October 12, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
No to Conejos appointment to Geneva post - Migrante
A global alliance of Filipino migrant workers groups criticized the Arroyo administration’s expected move to appoint Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Undersecretary Esteban Conejos as Philippine Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva even without undergoing confirmation process at the Commission on Appointments.
Calling the UN appointment as Conejos’ “consolation prize from Mrs. Arroyo,” Migrante International however said Conejos’ appointment to the UN post will not provide any consolation for Filipinos most especially the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
“Conejos’ appointment to the United Nations is a face-saving measure for Mrs. Arroyo and Usec. Conejos after he sorely failed to win the Deputy Director General position at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) last year,” said Garry Martinez, Migrante International Chairperson.
Martinez noted that “it was no less than Arroyo herself” who led the Philippines’ campaign to help Conejos win the IOM (International Organization for Migration) seat in 2008. He however, lost to Ambassador Laura Thompson Chacón of Costa Rica last June 2009.
“It isn’t a surprise for us if Mrs. Arroyo, in her desperation to reward Conejos for his exemplary slave trading skills as Chairperson of the 2nd Global Forum on Migration and Development held in Manila last year, is determined to give Conejos the juicy UN post even if this would mean violating constitutional provisions on diplomatic appointments,” he said.
Philippine Foreign Service officers were up in arms recently and were particularly riled at Malacanang’s “pernicious practice of by-passing the confirmation process for appointees,” saying that it “has trivialized the constitutional requirement of confirmation of ambassadors.”
John Leonard Monterona, Migrante Middle-East Coordinator, meanwhile expressed support to UNIFORS (Union of Foreign Service Officers) “as they have all the right to protect their ranks against Arroyo’s gross abuse of her appointing power.
“Migrante International vows to block Conejos’ appointment to the UN as we have successfully done when we led international efforts to prevent him from securing a seat at the IOM. We strongly believe that Conejos is a walking menace and a threat to the lives and livelihood of migrant workers and their families worldwide and that he does not even deserve even his current position as Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs.” Martinez said. ###
Garry Martinez, Chairperson, 09393914418
Ailyn Abdula, Media Officer, 09212708994