DOLE asks Taiwan to deport OFW with Facebook posts criticizing Duterte

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said it is working to have a Filipina caregiver deported from Taiwan for her alleged attempts to “discredit and malign” President Rodrigo Duterte and “destabilize the government.”

“We are constrained to act for the deportation of a Filipina working as [a] caregiver in Taiwan for the crime of cyber libel for [her] wilful posting of nasty and malevolent materials against President Duterte on Facebook, intended to cause hatred amidst the global health crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Labor Attaché Fidel Macauyag in a statement on Saturday, April 25.

The DOLE identified the worker as Elanel Egot Ordidor, employed on Yunlin County, Taiwan.

Representatives from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Taichung met with Ordidor at her workplace on Monday, April 20, “to enlighten her that her actions amounted to a crime for which she might be prosecuted both in Taiwan and the Philippines,” Macauyag said.

“Cooperative and cordial,” Ordidor said she would delete the videos she had posted that were ”against the President,” and that she would not do it again. Macauyag said Ordidor even promised to post a video of her publicly apologizing to Duterte at 9 pm that same day.

Later, however, several “fake accounts” posted messages sympathetic and supportive of Ordidor on the POLO Taichung Facebook page.

“It has come to our knowledge that Ms. Ordidor is using several social media accounts, among which are ‘Lenale Elanel Egot,’ ‘Mha Lan Dee,’ ‘Linn Silawan’ and ‘Hampas Lupa,’ and [she] has a group organized to discredit and malign the President and destabilize the government,” Macauyag added.

The POLO in Taichung coordinated with Ordidor’s broker and employer to have her deported “on the basis of the gravity of [her] offense under Philippine Law,” the labor attaché said, noting that posting and sharing “such videos” are punishable as cyber libel under the Cybercrime Prevention Act or 2012.

The Duterte administration has had to deal with public clamor and outrage over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, or brash statements by the President aimed at critics or those he perceives as troublemakers.

The National Bureau of Investigation has summoned several people it accused of spreading “fake news” – usually items critical of, or unflattering to Duterte and the government.

Earlier on Saturday, the DOLE said it approved 45,000 applications from overseas Filipino workers (OFW) for its one-time cash aid of P10,000. This came after the agency on April 22 took back an earlier announcement that it was cutting the program because funds were running out.

The DOLE recently received an additional P2.5 billion for its subsidy program for both OFWs and private sector workers based in the Philippines, bringing the total budget for subsidies to P6 billion. – Rappler.com

JC Gotinga

JC Gotinga often reports about the West Philippine Sea, the communist insurgency, and terrorism as he covers national defense and security for Rappler. He enjoys telling stories about his hometown, Pasig City. JC has worked with Al Jazeera, CNN Philippines, News5, and CBN Asia.

image