TIT FOR TAT

News Release
March 4, 2008
For reference: Maita Santiago, Secretary-General

GLORIA, NOT OFWS, GUILTY OF “ECONOMIC SABOTAGE” – Migrante

“Gloria is the country’s true economic saboteur.”

Thus declared an alliance of organizations composed of overseas
Filipinos and their families in response to Malacanang’s statement
that OFWs who decided to declare a “Zero Remittance Day” is an
“irresponsible statement” and is “tantamount to economic sabotage”.

“OFWs are not to blame for the ills of this country. By essentially
‘plundering’ the economy through billion peso kickbacks and other
instances of high-level corruption, Gloria is the real economic
saboteur. Instead of a ‘strong peso’, what we have is a fake peso
that translates into higher prices. Her lies about a ‘strong economy’
is bursting at the seams given spiraling oil prices and the looming
increases in food prices, including pandesal,” says Maita Santiago,
Migrante International Secretary-General.

The Migrante leader also explained that, “OFWs and their families have
every right to demand that Gloria step down and as such, declare March
8th and other days as a ‘Zero Remittance Day’ given the long list of
‘crimes’ committed by the Arroyo administration against themselves and
their families. Foremost among these are the many cases of neglect
regarding OFWs in distress, the plunder of OFW funds and the
intensified commodification and export of migrant workers.”

“Real irresponsibility is when the Arroyo administration tells OFWs
there are no funds for their repatriation, legal assistance or medical
support even though at the same time, the First Family and other
top-level officials are stealing from the country’s coffers while
giving out P500,000 cash bags to their cronies,” added Santiago.

“OFWs and their families will no longer stand idly by while their
remittances are used to prop up this most corrupt, fascist and
dictatorial regime. Ang perang pinagpaguran ay gagamitin namin sa
paghahanap ng katotohanan, ” she said.

To underline their call for Gloria to step down and to mark
International Women’s Day, OFW groups have declared March 8th as a
“Zero Remittance Day” in Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait,
Australia and New Zealand. In the Middle East, OFW groups with
Migrante-Middle East have said March 3 to March 8 will be their “Zero
Remittance Week”.

Last year, OFWs infused about US$14.4 billion in remittances into the
economy with daily remittances amounting to more than US$30 million
daily. #

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