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Are the OFWs worth dying for?

For the anniversary of our hero, Senator Ninoy Aquino's assassination, it is apropos to recall his immortal words: " The Filipinos are worth dying for.'' In the context of today's socio-economic and political realities, where no less than 11 million Filipinos are abroad, most of them, as migrant workers deployed in more than 200 countries all over the world, and sending 20 billion dollars a year, can we also say that the OFWs are worth dying for?

Many of these migrant workers died abroad, in the course of, and in connection with, their overseas employment. Many are languishing in jails, others have been raped, tortured, and subjected to all forms of inhuman cruelties by some foreign employers who look at our people with condescension and arrogance. Can we say that, for us, here in the comforts of our homes, families, businesses and careers, the OFWS have done enough for us to die for them?

Of course, I don't mean death in its literal sense. I mean ''death'' as a figure of speech to denote some sacrifices and selfless manifestation of concern for the hard work, the perseverance and the loyalty of the OFWS for their families, directly, and for our country, indirectly.

By dying for our OFWS, I mean that spouses, children, parents and siblings of migrant workers should not squander in outrageous extravagance the hard-earned money remitted by our OFWS. They should set aside a large portion of such remittances to prepare for the eventual retirement of the OFW.

They should learn to invest in micro and small industries to make the money grow. They should stop buying ostentatious gadgets like expensive cellphones and jewelries or worse, gamble in the casino or cockpits, and engage in drinking sprees, drug addiction and womanizing. They should be ashamed of themselves who just contend themselves being lazy and indolent while the OFWs suffer a lot just to earn money. These family members should know how to be prudent in their lifestyles and how to be wise in their spending habits. Remember, OFW money is blood money.

On our part, in government, is there any politician who is courageous enough to stand up in the floor of Congress to tell the whole nation, on the true suffering of many of our migrant workers, especially the domestic helpers, and other lowly workers who are doing dirty, dangerous, difficult, degrading and deceptive jobs?

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Is there any bold political leader who has the guts to call for an investigation in aid of legislation, on the issue of how many of our women abroad have been raped, molested and abused, locked in house and rooms, without adequate food and medical care?

Is there any brave soul, among our legislators, who may call for a congressional delegation in order to see for themselves how many minors were deployed, with falsified passports and travel documents, and were trafficked by unscrupulous merchants of flesh and human slaves?

Are there a few brave men and women who are prepared to blow the whistle on the ongoing massive movements of human persons subjected to trafficking before the very eyes of our immigration authorities?

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