estrada and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Chairman Nur Misuari were detained.
Fajardo recommended the facility after Makati Jail Warden Chief Insp. Fermin Enriquez admitted he could not assure the safety of Napoles.
Enriquez said the jail only has 117 security staff, 52 of who belong to an augmentation force from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) and the PNP.
The jail holds 545 inmates, 104 of them women. It has only 23 female guards, Enriquez said.
Enriquez conceded it was possibility that people out to harm Napoles could pose as visitors to get inside the jail.
Also on Friday, members of Youth Act Now, the broadest anti-pork barrel youth alliance in the country, blew whistles and banged on pots and pans in noise barrages in Metro Manila and various provinces to protest what they said was the “fake surrender” of Napoles and the VIP treatment the government was giving her.
“The Aquino administration is overdoing the theatrics. Mr. President, no one believes your make-believe story about Napoles’ surrender. We are in fact, even more enraged with the fact that one of the country’s top villain is being pampered by top government executives,” Kabataan Rep. Terry Ridon said in a statement.
“The youth and the people have again come out today to remind the government that we’re as vigilant as ever, and we’re watching every move the Palace is making,” he said.
The rallies were held in University of the Philippines in Diliman, UP Manila, Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), Taft Avenue, Intramuros, T.M. Kalaw, Morayta and Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City.
As the furor over the pork barrel scam continues, the ruling Liberal Party said President Aquino will not help his allies who will be found liable in the P10-billion Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam that benefited fake nongovernment organizations.
Western Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento, the LP secretary general, expressed the sentiment a day after the United Nationalist Alliance and the Makabayan bloc in the House warned of selective prosecution after Napoles surrendered to President Aquino.
“The President has said so many times that even if it involves his allies, they will be held accountable. If there’s evidence to the allegations on his allies, he won’t protect them. I am sure of that. Those who are liable will have to face the music. This is about letting justice be done, though the heavens may fall,” Sarmiento said.
A Commission on Audit (COA) report pointed to Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada, prominent UNA leaders, as having allocated millions from their PDAF to sham NGOs run by Napoles.
The President also drew flak for turning over Napoles to Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, considering that it was the National Bureau of Investigation that spearheaded the manhunt for her.
Roxas, the LP’s president-on-leave, narrowly lost the vice presidential race in 2010 to Jejomar Binay.
But Sarmiento said the opposition should stop sowing such intrigues because Roxas was only doing his job as DILG secretary.
The Philippine National Police is under DILG jurisdiction.
Religious personalities have also weighed in on Napoles’ surrender.
Father Robert Reyes, know as the “Running Priest,” urged Napoles “not to cover-up” legislators involved in the pork barrel scam, including allies of the administration.
He said if Napoles turns state witness, she will be walking the fine line between speaking the truth and defending the interest of the administration and the politicians aligned with it.
Sister Mary John Mananzan, co-chairperson of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP), said Napoles should not become a government witness because “she does not deserve immunity”’
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, warned against efforts of the authorities to divert public attention to Napoles’ case instead of dealing with the need to scrap the pork barrel system.
“The real issue here is not about Napoles but about the pork barrel and the lawmakers who are traitors of the country,” Pabillo said.
With reports from Anthony Vargas, Llanesca T. Panti, Robertzon Ramirez and Neil A. Alcober
It has been alleged that the eldest daughter of Janet Lim-Napoles has aspiration to climb the social ladder by becoming a representative of the Overseas Filipino Workers Family Club in the senate.
With what appears to be currently going on with the Napoles clan, putting herself into the limelight should be the last thing Jo be doing right now. She is one brave woman or just thick-skinned?
Apparently she comes highly recommended by her cohorts. She was previously third in line but her chances are improving as the invalidation of the second candidate, Johnny Revilla, in view of his American citizenship, was being sought by the OFW Family Club (OFWFC).
Roy Senerez, Jr was meant to replace Revilla but has decided to bow out to avoid any political dynastic controversy as his papa already holds high office.
Senerez, Sr is vouching for Jo Christine. Apparently she was known to all his children and a good woman.
The elder Señeres said Jo Christine, a longtime friend of three of his children, had been involved with the OFWFC for a long time.
He said she had been active in the group and had even provided tickets for the repatriation of Filipinos abroad.
Apparently Jo Christine is a philanthropic Napoles; very charitable.
(As an aside, did you or your family use your own money to aid the repatriation of Filipinos Senor Señeres?)
Anyhow, I would like to know where Jo Christine got the money; Did she have an ulterior motive? Did she use the tainted money from the Pork Barrel to feed her ambition?!!! Just asking!
I hope the goings-on with the OFWFC does not in any way affect the OFWs.
With Jo Christine prospective appointment, would it be like letting the fox into the henhouse?!!! LOL
This situation is becoming one of those Greek’s tragi-comedy!
I think OFWs deserve better representations that the Seneres and Napoles friendships can provide!
Whilst I admire Mr Seneres Sr’s loyalty to his friends, he should be acting as a political representative of the OFWs first and foremost and always put the betterment of the OFWs and their family at the forefront of his psyche, after all that is his job description. There is loyalty and LOYALTY.
There is a lady who is more than deserving of gratitude and homage from Oveseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), and their families and ultimately the whole Filipino nation.
This lady is Maria Elizabeth Embry. She has on numerous ocassions highlighted the sad flights of Filipinos abroad.
Everytime I hear from her, she writes about someone who was abused sexually, someone who was slained, someone who was tortured, someone who was left stranded and penniless and can’t go home, someone’s body that needed repatriation!
I have to turn into a human octopus to be able to count in my octopussy arms with fingers 😉 (perish the thought!!!I am trying to give you a picture of the many advocacies Maria does) all the times Maria Embry had tried to help our compatriots. To these days Maria continues to do so.
In fact, today as I opened my emails, the first thing I saw was an email from a Waldon Bello assuring St Maria Embry of OFWs his full attention and action.
Well Mr Bello, we are going to hold you to your assurance and promise of help wiith utmost urgency.
PS: Maria is often helped by Eddie Calderon, reminding us of Maria’s advocacies. There are times when her emails are swamped by the deluge of overly-active and enthusiastic Filipino posters in forums!
………………………………………………………….. From Cong. Walden Bello:
Rest assured we will act on this.
…………………………………………………………….. Sent: Thursday, July 25, 2013 7:55 AM Subject: S.O.S. Cong Bello, kindly endorse to the DFA, DOJ, DOLE the case of 5 distressed Pinay maids who were sold by the syndicated group working the Zamboanga, Tawi-Tawi, Malaysia, Jordan route… they are TRAPPED & DESPERATE!!… their options are running away & if caught: arrest, jail, false accusation by employer of theft…going to labor agency where they were sold: physical abuse or being sent back to employer who are holding their I.D. passports & other legal docu
S.O.S. Cong Bello, kindly endorse to the DFA, DOJ, DOLE the case of 5 distressed Pinay maids who were sold by the syndicated group working the Zamboanga, Tawi-Tawi, Malaysia, Jordan route… they are TRAPPED & DESPERATE!!… their options are running away & if caught: arrest, jail, false accusation by employer of theft…going to labor agency where they were sold: physical abuse or being sent back to employer who are holding their I.D. passports & other legal docu
—– Forwarded Message —– From: maria embry <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: “”Hon Joy Ngozi Ezeilo UN Special Rapporteur”” <email@example.com>; “”U.S. Department of State 2014 Trafficking in Person Report”” <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent: Thursday, July 18, 2013 1:40 AM Subject: Open Letter to the Hon Sect John Kerry Re: Filipina housemaids who are complaining that they are victims of contract substitution (receiving $200 instead of $400 monthly salary) unlawful witholding of passports, etc and that Philippine Embassy in Jordan, not only denied to assist them, but instead responded that they just suffer their fate (“magtiis”)
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Open Letter to the Hon Sect John Kerry Re: Filipina housemaids who are complaining that they are victims of contract substitution (receiving $200 instead of $400 monthly salary) unlawful witholding of passports, etc and that Philippine Embassy in Jordan, not only denied to assist them, but instead responded that they just suffer their fate (“magtiis”)
Dear Hon John Kerry: Sir, as your honorable office gather the data for the 2014 Trafficking in Person Report, allow me to call your attention Re: Filipina housemaids who are complaining that they are victims of contract substitution (receiving $200 instead of $400 monthly salary) unlawful witholding of passports, etc and that Philippine Embassy in Jordan, not only denied to assist them, but instead responded that they just suffer their fate (“magtiis”).
Sir, the U.S. State Department 2013 Trafficking in Persons Report focuses on victim identification as the top priority and further states that protection is one of the “three P paradigm” established in the 2000 UN Palermo Protocol to guide government action in combating trafficking in persons, however only a mere fraction of trafficking victims have been recognized by governments and the consequence of inadequate victim identification is that the traffickers are operating with impunity, beyond the reach of the law. Traffickers around the world commonly threaten their victims: law enforcement will incarcerate or deport victims if they seek help. The success of victim identification will often depend on who that trafficking victim first encounters―whether a police officer, immigration agent, or labor inspector (Source: http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2013/210542.htm).
Sir, I would like to inform you that in this particular incident the staff at the Philippine Embassy in Jordan are the first responders and although the Filipina housemaids already volunteered to positively identified themselves as trafficking victims, however they were not only denied assistance, but were inappropriately advised to just “magtiis” meaning just suffer because if they provoke their employers to anger, they may end up in jail falsely accused of theft.
The Filipina housemaids are complaining of contract substitution when their wages were reduced upon arrival in Jordan to $200 instead of the agreed upon $400.00 per month. Additionally, they are complaining that their employers are unlawfully witholding their passports. Other complaints from some of them are inadequate food; feeling weakened by unbearable long working hours caused by working not only in the household of the employer, but also in the households of the employer’s parents and in-laws; inadequate sleeping hours, confinement and restriction of movement resulting from padlocked exit doors.
As I communicated with some of them thru facebook, they expressed strong feelings about not wanting to run away, fearful of what the Philippine Embassy said that they may end up in jail. They are also fearful of their local manpower agency in Jordan because stories about agencies that physically abuse Filipinas who signify their intention of leaving their employers.
I am very worried exactly for the same reasons because one of them told me about accusations of theft by her employer when she signified her intention of leaving her employment because of being called stupid so many times by her male employer.
Some of the Filipina housemaids are more isolated than the others because they do not have cellphones and facebook accounts, so they rely on those who possess them. The ones who have cellphones and facebook accounts are also fearful because upon discovery by employers their means of communication will be cut off.
I forwarded to the Philippine government agencies and officials an e-mail describing the situation of the seven Filipina housemaids with information about their locations. I have not receive any response to that e-mail.
Sir, it is common knowledge that the Philippine government is one of the largest labor sending countries in the world. It is also common knowledge that it keeps on sending household workers to countries with the most oppressive human trafficking practices. This is akin to throwing its own citizens to the wolves. Sir, it is also an outrage that the United States is able to close her eyes to these realities and keeps on giving the Philippines a passing grade in the annual Human Trafficking Report.
Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) defines SEVERE FORMS OF TRAFFICKING as the recruitment….for labor through the use of fraud for the purpose of subjection to INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE, peonage, DEBT BONDAGE or slavery (emphasis supplied) Sir, thank you for your attention regarding this matter. Sincerely, Maria Elizabeth Embry
Antioch, California ~~~~~~~~ sent to Philippine government Jul 15 2013 @11:32 PM S.O.S. DFA OUMWA, kindly verify & rescue 7 distressed Pinays, victims of illegal recruitment, involuntary servitude & contract substitution…lumapit na daw sa embassy, walang aksyon, ang response: magtiis lang sila (magtiis is not the proper response to victims of severe forms of trafficking…contract substitution is an outright fraud that leads to involuntary servitude…no ifs, no buts abt it…instead of $400/month, they are receiving only $200/month) Dear Sir/ Madam: with due respect, allow me to remind you that Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) defines SEVERE FORMS OF TRAFFICKING as the recruitment….for labor through the use of fraud for the purpose of subjection to INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE, peonage, DEBT BONDAGE or slavery (emphasis supplied). Undeniably, CONTRACT SUBSTITUTION is an OUTRIGHT FRAUD that leads to INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE. The United Nations, similarly define human trafficking along this term. The Philippines as signatory to international agreements and more importants as recipient of financial funds and grants from various donors made a commitment to reduce the number of human trafficking victims. Allow me to forward to you in a separate e-mail the names, contact information of the 7 Filipina workers. Caution: for their safety do not contact them thru their local agency because they are fearful of physical harm (pinay worker: ” nakakatakot ang agency dito kahit babae sinasaktan kapag nalaman gusto nang umuwi sa pinas”) two of the employers are siblingsThank you for your attention to this matter. Sincerely, Maria Elizabeth Embry Antioch, California