Philippines: Migrante Launches ‘OFWs for Gabriela Movement’

Apr. 23, 2007

MANILA — The countrys broadest alliance of groups composed of OFWs and their families
today formally launched its OFWs for Gabriela Movement with an OFW Covenant
signing and colorful motorcade across Quezon City.

This launching affirms our endorsement and ongoing support for Gabriela as the
only partylist with a genuinely pro-OFW platform and a long track record of
fighting for our rights and welfare both inside and outside Congress, says
Connie Bragas-Regalado, Migrante International Chairperson during the launching
activity at the Quezon Memorial Circle.

Along with Migrante leaders, also at the launch was Gabrielas 3rd Nominee, OFW
Flora Belinan, a former domestic worker in Hong Kong and a migrant leader for
more than a decade. Pro-migrant local and national candidates, like opposition
Senatoriable candidate Koko Pimentel were also on hand to sign Migrantes OFW
Covenant and underline their commitment to protect and promote the rights and
welfare of migrants and their families.

Through Cong. Liza Maza, the Gabriela Womens Party has filed numerous
resolutions and bills in our behalf. This past Congress, they were at the
forefront of congressional investigations into financial anomalies at the OWWA
and human rights violations against women OFWs. Were certain that through its
nominees like Flora, Gabriela will continue to be the voice in the House for
those who cant be at home, she said. Last February, Migrante
International’s Global Council passed a resolution calling on all member
organizations to endorse and campaign for the Gabriela Women’s Partylist. The
resolution is signed by Migrante Global Council Representatives from Canada,
the US, Europe and the Asia-Pacific and Middle East.

Among the important pieces of legislation Gabriela co-authored is the
Anti-Trafficking in Women and Children Act which gives women OFWs an added tool
they can use in their struggle for justice.

Expose fake Malacanang partylists

Given blatant attempts by Gloria to fool the people by fielding
pseudo-partylists whose main interest is keeping Gloria in power its
imperative that we intensify efforts to raise awareness about which partylists
genuinely represent the interests of marginalized sectors, said
Bragas-Regalado, referring to the confidential Malacanang document Migrante
exposed which links Gloria to electoral fraud. The document outlines an Office
of External Affairs plan to field pro-admin partylist groups and disenfranchise
progressive partylists like Gabriela, Kabataan Party, Suara Bangsamoro,
Anakpawis and Bayan Muna.

We challenge the Comelec and the Ombudsman to conduct a thorough investigation
into the fake Malacanang partylists and into the OEA itself as a dirty tricks
department responsible for perhaps everything from disenfranchisement to
political persecution and killings, she concluded. #

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