"In societies where Robbing Hoods are treated like a celebrity it is but natural to expect political parties to act like a Mafia syndicate" Political Jaywalker "In a nation where corruption is endemic people tend to confuse due process with aiding and abetting criminals" Political Jaywalker "War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left" Bertrand Russell "You have just one flash flood of money, you keep your people poor. It's like a time bomb and it's scary" Philippine Lawmaker

The Dangers Men Face in Unlikely Situation

We hear talks of horrific tales brought home by returning OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) of unimaginable dehumanizing treatment of exploitation and abuse they received from their employers. These range from contract violations, rape, sexual harassment, mysterious deaths, among others. Accordingly Migrante International reports that yearly, hundreds of thousand of Filipinos are reported to have suffered various forms of abuse and exploitation in the hands of their employers. Women migrant workers in particular are most vulnerable to abuses and maltreatment. They are subjected to sexual and physical abuses, as in the case of domestic helpers, while many become victims of white slavery. There is a this unimaginable horrible problem facing Overseas Filipinos working in the Middle East that hardly gets noticed, how big or prevalent the problem is we really can’t tell for lack of data.

There is this very troubling news on the beheading of Reynaldo Cortez a welder in an auto shop in Sinaya, last 13th of June, 2007 sentenced to die for killing a Pakistani cab driver. The Pakistani cab driver attempted to molest Cortez back in 2003 and in the process of defending himself from his aggressor he stabbed to death his would be rapist. What is sad is this case hardly made the news due in part to the DFA’s (Department of Foreign Affairs) instruction to the wife Melody Cortez to cease from making any noise and let the government negotiators do their job of saving Cortez as reported by Bulatlat. The negotiators were concerned or maybe overly concerned with offending the family of the Pakistani driver who can act as god in deciding whether to pardon or snuff the life of a man whom their relative attacked with intention to rape. What about Cortez himself and his family, should they not concern themselves how they feel? How should the DFA handle cases such as these needs further scrutiny in order to protect our OFWs particularly men in that part of the world were the danger of getting raped by your own kind is a sick reality that we faced.

That is just so sick, a man trying to rape another man and for defending himself from such shameless perversion from another man is so horrible just to think of what could have happen had he succeeded in raping Cortez. This is a problem that we should really understand and male OFWs in particular should be aware of because it appears that this things are happening and will happen to anyone unprepared faced with this sick circumstance.

The situation is exacerbated when in the process of saving Cortez we hear of possible neglect by the government as reported by Bulatlat. Bragas-Regalado of Migrante cited the absence of any consulate representatives in the sentencing of Cortez in 2005 and when Rey was beheaded on June 13, it was Jonathan Panlilio of Migrante International who first informed the family about it. The DFA confirmed the bad news 30 minutes after they have learned of the bad news. I can understand the delay on the part of the government with all their red tapes and procedures but oftentimes I tend to doubt said when I looked at their site. This is the so called updates on OFW cases from the Department of Foreign Affairs site that shows it was dated May 4th, 2001, now if that’s any indication that they are on top of the problem we can say that they are 6 years due in providing updates. Is it any surprise then that the family of Reynaldo Cortez heard of the news elsewhere before the Foreign Affairs Department?

We really need to look at this problem and learn from it because there is another similar case involving Rodelio Lanuza and his life is hanging in the balance at the mercy of the family of the attacker to pardon or get beheaded. What appropriate action we take and how quickly we respond to this may save or doom another one of our OFWs. To be continued......................

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