Palace asks Malaysia to treat OFWs humanely

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

MALACANANG on Thursday called on the Malaysian authorities to treat humanely the Filipinos there amid the crackdown that they have been undertaking against undocumented foreign workers.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. made the call following reports that even legal workers, especially those in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, were also subject of the crackdown and some of them allegedly experienced inhumane treatment while inside the jail. There were also female workers who were allegedly being sexually harassed.

"(S)a ating bansa, tinatrato natin nang may paggalang ang mga mamamayan ng ibang bansa, dapat lang na ganoon din ang kanilang pagtrato sa ating mga mamamayan," he said.

Coloma also assured that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will investigate the alleged abuses being committed by Malaysian authorities against Filipinos working in Malaysia.

He said it is the duty of the government to protect its citizens especially if they are facing persecution aboard.

The Philippines and Malaysia have a long history of friendship and cooperation, Coloma said, adding he believes Malaysian authorities will pay special attention to whatever concern the Philippine government will raise.

“Mahaba ang kasaysayan ng pagkakaibigan at kooperasyon sa pagitan ng Malaysia at ng Pilipinas. Katulad ng nabanggit, sila ang tumatayo ngayong facilitator ng ating peace talks hinggil sa Bangsamoro,” he said.

“Siguro ay makatwirang sabihin na sila ay nakikinig sa ating mga inilalahad sa kanila at wala naman pong kasaysayan na sila ay hindi nagbigay atensyon sa mga diplomatic concerns na ating inilahad sa kanilang pamahalaan,” he added.

For the Malaysian government to act, the DFA must lay out the concrete details of the alleged harassment and abuses reportedly committed against Filipino workers, the Palace official said.

Coloma said justice must be served to those who suffered unfairly in the ongoing crackdown in Malaysia.

Malaysian authorities have launched again crackdown against undocumented foreign workers starting January 21.

The DFA has said that there are around 700,000 Filipino workers in Malaysia, including those in Sabah. (SDR/Sunnex)

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