By ANTHONY IAN CRUZ
Nov. 13, 2007
AT least 4,000 Filipinos in Hong Kong signed Sunday a petition calling on President Arroyo to step down.
Dolores Pelaez, spokesman of the Hong Kong chapter of the Gloria Step Down Movement (GSM-HK), said the number overseas Filipino workers who signed the petition showed that they were ” really sick and tired” of Arroyo.
Pelaez said many OFW feel they are neglected and abandoned by Arroyo in the face of reports of abuses by employers and of the sharp decline in the value of the US dollar. The weaker dollar results in less purchasing power for their families for the same amount of remittances.
She said that OFWs in Hong Kong are angered by the President’s statements that the deep dive in the value of the US dollar was a sign of an improved economy
“We felt we didn’t even need to speak about the President anymore. Once our kababayans saw the Gloria Step Down streamer, they went straight to the tables and signed the petition,” said Aaron Ceradoy of the Asia-Pacific Mission for Migrants which is part of the GSM-HK network.
In an online interview, Ceradoy said, “Our kababayans are losing precious money (due to the peso appreciation) and the sad thing is that there are no improved services and prices remain high.”
“We are targeting to get signatures more than ten percent of the 120,000 OFWs in Hong Kong,” said Ceradoy. “For many OFWs, Christmas will be bleak because of our rotten and incompetent President who has done more harm than good to the country.”
Ceradoy said that the signature drive ends on Dec. 18, the day the United Nations has proclaimed as International Migrants Day.
The two-page petition now circulating in Hong Kong said the President must resign immediately due to corruption and bribery, gross human rights violations, electoral fraud, artificial economic growth due to the strong peso, and neglect of OFWs.
“Instead of addressing the concerns of the Filipino people and of Filipino migrant workers, GMA’s crimes have piled up higher. Diverse sectors in the country have stepped up the call for GMA’s resignation and even the Catholic bishops have branded the GMA administration as morally-bankrupt,” the petition said.
“Arroyo has no more integrity nor the political and moral ascendancy to rule. With her mountain of crimes against the Filipino people, must step down,” it said. ###
Photo published by Malaya courtesy of UNIFIL-HK