Migrante International cries foul over the report of the US Department of State when it cited that the bandit group, Abu Sayyaf, "may receive funding from external sources like remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs)."
Migrante International is the largest group of Filipino expatriates. Abu Sayyaf is a terrorist group, which has been implicated in bombings, decapitating incidents, and kidnappings in southern Philippines.
Migrante chairperson Garry Martinez told Bulatlat that the "malicious" statement constitutes an attack to Filipino workers abroad even if it was cited as a possibility.
The sweeping accusation is unjust and may give a negative impression to Filipinos working overseas. The Filipinos are forced to work abroad due to limited opportunities in the country.
Migrante added that the statement may give the wrong signal to Middle Eastern countries and may pose job insecurity, rights, and well-being of Filipinos abroad.
Philippine authorities said that they lack the capability to confirm the validity of the US report. As soon as the remittance is received by the family back home, they are free to use it.
Martinez said that it could be a US strategy to spread an aura of terror, or it may also be used to justify the continuous presence of US troops in the Philippines.
The author of this article thinks that funding the terrorists would be the last thing that OFWs will think of. The money they receive from abroad is used to meet economic needs. Therefore, the US needs to justify and give concrete and solid proof for their accusations.