Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan calls on OFWs to donate to the AMRSP Sanctuary Fund which is aimed at assisting whistle blowers. In my opinion, this is a good move and that OFWs who give their support should be commended. All OFWs should consider contributing to the AMRSP’s noble initiative. I myself would be alloting a portion of my incoming salary to the fund (note: Philippine address, contact number and bank account number indicated in the Inquirer article below). However, I could not help but categorize this as another example of a “milking-the-cash-cow” mindset (see my post On “Milking the Cash Cow”), albeit, of a paler character.
What has Sen. Pangilinan done lately that is of benefit to OFWs, if I may ask? I checked his official site (http://www.kiko.ph/billsresolution. html) but found no bills of relevance to OFWs. Yes, he had a news release (http://www.kiko.ph/newsroom/022308newsa.html#) calling POEA MC-04 “a blunder,” but what concrete action did he take against officials responsible for this blunder? Does he have any legislative plans to prevent such blunders from happening again? I also noted that this release was dated February 23, 2008—long after the memo was suspended.
I admit that I am not familiar with Sen. Pangilinan’s political agenda and that I am not an expert when it comes to matters concerning the authority of members of the Senate of the Philippines. Also, please don’t get me wrong; I am not sour graping. I am merely citing the fact that most of our government officials, whatever their purpose may be, always look at OFWs as a source of money.
I agree with Sen. Pangilinan’s statement in his news release against MC-04 that “OFWs should not be the milking cow of our government.” But I hope we see more proof from the good senator who was a topnotcher with respect to overseas absentee votes in the last elections, that he is not one of ’em milk suckers. Kudos Mr. Senator!
MANILA, Philippines — Senate Majority Leader Francis Pangilinan on Wednesday urged overseas Filipino workers to donate money to the “sanctuary fund” set up by church people to finance the legal needs of whistle-blowers on government corruption activities.
Pangilinan said the appeal is especially “for those who believe in the CBCP (Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines) call for communal action and so that we are not mere spectators but are active participants in the search for the truth.”
He said that only on its sixth day, the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines’ Sanctuary Fund to support witnesses like Rodolfo Noel Lozada has now reached P693,372.50.
Quoting former socioeconomic planning secretary Romulo Neri, Lozada himself said labor migration has become the “escape valve” that has kept the Philippine society from imploding due to the numerous government anomalies.
The fund was set up at the senator’s suggestion during a hearing on the cancelled $329-million contract wherein Lozada admitted to his own responsibility in possibly anomalous government deals.
He said the fund should help whistle-blowers defend themselves in case they are charged in court because of their exposes.
Pangilinan said check donations may be sent to AMRSP Special Funds at 28 Acacia Street, Quezon City, with telephone numbers 724-4434 or deposited directly to MBTC Account No. 3259-07445-3. He said the point person is Sister Estrella Castalone FMA.
“Make a stand for our nation’s future,” he said.