Just a month after the Angelo dela Cruz hostage crisis, the Philippine government is now seriously contemplating on lifting the ban on sending overseas Filipino workers to Iraq. The pullout of RP troops from the war-torn country to risk the life of one truck driver has spun criticisms from abroad including the United States and Australia to name a few.
I remember the long hours we had to endure inside the freezing, tension-filled newsroom as we awaited Angelo’s fate, just about a month ago. Looking back, I could only imagine now the agony his family felt. More vividly, I could still remember the smiles on our faces when we finally saw Angelo looking shaken but alive on our television screens.
Weeks after Angelo’s release, Middle East special envoy Roy Cimatu has been reportedly looking into camps that may be safe for Filipino workers to work in. And now recently appointed OFW czar Noli de Castro has been “negotiating” with US ambassador Francis Ricciardone. The US is apparently alarmed that there are no more Filipino truck drivers who are willing to risk their lives to bring the soldiers their goods.
After lambasting our country’s efforts to save the life of one overseas Filipino worker, America is now patting our backs, urging us to send our people to work for them.
Meanwhile, the miserable unemployed demand the lifting of the ban, insisting they would rather die in Iraq than for their families to die of hunger.
In a job fair held in Manila yesterday, one computer science graduate applied for a job as a fast food crew.
Now I know what the word desperate really means. For a minute there I wanted to puke.