AKBAYAN Rep. Mayong Aguja

Archive for July, 2006

Akbayan Rep slams government’s slow response to evacuate Filipinos in Lebanon

Posted by tin on July 21, 2006

“This is not the kind of treatment our OFWs deserve!”, said Akbayan Rep. Mayong Aguja on the slow response of the Philippine government to offer direct assistance to Filipinos in Lebanon.

 “While GMA has been actively peddling Filipino workers abroad, it took her this long to release funds for the protection and evacuation of at least 30,000 Filipinos in Lebanon”, added Aguja.

 “In the past nine days since the military offensives in Lebanon, the Philippine government could not even guarantee protection for the Filipinos, resorting only to pleas for foreign assistance to allow Filipinos to board their evacuation vessels out of Lebanon”, said Aguja. “While foreign aid would be very much welcome, these countries have their own citizens to evacuate”, the legislator added.

 “The lack of a clear evacuation plan agonizes our overseas workers and their families here in the Philippines”, said Aguja. “I have met distressed families in General Santos City who have not yet been able to contact their loved-ones in Lebanon”, said the Mindanaoan legislator. Without certainty of protection from the Philippine government, reports say that some workers have chosen to stay with their employers as they flee for safety.

 “We hail our overseas workers for saving our economy and sending remittances which last year soared to 10.3 billion dollars. But we cannot assure them protection when they are in danger. Is this how we should be treating our Filipinos abroad?”, said Aguja. 

 “This manifests the Philippine government’s lack of sincerity to protect the growing number of citizens working abroad.” said Aguja. “The government sends its workers overseas for failing to produce local employment but does not immediately respond to  protect the workers it sends away.” added Aguja.

 “The government should take a more pro-active stance and provide a clear evacuation plan for our workers in Lebanon.”, challenged Aguja.  “We cannot afford to just wait for foreign aid”, he added.

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Akbayan Rep urges Sec Romulo to visit Suu Kyi, engage military junta

Posted by tin on July 17, 2006

Akbayan solon Mayong Aguja today urged Foreign Affairs Secretary Romulo to push thru with his plans to visit Burmese leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi the soonest possible time. “Sec Romulo should seize the opportunity to visit Suu Kyi in Myanmar and discuss with the junta the issues confronting Burma including the release of Suu Kyi.”, said the legislator. Sec Romulo was scheduled to visit Burma earlier this month. However, the visit was indefinitely postponed. 

 
“To say that Myanmar needs intervention is an understatement, “said Aguja.

 
The ethnic minorities are being attacked by their own government. The political opposition, particularly the National League for Democracy continues to be harassed—NLD leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Daw Aung San Suu Kyi still remains under house arrest. The number of political prisoners has rapidly increased with a number of them being subjected to torture. There are more child soldiers in Myanmar more than in any country in the world. Widespread drug trafficking, unabated spread of AIDS/HIV, and substantial outflow of refuges pose threat to surrounding neighbors.

 
Last month, Akbayan Representatives Mayong Aguja, Etta Rosales and Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel joined 500 parliamentarians across 34 nations send an appeal for the United Nations Security Council to call for a binding resolution to address the deteriorating condition of Burma. “A similar call has been adopted by the Philippine House of Representatives as manifested in House Resolution 996”, said Aguja, who authored the resolution together with fellow Akbayan Representatives. The partylist representatives are members of the Asian Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC).

 
“Our solidarity with Burma is not difficult to grasp since the Philippines also confronts human rights abuses and violations committed by its government”, said Aguja. “As a people who have once toppled a military regime, we should also be in the forefront in fighting for the people of Burma”, added the legislator. 

 

“As the Philippines chairs the ASEAN, we would be in the best position to engage with the junta to promote democratic reforms in Myanmar”, said Aguja.  The Philippines will be hosting the ASEAN leaders’ summit in Cebu this year. “We remain hopeful that upon the pressure of the ASEAN community, the military junta will re-think its hard-line stance and pave the way for the transition to democracy in Burma”, added Aguja.

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