By Migrante-Middle East
An overseas Filipino worker (OFW) based in Najran, near Saudi-Yemen border, belies the claim made by the Blas Ople Policy Center over the reported OFW Center there that was reportedly hit by a bomb on January 5, 2016.
OFW Ronald De la Cruz, who is based in Najran, in his Facebook post calls on The Manila Times “to correct your mistakes for publishing this news”. He is referring to the Manila Times online report ‘OFW center in Saudi Arabia bombed’ posted January 8, 2016.
He debunked the claim by the Blas Ople Center through its head Susan Ople saying, “There is no Philippine Community Office/OFW Center hit by bombed on 05 January 2016…”
OFW De la Cruz calling fellow OFWs in Saudi Arabia added, “We are sitting here in Najran. May putukan nagaganap mula pa ng March 2015 until now pero walang napapaulat na nabagsakan ng bomba at walang OFW Center dito…”
He issued an advice to those have relatives in Najran to be calm.
Meanwhile, John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East (M-ME) regional coordinator who is based in Riyadh, urges the Philippine Embassy and Consulate in Riyadh and Jeddah, respectively, to verify the report over an OFW Community Center that was allegedly hit by a bomb on January 5, 2016.
“It is really difficult for PH embassy and consulate composite team to go near due to sporadic bombings and missile attacks in Najran and Saudi-Yemen border, but it would be prudent on the part of the PH officials in Saudi Arabia to confirm the report over an OFW Community Center hit by a bombed,” Monterona added.
Validation of such report and other related information especially pertaining to the situation of the 5,000 OFWs, mostly household service workers and construction workers, in that area, would lead the PH authorities to make good decisions sans politicking and sensationalization, according to Monterona.
Such for instance is for the PH govt. to issue a necessary precautionary advice to OFWs.
“We are wondering why the PH government under the Aquino III administration through its Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is hesitant to issue a precautionary advice to all Filipinos living and working in Saudi Arabia amid existence of valid signs of internal disturbance, instability, or external threat,” he averred.
Considering the presence of valid signs (underscore valid signs) of internal disturbance, instability, or external threat in Saudi Arabia specifically in Najran and Qatif, Monterona reiterates the need for the PH govt. through the DFA to issue a necessary and timely precautionary advice to all Filipinos in Najran and Qatif, if not in the entire Saudi Arabia.
“If indeed the Aquino govt. is taking seriously the safety and security of the OFWs, it will not dill-dally in issuing a precautionary advice to all Filipinos in Saudi Arabia,” Monterona adding, “the Saudi govt. will understand of the need to issue such a necessary and timely precautionary advice”.
“So ano pa ang ina-antay ng Aquino govt. para mag-issue ng precautionary advice to OFWs in Saudi Arabia? Ina-antay pa ba nila na may mamatay? Ilan ang gusto nilang mamatay muna bago mag-issue ng precautionary advice?” Monterona ended. # # #
Ronald De la Cruz,Na jran-based OFW, CP# 00966 50 246 4285
John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator, CP# 00966 53 908 1974