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Dr. Noel Chua: Victim of Southern Injustice

Perry Diaz

On December 15, 2005, Dr. Noel Chua, a Filipino-American internal medicine specialist, walked into his home in St. Marys, Georgia and found the dead body of James Carter III, a 20-year old Caucasian man, on the floor of a bathroom. What happened after that incident had irreversibly damaged Dr. Chua’s unblemished reputation for the rest of his life. Dr. Chua and his supporters believe that he was unfairly treated -- nay, victimized! -- by no less than the judicial system of the State of Georgia.

On September 13, 2006, after a lengthy investigation, Camden County grand jury indicted Dr. Chua for two counts of felony murder -- for the same person -- and 17 counts of violation of Georgia’s Controlled Substance Act. Consequently, Dr. Chua was denied bail and was jailed in neighboring Glynn County, a move that was never explained by the authorities. On November 2, 2006, after his lawyers filed a motion, Dr. Chua was returned to Camden County Jail.

Who was James Carter III? In my email interview with Dr. Chua -- I could not reach him at the county jail by telephone -- he said: “He (Carter) started out as a patient who became an employee in my medical office. Presented himself as very smart and friendly student and had invited me and my cousin to his parents’ separate homes. I was treating him for his long history of severe migraines and had to be hospitalized twice under my care for that condition. His past medical history reveals extensive work-up and numerous hospitalizations and ER visits for the same condition.”

Dr. Chua said that they charged him for every medication that he prescribed to Carter as a felony because they had Carter’s medical record from his office reviewed by another doctor, who never saw Carter and subsequently concluded that there was no medical reason for Dr. Chua’s prescriptions. He said further: “The extensive past medical records of the patient that my lawyers were able to obtain at a later time showed that the patient has been tried on about every medication that I also tried but nothing really gave him any long lasting relief. My civil lawyers (after the family filed a civil suit) also found out that the patient had been seeing a drug rehab doctor even prior to his initial visit in my office. Nobody will be able to provide any evidence that there had been any communication between my office and the rehab doctor’s office since this fact was hidden from me by the patient and his family members that had given me a warm reception in their homes.”

Dr. Chua said that the toxicology report showed that Carter had multiple drugs in his system, even drugs that he never prescribed to him. Dr. Chua also said that he warned Carter never to mix his prescriptions with any other drugs. In addition, he said that the autopsy report showed “evidence of sudden intense elevation of pressure in his head similar to something seen on people that were strangled.” He said: “This can only come from injecting something that raised his blood pressure intensely or assuming a very awkward position after a sudden death which is contrary to a slow death experienced by people simply dying of a drug overdose.”

“They charged me with two murders for one dead body blaming the overdose on me,” Dr. Chua lamented. “Not satisfied with that, they charged me with racketeering which gave them the power to seize all my assets. It’s obviously a dirty, sleazy trick to grab all my money and properties so I will not be able to afford any defense on my part.”

The case was set for trial in November 2006; however, the District Attorney was unable to proceed with prosecuting the case. The trial date was postponed every month since then. Meanwhile, Dr. Chua is still in jail. It seems that the wheel of justice in Georgia is moving very slowly... and backward as well. As someone once said, “Justice delayed is justice denied.”

Recently, Dr. Chua said that during a preliminary hearing, his lawyers were able to get one of the murder charges dismissed. It boggles my mind why they charged him for two counts of murder for the death of one person? Dr .Chua said that at the present time the District Attorney is “begging the federal attorney to take over the case and pursue the drug charges.” As one of his supporters said, “Dr. Chua is being railroaded.”

Evidently, the District Attorney has a weak case against Dr. Chua and is passing it on to the federal attorney. The District Attorney offered a plea bargain of two years in a probation detention center and banishment from Camden County. However, Dr. Chua refused the offer. He said that he’d rather be imprisoned than admit to a lie. But harm had already been done. Dr .Chua said, “Unfortunately for me, even if I am exonerated later they have already confined me for eight months and had stopped me from working. They have published my face and name as a murderer in the world wide web. Fortunately, all my friends know the real me and I know God knows the truth.”

Dr. Chua’s supporters are growing in numbers. “FREE DR. CHUA” and “FREE THE GOOD DOCTOR” signs have appeared in Camden County. One of his supporters faxed me clippings of several letters to the editors in support of Dr. Chua. Renee Manning wrote: “Dr. Chua was the physician that cared for my daughter who has juvenile diabetes. He is the doctor that wept for us as we struggled with this life-altering disease. He is the doctor that took my daughter to the hospital to show her some of his patients that had been affected by this disease in order to show her how important it was to take care of her body. This is the doctor that gave my daughter his cell phone number and the doctor that answered that cell phone at 3 in the morning when she called him and needed to talk to someone.”

Dr .Chua is not only a good doctor; he is a good Samaritan as well. In today’s dog-eat-dog world, Dr. Chua has demonstrated that he takes his Hippocratic Oath seriously. He went out of his way for his patients. And he did it for James Carter III. The 47-year old Dr. Chua has an impeccable personal and professional background. He was a high school valedictorian, magna cum laude in Medical Technology, Number 1 in the Med-Tech Board in 1987, and a consistent honor student. He graduated from the Far Eastern University Medical School in Manila, Number 11 in the Medical Board, and worked for six months as a missionary doctor in Palawan. He had highest distinction honors after completing his Master’s degree in Health Care Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University.

The death of James Carter III was unfortunate but what happened to Dr .Noel Chua was abominably heinous. Southern justice -- or injustice -- of the Jim Crow era is still very much alive in Georgia today. Dr. Chua’s words to me were foreboding: “Unfortunately, prejudice and discrimination are not going to disappear from the landscape for several generations more. Not until everybody becomes color blind.” Yes, Georgia, the state where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born -- whose state motto is "Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation" -- has yet to judge people by the content of their character and not by their color.



Dear Readers,

The following are readers' comments on "Dr. Noel Chua: Victim of Southern Injustice." Feel free to send your comments or articles to share with the readers. The original article is reprinted at the end for your reference.




Dear Perry,

Thanks for fighting for my cause. I am tempted to fax to you what I consider as one of my strongest piece of evidences if not the strongest. When the patient, James Carter, went to the pharmacy at one time to fill his prescription, the pharmacist asked him why he was having frequent changes in his medications. He stated that they were not working and the doctor was destroying the previous prescriptions/medications. The pharmacist documented this conversation on that prescription.

Also the weeks following my arrest, my patients and friends reported to me that several members of the grand jury that gave the indictment on me were upset because they felt that they were misled by the DA's office and the investigator of the police department. Of course, Ricky Ricardo was right when he said that a DA can indict even a ham sandwich. I don't know if it would be legal for us to get a statement from any of the grand jury members to find out how they were misled and what sort of evidences were withheld from them similar to what Nifong did in North Carolina. I am sure they were not shown that prescription and the extensive medical records of the patient.

Then you know about how they maliciously/illegally shipped me to another county jail to be mistreated there. Then they plundered my bank accounts. I am so hopeful that a DA like this could be fully exposed. What do you think we should do?

Thanks for all your help. I really appreciate it. The lawyer helping me to recover my medical license was very pleased with your article and is going to send a copy of it to the PA board of medicine. May God bless you and your whole family.



Perry, when we accept that racism is here to stay for generations to come, we have in fact articulated a belief that the soul of America is long gone and will be gone for generations to come.

Instead, as naive as I get, as polyannish I might be, I like to believe in the wisdom of the justice system, the reasonable decision to be made by 12 jurors who will take their duty seriously and a defense lawyer that will take on this challenge, even if the pursuit of truth takes awhile.

Dr. Chua's actions can be viewed two ways. One school of thought, based on materialism and medical service in pursuit of that goal, Dr. Chua's actions will not be supported by that school of thought. It is not in accordance with standard practice of medicine that is based on 8-5 pm, Monday – Friday mode and limited by rules of HMO reimbursement and physicians are not allowed to care beyond those boundaries.

Another school of thought, based on caring for another human being, and taking one's Hippocrates Oath seriously, Dr. Chua's actions underline his genuine care, compassion and the pursuit of care and cures to alleviate the suffering of another human being. Given his holistic beliefs, he saw it to be a circle of care and a continuum of compassion not limited by barriers imposed by profit motives. I pray Dr. Chua gets his fair share of justice and that the judicial decision be on the right side of truth!

Prosy Abarquez-Delacruz, J.D.



I have several questions about this unfortunate case -- so tragic for Dr. Chua.

Remember the Duke lacrosse team case and the DA's embarrassment ! ? ! The same may apply in this Georgia case.

What is the Georgia Medical Assoc.'s stand on this medical case? What about Dr. Chua's malpractice insurance carrier? Did he get support from both or either? Was he abandoned to fend for himself?

Dr. Chua may have justifiable cause to sue the DA, the Georgia state and the county, the Georgia Medical Assoc. and his insurance carrier for -- false accusations, miscarriage of justice and prolonged incarceration, pain and suffering, abandonment of defense and even legal malpractice for poor support and defense for allowing long incarceration and abuse of his rights.

I am not a lawyer, but a concerned citizen against injustice.

Ben Oteyza


If the facts as presented are true, then this is truly a miscarriage of justice. Perhaps, after the case is dismissed, Dr. Chua may have reason to sue for civil rights violation, unlawful imprisonment, racial discrimination, and be compensated accordingly.


From the files of Dr. Chua's case it shows that American Justice is a lot of bullshit. Tell those who intend to settle there to stay clear of that backward State. Let's hope that one day he will be cleared of those trump-up charges and my advice to the good Doctor is get a better lawyer and file counter charges of malfeasance and misfeasance against all those people who thought they are above the law of a Nation whose Constitution is anchored on Liberty, Justice & Democratic Ideals. Tell the world that Georgia does not belong to the Union of the United States of America; that it is still a "Hickory, backward community" that is even lesser than our own country.

Juan Jose Regino


Dear Perry,

Injustice is common in the USA.

Most recently :

1. The District Attorney who prosecuted the Duke University athletes

was found guilty of over ten counts of Frauds and improper conduct.

His Attorney license was removed.

The District Attorney was Mike Nifong. His hearing : 2007.

2. The District Attorney and investigative Staff in Du Page County, Illinois

were convicted of Prosecutorial misconduct in the case of :

Mr. Bustamante and Mr. Hernandez. These two were sent to

State Prison after they were convicted of crimes they did not commit.

Thanks to a journalist like you who investigated the case.

The journalist was Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune.

Because of his research, both of these persons were released from

State prison.

For about two years , they were on Death Row.

They were released after about Ten Years in prison.

A movie was made about their case. This was shown nationwide on

Cable TV , Channel A and E , under the title : American Justice.

It was produced by : Bill Kurtis productions.

3. There are numerous cases of prisoners released prison recently

Thanks to DNA tests.

4. The Governor of Illinois , Mr. Ryan was convicted of crimes and is

now serving in Federal Prison.

5. The Governor of Louisiana, I think his name is Edwards is serving

in Federal prison. He was convicted of crimes in relation to the

49 ers football team , including testimony of De Bartolo.

6. Congressman Cunningham of San Diego is in Federal prison.

He was convicted recently of crimes.


Lino Dial, MD



Hi Perry,

Thank you so much for the article about Noel. He deserves better than what he is getting right now. I will ask my friends to continue to pray for him. I hope our NaFFAA Georgia chapter has done something about him.

Say hello to your lovely wife.

My Warmest Regards

Sen Martin, MD


Dear Perry,

I wonder what the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs and the Ambassador to the USA are doing to correct the injustice done on Dr. Noel Chua. Although he may no longer be a Filipino citizen, as the case may be, I guess, he still deserves protection from our government, he being a natural born Filipino. Would it not be appropriate for all freedom-loving Fil-Americans, Americans and Filipino nationals to petition the State of Georgia to correct the gross injustice and immediately release Dr. Chua? May we, therefore, request you and your BALITA-USA to spearhead the petition.

Thank you so much.

All the best,

Armando B. Aspiras


--- In Filam-Forum@yahoogroups.com, Emiliano Garchitorena


presuming that Dr. Chua is a Filipino & the Filipino embassy exert all its possible support and get him acquitted. will he return to Philippines and practice there. ?

Emiliano Garchitorena


Hi, Perry,

Still, the Jim Crow bias is alive. Dr. Noel Chua should be helped by NaFFAA,


There is really a silent discrimination against the minority. It is against the law but not against reality.

There are many, including mainstream or Caucasian doctors who looked up or down to the Filipino doctors. Sometimes, the fault of Filipino doctors themselves by driving two or three top of the line Mercedeses, BMW or even Ferrari or living in a gated community. Not bad, but envious- friendly.

About toxicology, it is hard to prove his guilt. That is if, the individual or patient ingest medicines, prescribed or not prrescribed. We read that during the crisis on the death of Anna Nichole Smith and her son. Is Dr. Chua, a Dr. Kevorkian? I believe he is not.

The practice of medicine is one of the lucrative trade or profession but there is a high risk of malpractice. Insurance for it is high too.

Dr. Chua should be helped.

Ben Ongoco



Georgia is one of the racist states in the nation. It is the birthplace of the noose hanging by a tree to warn "people of color" of their rightful (?) place under the sun. If not for athletics and the military, it is the extension of hell, where some people (really rednecks) think they are destined by God to reap the benefits of the earth because they are white. It is presently invaded by Mexicans because of the chicken industry, many of them illegal aliens. I hope more of them will come to push out these ignorant, xenophobic rednecks. I wouldn't settle there if it is the last place on earth.

Dr. Chua's problem is further exacerbated by professional jealousy from his good medical practice that sees him going out of his way to minister to his patients, something very few of his colleagues are able to do. By eliminating him unfairly, they hope to take over some of his patients, and ultimately his practice. Bastards!

Rawley Soberano


In Line with the Pedestrian Observer blog’s focus on bringing out issues that affect Filipinos in the Diaspora the article is a contribution from the above author Perry Diaz.

My Friend's Pussy is way BETTER......

I was surfing other blogs and I found Tess entry on her Prudence and Madness telling her readers to forget about men because pussies are better. Well I almost would like to agree but I think my friend’s pussy is way way better than her pussy, as a matter of fact this pussy has different characters.

Someone sent me an email on this blog Martin and Dulcimer and maybe it’s time for me to show off my friend’s pussy to all you pussy loving people.

I hope you enjoy my friend's pussy as I enjoyed it. Let's start with the formal red bow tie for something that titillates the ...……nope not what you're thinking.........


Hawaiian hula anyone……



Or Evil pussy, hehehe.

I thought I should lighten things up a little bit after some emotionally draining entries, just to give me some respite to reflect on how best to approach all the problems around us especially our people……

Men Raping Men

A dangerous grim scenario facing male Overseas Filipino Workers a continuation of The Dangers Men Face in Unlikely Situations.

How do we address this problem of men being assaulted by other men with the intent of rape? Rape among the same sex is what we hear inside of the prison cells but rape outside the confines of a cell? It appears that the victims and the aggressor are not gay seems to defy what is “normal” or unlikely players in this situation. The question that comes to mind is if this is an isolated incident or are the incident/s prevalent?

One Reynaldo Cortez was beheaded when he defended himself from such act of aggression with intent to rape when he foiled the sexual molestation and killed the Pakistani cab driver. The sad part is under the Sharia law where he was found guilty his fate lies on the decision of the victim’s family if they will pardon the “guilty” by accepting “blood money” (dumb, stupid, unfair and truly revolting law that belongs to the middle ages) or decapitate his head. That is just so inhumane and unfortunate that the relatives who are still grieving at their loss will likely decide not on the legal merits of the case but guided by their grief, loss, and most likely anger and humiliation on the cause of death of attempting to rape a man..

Gang Rape as Punishment

I am reminded of the experience of Mukhtarai Mai in remote hamlet of Meerwala who was sentenced by a higher caste clan of being subjected to gang rape. All this started when a woman from the said powerful clan was supposedly subjected by a younger male (more of a boy) brother of Mai who happens to belong to a lower caste clan of “indecent sexual acts”.

The brother Abdul Shakoor then a 12-year-old had been seen walking with a girl from the more influential Mastoi tribe; they demanded Mai's rape to avenge their "honor." Mai's family sat helplessly while she was dragged into a room, even as she screamed and pleaded for mercy. This would have been corruption of minor in most parts of the civilized world had there been an actual sexual act of any kind but those ignoramuses treated as “rape” walking beside their "precious" lady. Not only was Mai gang raped she was paraded naked in the village by these cruel sorry ass of a barbaric human being.

They also kidnapped Mai’s younger brother beaten, tortured, and RAPED all that for "inappropriately" walking beside a woman. Yes, you read it right he was raped by MEN of the powerful clan and unfortunately for Mai’s brother his attackers who call themselves men went scott free for their deviant sexual act.

If you have men that see nothing wrong with rape and even see rape as an instrument of punishment is it possible that this Pakistani man that tried to molest Cortez possess that same medieval tribal mindset? Why do they do that, is it because these countries do not have laws that are clear cut on what constitute rape and as such like animals will attack a likely victims that are in the lower totem pole of a highly prejudicial ignorant society with no clear concept on equality? Is it their ignorance and the hold of medieval tribal culture that belongs to the medieval past in this highly evolved globalization still clinging to their sickening past?

Why Men Rape

In “Why Men Rape” published by the New York Academy of Science, in January/February 200 Darwinian perspective was brought into the picture. A different perspective in looking at rape opposed to social scientist view that this kind of behavior is learned and can be unlearned. The Darwin theory of procreation in the survival of the fittest in relation to the species that mates the most assured their existence as a basis for understanding rape? Here is a quote from a section of the paper Why men Rape under the sub heading of, RAPE: NATURE VS. NATURE;

Why, then, have the editors of scholarly journals refused to publish papers that treat rape from a Darwinian perspective? Why have pickets and audience protesters caused public lectures on the evolutionary basis of rape to be canceled or terminated? Why have investigators working to discover the evolutionary causes of rape been denied positions at universities?

The reason is the deep schism between many social scientists and investigators such as ourselves who are proponents of what is variously called sociobiology or evolutionary psychology. Social scientists regard culture. everything from eating habits to language. as an entirely human invention, one that develops arbitrarily. According to that view, the desires of men and women are learned behaviors. Rape takes place only when men learn to rape, and it can be eradicated simply by substituting new lessons.

Sociobiologists, by contrast, emphasize that learned behavior, and indeed all culture, is the result of psychological adaptations that have evolved over long periods of time. Those adaptations, like all traits of individual human beings, have both genetic and environmental components. We fervently believe that, just as the leopard. s spots and the giraffe. s elongated neck are the result of aeons of past Darwinian selection, so also is rape.

That conclusion has profound and immediate practical consequences. The rape-prevention measures that are being taught to police officers, lawyers, parents, college students and potential rapists are based on the prevailing social-science view, and are therefore doomed to fail. The Darwinian theory of evolution by natural selection is the most powerful scientific theory that applies to living things. As long as efforts to prevent rape remain uninformed by that theory, they will continue to be handicapped by ideas about human nature that are fundamentally inadequate. We believe that only by acknowledging the evolutionary roots of rape can prevention tactics be devised that really work.
Is it the Darwinian hangover that probably causes men to rape…… but looking at men raping men, procreation was farthest from their mind? These perverted behaviors just don't make sense and surely scientist will have a huge problem doing a study in a subject that is taboo in that part of the world. To make matter worse in the course of looking for answers to fully grasp this despicable behavior I saw this unfathomable incident.

Some Unbelievable Perversion

The quote below is from a post titled “More than Just Sympathy” from Liquid Tension Site of Francis Oca;

Dito sa Saudi Arabia, kapag wala kang bigote ang tingin sa iyo ng mga Arabo ay para kang isang babae. Ngayon kung medyo mistisohin ka pa, maganda ang katawan, matabok ang puwit, at laging bagong paligo at mabango, asahan mong pagtritripan ka nila dahil sa kanilang paningin isa kang sexy star. (Here in the Saudi Arabia if you have no mustache they see you as a woman. If you have fair complexion, good shapely body with big butt newly showered and smelling good you are seen like a “sexy star” that can get them aroused.)

Si Ed ay cashier noong araw sa Al Kharj branch ng aming company. Tuwing umaga trabaho niya ang ideposito ang collections of the previous day sa down town. Dahil may kalayuan din ang aming office sa downtown kung saan naroroon ang mga banko, kinakailangan niyang bumiyahe sakay ng taxi. Isang umaga, Yemeni ang driver ng nasakyan niyang taxi pabalik sa opisina. Dahil seguro guwapo at malinis sa katawan si Ed, pinagtripan daw siya ng driver. Hindi naman siya ginalaw. Inilabas lang naman nong driver ang ari niya at nilarolaro habang nagdradrive. Takot na takot si Ed ng dumating sa opisina. Sabi namin na pasalamat siya at hindi siya dinala sa disyerto. May mga storya kasi na sa disyerto daw kadalasan dinadala ng mga rapist ang kanilang biktima. At doon na nila iiwan pagkatapos abusuhin. Mula noon hindi na bumibiyahe si Ed ng mag-isa. (Ed is a cashier in our company’s Al Khari branch. He is tasked to deposit collections of the previous day every morning in downtown. Since the bank is quite a distance from our office he has to take a cab. In one of his morning trips he happens to have a Yemeni to take him back to the office. Ed being well groomed had the scare of his life when the driver exposed his penis and proceeded to masturbate while driving. He was so scared knowing that men are brought to the desert to be raped and abandoned; luckily the pervert did not touch or tried to rape him. His harrowing experience had him traveling with a companion for his safety.)
Now how can we explain that? Are these repressed gay men having a problem grappling with their sexuality in a society that arrest and behead people whose sexual preference are of the same sex? If that is the case, how can we explain men gang raping a 12 year old boy as punishment by rich clan caste leaders? Do these “men” enjoy raping a 12 year old boy? What is odd is that the older women “victim” of “rape by walking inappropriately with a boy” even filed a rape case in a Pakistani court. While it was dismissed no one seemed to pay attention to Abdul (Mai’s younger brother) who is also a rape, torture and abduction victim here, is it normal for men to rape boys or men as long as it is sanctioned by powerful caste leaders?
Courage and Desperation

In Jean P. Sasson's book "Princess a true story of life behind the veil in Saudi Arabia", we are able to see a glimpse of perverted mindset in a society living in the past with too much money and idle time. This is a society trapped in time desperately hanging on to the tribal culture of the middle ages in the way they treat their women and the cruelty of men against their women. In it we see a society where men can decide to end the lives of their women that are seen as a possession whose purpose in life is to satisfy and give birth in the propagation of their clan.

There is one particular horrible story that was in the book and this is about the maid of the Princess named Marci a Filipina and her friend Madeline. Inspiring tale of courage and daring shown by Marci and Antoine one of the Princess Filipino driver who risked everything in locating a friend in distress. The risk and danger they took is almost good for a suspense movie script but this is one is real and dangerous. You had that yearning for a good ending but this is real life where the ending is not what one expects in a feel good movie.

They found Madeline alright in a dingy villa owned by a Yemeni who abused and used Madeline as one of her sex reliever to satisfy his dog like sex cravings. A family sex toy for the sons, trapped in a hell hole did her best to escape only to be returned by the villagers to her inhumane pervert “master”. Upon learning of her friend’s plight Marci was frantic did everything she could calling up the consulate only to be rebuffed with indifference and acceptance of helplessness. On her return to the Philippines she tried her best to present the problem of Madeline to their local politicians but no one lifted a finger. The sad part is her friend was not on speaking terms with her when her contract expired thinking she was abandoned by her friend. Why did they not complain to the police, the Princess inquired? Truly sickening when Marci replied that the police never listen to complains of Filipinos and a woman in a society where the words of a man is taken as absolute truth the chances of the victim thrown to jail is more likely to happen.

Meanwhile in Abu Dhabi it appears that they have “five runaway maids” (in one of the email from Curtis of streetwisephilippines3 a yahoo group) every week that the consulate has to convert their garage into make-shift dormitory to accommodate the swelling number of abused Filipinas. The best they can do or hope for is to get the employer to pay the woman's ticket home, never mind pressing charges or their salary. In a highly prejudicial society where woman are treated like commodities what more with “servants” and a woman at that has no chance of being heard in a court of law that is male superiority oriented.

Luckily for the professional OFWs as Curtis further stated has not been affected or victimized unlike those in the labor and domestic jobs, is it because they are easy targets in might is right society? What are we going to do about it? What is the government doing about it? How should we respond to all these barbaric treatment of our countrymen?

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Photo courtesy credits: WikipediA

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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Children of Poverty in the Philippines

A very moving painting of the last supper titled Hapag ng Pag-asa (Table of Hope) with dirty street children of poverty portrayed in a different light by Joey Velasco. A symbolical portrayal instead of the long robed apostles we see haunting images of street children tempered with scavenging in garbage dumps amidst the squalor of their surrounding. These are children of poverty exposed to the harsh and difficult dehumanizing subsistence has managed somehow to show their good nature and innocence.
In their forage for scraps and anything recyclable in the muck of mountain loads of society’s refuse and desperation to survive will pick up anything of “value” such as pagpag (term used in salvaging dead carcasses of dogs, cats or any spoiled meat by wiping off the dirt) for boiling and frying to feed the hungry body.

Each subject has a sad story and sad experience like Ana used by her mom in their begging activities until she was “rescued” for a “better” life….. living and cleaning cemetery tombs as caretaker of the dead. As Joey poignantly narrated in Sa Kambas ng Lipunan (Inside Society's Canvas) you tube video the dead giving her the means to live but what about us who seems to be oblivious of the prevalence of poverty of our people and children.

Life indeed is unfair but what makes it worse is when out of poverty in order to survive the urban jungle Onse the son of a stripper has to deal with humiliation and embarrassing taunting of other kids losing self respect and self worth at a tender age. Emotionally scarred his life gets tougher when he goes hungry most of the times has to deal with an abusive father that pimps her mother every now and then.

These are the stark realities of poverty unfortunately just a numbing statistics to our political leaders’ hell bent on perpetuating themselves in power squandering meager resources at the cost of economic development. Their selfish greed and lust for power where the rules of fairness and honesty do not apply as long as they win in a fraudulent electoral contest.

They are the “lucky” ones who happen to have the opportunity of getting the attention from the painting but what about those that we just see out on the street. The beggars, scavengers, child prostitutes victimized by pedophiles foreign and locals alike pimped at times by their parents, addicts, homeless and worse children in conflict with the law dumped like animals in prison by ignorant authorities. Unlike those who get noticed which are very few what about the rest? Are they just numbers in the numbing impersonal statistics so life goes on in our own compartmentalized reality? Besides if we look at the statistics of world poverty in the UN Millennium Project (commissioned by the UN Secretary General and supported by the UN Development Group) ours seems to be just a drop in the bucket so it gives some sectors to go ahead and “feel good” for themselves that our situation is not as bad compared to the HIPC Nation.

It is sad that while our law enforcers would rather incarcerate these children in conflict with the law (as if throwing them in jail out of sight out of mind will work) the problem gets worse when we see the misplaced priority of an administration that has no problem giving clemency to a convicted pedophile (raping an 11 year old girl) child rapist. Jalosjos a former tongressman is the same person who is reportedly behind the criminal (I suppose some of the adherents hopefully are not pedophiles convicted rapist as well) political party list that run unsuccessfully (thank gawd) in the last May 14, 2007 election.
While Gawad Kalinga has been tirelessly working to alleviate the plight of poverty stricken people and Fr. Shay Cullen with his tireless efforts at Preda (People's Recovery, Empowerment and Development Assistance Foundation, Inc.) and others that support his cause like Greystones Parish in raising funds to rescue children in prison and running after pedophiles it seems our government's priorities are jailing those "pesky street vagrants" and free those that abuse and rape children. Now where is justice.................... or was that "compassion" to an old convicted criminal rapist who happens to support administration candidates over those children in prison that does not belong in jail?

Photo credits:

Hapag ng Pag-asa, Oil on Canvas 48 x 96 in by Joey Velasco.

Children in Prison, Father Shay Cullen of Preda
Announcement to see more of Joey Velasco’s painting go see his one man art exhibition entitled "KALAKBAY: A Journey of Faith in Art". It will run from 26 June to 7 July, 2007 at the Beato Angelico lobby and gallery, College of Fine Arts and Design, University of Santo Tomas.
Related article:

  • Undocumented Children Migrants Casualties of Migration & Poverty

  • Illegal Filipino Migrant Street Children in Sabah, Malaysia

  • Pagpag, A disgusting Glimpse on Poverty

  • Children Casualties of Poverty in the Philippines

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