Random Thoughts

WHEN AN OFW MOTHER DIES — “Every death of Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) is a tragic reminder of our failure to protect them,” Third District Rep. Rose Marie “Baby” Arenas said on the execution of Jakatia Pawa in Kuwait on Jan. 25.

Arenas, who organized a special briefing for members of Congress about the condition of OFWs in the Middle East on Tuesday, or a day before the execution of Pawa in Kuwait, said she condemns such execution.

Pawa, from Zamboanga del Norte, was executed in Kuwait for stabbing to death 28 times the daughter of her employer in 2007.

But Arenas said in a statement that, “Jakatia was framed up for a brutal crime she did not commit. She was deprived of due process, she was convicted and sentenced to die, despite the fact that there was no motive established and the DNA in the murder weapon did not match Jakatia’s.”

Arenas said she believes Pawa was innocent and was just made a convenient scapegoat in a country where ‘honor killing’ is a practice.

She added that Pawa’s execution should be another grim reminder that “we (Filipinos) should be so outraged by the abuse, injustice and impunity our helpless OFWs suffer in work environments that do not give them due protection”.

She called on the government to stop the deployment of workers, in particular domestic workers in Kuwait, “until we can guarantee the protection of their rights and well being.”

Times like this make me grieve, especially for a mom who left her children behind, with no husband to take care of them.

Pusong ina, yes, that’s it. May kurot sa puso.—Tita Roces


THE FIXERS’ TERMINATOR — Glorioso “Danny” Martinez, chief LTO Urdaneta said he will resign from his post if any one can prove that there are fixers operating in his office.

“If a fixer comes to you when you go to LTO Urdaneta, tell me and I will resign on the spot”, he told the local media during the KBP forum. “Yes, and I’ll do that sir. Try it, Maam, I am challenging you, to go to LTO Urdaneta and if somebody will come to meet you and offer help to follow up your papers, on that same instance I will resign,” said Martinez.

He defined fixers as those who welcome clients and offer them help to facilitate their papers and charge fees in return.

“I can perhaps boast that LTO Urdaneta was the first recipient, among all LTO offices throughout the country, of the Seal of Excellence Award from the Civil Service Commission in 2013 as far as implementation of the Red Tape Act of 2007 is concerned,” said Martinez of his track record.

LTO Urdaneta was the 8th among all government offices in the Philippines that bagged this award in the entire country.

He said since DOTC Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante became LTO chief, he issued a directive to all LTO offices to do all means to stop corruption. All LTO offices were asked to submit a monthly report “on what we are doing to stop corruption in our respective offices.”

He also pointed out that it’s illegal for some people to offer to ‘stencil’ the chassis and engine numbers of vehicles for a fee especially if done outside the premises of LTO offices and by persons other than LTO personnel.

To stop this practice, he said LTO Regional Director Teofilo Guadiz Jr. has ordered all LTO offices under him to hire job order employees to do the taking of chassis and engine numbers of vehicles with the supervision of LTO inspection officers.

So there, let’s take him up on his challenge. Be on the lookout for fixers! – Leonardo Micua

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