Embassy officers are now on the hot spot.  This after a Partylist Representative Walden Bello blew off the lid of a simmering problem obtaining in embassies situated in Middle East.  Accordingly, distressed female OFW (Overseas Foreign Workers) or female migrant workers who took refuge in consulates were illegally transacted, exploited to the hilt, abused and disgraced further through human trafficking.  Representative Bello claimed that there is sexual exploitation initiated by embassy officials.  He expressed it candidly:  “Sexual abuse on our womenfolk perpetrated by their hosts in a foreign country is an awful crime.  But there is something more awful, and that is their exploitation by their own compatriots in that strange land.  And it is triply terrible when they are exploited sexually by government officials who are supposed to protect them.”


If proven true, imprisonment is the lightest penalty these predators should undergo.


If I have my way, I will reserve the darkest portion of a prison facility strictly and exclusively for these abusive people.  They do not deserve the comfort of serving time under a regime of rehabilitation.  They should suffer not only incarceration but should feel the brunt of their offense for the duration of their servitude.  To suffer is even a kind word these people ought to receive.  They should be subjected to cruelty until their bones become brittle and their skins separate from their muscles.  Death penalty is swift.  They should spend their entire lifetime in a lengthy imprisonment and constantly humiliated.  They are not humans after all.


OFWs have to pass through a harsh and harrowing experience just by leaving the country to work abroad.  They must leave out rightly their families.  They must ignore the pain of homesickness.  They must have to sell, pawn and compromise whatever valuables they have just to pay a number of government and recruitment forms needed for them to leave the country.  Arriving on foreign lands which at times are inhospitable and unfriendly, the worker must adhere to a new culture, adapt according to the prevailing ways, flout loneliness, accept back breaking tasks, disregard humiliation, scrimp to save and most often, stretch sanity believing that a withheld salary may come in due time.  OFWs sacrifice a lot if only to send relief to their families back home.


It has been said that remittance coming of OFWs shore up Philippine economy.  It buoys and enlivens the country’s fiscal position.  It serves as a cushion amidst the problematic financial condition of government.  Because of these, OFWs easily were catapulted into a pedestal, calling them modern heroes.


I had this experience when I attended a conference on prison administration sometime in 2000 at Sydney, Australia.  After the seminar, I went to see the maximum prison of the capital city.  I was shocked to see a number of Filipinos serving time in the facility.  Most of them, if not all of those I interviewed, were OFWs.  Thereafter, I went to the consular office and took the cudgels for our inmate fellow men.  I received a quick response, “Don’t meddle here.  Nakakahiya ginawa ng mga iyan dito, let them suffer.”  After I left, I prepared an exit report recommending that our consular officers should visit and check expatriates serving time in various prison within their jurisdiction abroad.  Foreign embassies and several consular officers based in the Philippines would regularly visit and check their fellow nationals here, so it is also wise to have our embassy and consular officers do the same where they are.  Concerned authorities received my report and I got an instant answer.  I was floated!


About vjtesoro

A perpetual student of Corrections

Posted on June 24, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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