By Ben Emata Jr.
News reports revealed that many Overseas Filipino Workers in Malaysia have been tortured, maltreated, abused, raped while others have died due to continued physical harassments.
In connection therewith, the department of foreign affairs had instructed the Philippine Embassy in that country to verify reports and to extend the necessary assistance to the victims of this crackdown initiated by the Malaysian police.
Many of these incidents took place in Sabah giving us the impression that some of the victims are undocumented or part of those who declared Sabah as their property.
A victim’s wife reported that her husband was not an illegal immigrant and has been there for a long time but was one of those who suffered from the hands of the Malaysian police.
Further reports had disclosed too that some of our women had been raped by the Malaysian authorities and one of them died for continued abuses.
Any of these news reports are certainly unacceptable and deserved to be investigated before we act to turn the table upside down.
I supposed this is the effect of the acts of our brother Filipinos who entered Sabah some months ago and declared the island as theirs. This must have irked the Malaysian government thus its police employed abuses and criminal acts against our people while our government has been silent about it. This is plain ugly and cowardice on our part unless we do something to protect our people in that place allegedly part of Malaysia.
To me, Sabah has always been part of our country historically but our leaders in the olden days have abandoned it. The island is very near to Tawi Tawi and could be reached by motor banca in less than an hour.
Before everything else, I suggest our government should file a formal protest on this matter and let the Malaysian government know our feelings towards these criminal acts committed by its police forces.
If their government cannot stop these harassments, it is possible the matter is sanctioned by them and their police forces are ordered to do such acts. This is alarming and we must act. Let us all unite our heart and minds and form a united stand to protect our citizens.
On top of this, our government should inform the United Nations on the matter before everything goes wrong.
Of course, we do not go to war for nothing but if our people are abused, raped and killed, we have to do something.
Why do we have military, army, navy, air force, if they cannot protect our country and people? I wish I will hear from our senators, congressmen and national leaders of their opinions on this matter. I understand they engaged in too much in-fighting. Let us fight our enemies not our colleagues in congress. ([email protected])