23 September 2009
Malicious individuals using, misrepresenting Migrante
Fellow OFWs alerted to contact legit members and officers only
An alliance of overseas Filipino workers’ organizations in the Middle East today said it received several reports from its different chapters in the Middle East specifically from Migrante chapter in Al Khobar that there are individuals maliciously using Migrante’s name and are rendering “counselling” only to put distress OFWs into a more troubled situation.
“We would like to alert our fellow OFWs especially those in distress to be careful dealing with individuals misrepresenting Migrante claiming that they are members and officers but only to find out that they are not officers/members, and are giving wrong advises and are asking for money in exchange of the “counselling” services they have rendered to distress OFWs seeking assistance,” said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator.
Monterona said these malicious and unscrupolous individuals pretending to be Migrante members or officials are desperate enough to destroy the name and credibility of Migrante as the most active OFWs group providing assistance to distress, run away, and stranded OFWs in the Middle East.
“We will not allow that Migrante’s name, proven and untarnished records of serving fellow OFWS could be used and tainted by these wicked individuals just to advance its own narrow selfish interests by duping distress OFWs and who are collecting money from OFW victims of abuses and maltreatment,” Monterona added.
Monterona said such was the case of OFW Peter (not his real name), who requested anonymity, that he approached to a person who introduced himself as Migrante official in Al Khobar.
OFW Peter, a family driver, said he was scolded by her lady employer because it has been calling him on his cell phone for several minutes but he failed to respond and took sometime to notice that her lady employer is waiting for quite sometime at a mall where he dropped it. Due to this incident, OFW Peter was nearly slapped by the angry husband of her lady employer and was told that he’ll be fired from his job.
Monterona said the incident prompted OFW Peter to look for someone who could give him advise and guide him on what to do, until somebody told him that he knew a Migrante official where he could ask for assistance and advise.
“These malicious individuals using Migrante’s name advised OFW Peter to run away from his employer and that they will provide him a temporary shelter only if he will give them 1,500 Saudi riyals,” Monterona added.
Doubting the intentions of these malicious individuals who introduced themselves as Migrante officials, OFW Peter called the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Al Khobar and state his case; and that someone on Migrante is helping him but asking an amount.
POLO official asked OFW Peter the name of these “people from Migrante” but found out that he is not the one Migrante has officially appointed to attend welfare cases.
“Migrante chapters in the Middle East have designated officials to attend welfare cases and that all rights and welfare cases must come through them before offcially endorsing it to the attention of the concerned RP posts/officials for its action,” Monterona averred.
Monterona said distress OFWs are advise to get in touch only to Migrante officers who have their official Identification Card issued by the respective Chairpersons of different Migrante local chapters in Saudi Arabia and in the Middle East.
Monterona said ditress and run away OFWs could directly call him on his hotline mobile number 056 497 8012, which is open 24/7 so that he could refered their case to the attention and action of Migrante welfare case officers and guide them what to do and endorse their case to RP posts concerned.
John Leonard Monterona
Migrante Middle East regional coordinator
Mobile No.: 00966 564 97 8012