After MH17, OFW beheading, gov't urged to seek justice


Posted at Jul 23 2014 03:43 AM | Updated as of Jul 23 2014 11:47 AM

MANILA – The Blas F. Ople Policy Center and Training Institute condemned the beheading of a Filipino construction worker in Libya and the missile attack on a commercial plane that killed 298 people, including three Filipinos, in Ukraine.

“More and more, the lives of our overseas workers are being drawn into and threatened by conflicts not of their making in countries where hostilities continue to escalate,” said Ople Center head, Susan Ople.

On Monday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced that the Filipino worker kidnapped in Libya on July 15 was beheaded. The DFA said the family requested to keep his identity private.

“We condemn such senseless violence committed by still unknown assailants on migrant workers whose only desire is to help loved ones gain a better, brighter future,” said Ople.

A family of four--composed of Pinay Irene Gunawan, her Indonesian husband Bujanto Gunawan, and their two children--was also among the passengers of the ill-fated Malaysian Airlines Flight MH-17 that was shot down by a surface-to-air missile on July 17. The family was headed back to the Philippines from The Netherlands, where they resided, to attend an annual family reunion.

"We also call on the government to provide a unified package of assistance to the bereaved families, and to ensure that justice is obtained in their behalf," said Ople.

Ople also reiterated the policy center's call on government to prioritize and implement policies that will broaden job opportunities in the country.

“Finally, we urge all Filipinos to offer prayers for the safety of our modern-day heroes in Libya, Gaza, Afghanistan, Syria, and other such high-risk areas around the world,” she said.