24 years after Flor Contemplacion death, protest vs slavery held

MANILA, Philippines – Various activists and family members gathered to call for the end of "modern-day slavery," as they remembered the 24th death anniversary of overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Flor Contemplacion, who in 1995 was executed in Singapore.

"Flor Contemplacion's tragic fate continues to reflect the plight of Filipino migrants," said Migrante Philippines chairperson Arman Hernando in a statement Sunday, March 17.

The group lamented that abuse of OFWs persists despite the passage of the Migrant Workers Act of 1995, which promised to prevent another case like Contemplacion's.

Flor Contemplacion was hanged in Singapore on March 17, 1995, after she allegedly killed OFW Delia Maga and Nicholas Huang, Maga's 4-year-old ward.

But a witness, Emilia Frenilla, had claimed that Maga's employer, Huang Sing Kiong, killed Maga after finding his son had died due to Maga's negligence, with Contemplacion allegedly used only as a scapegoat.

Migrante claimed that after Duterte won in the 2016 polls with an overwhelming OFW support, they sent a 10-point agenda to Duterte with points doable within 100 days of his term. They have been disappointed so ever since.

"They (OFWs) expressed hope that President Duterte will address the roots of forced migration like contractualization, landlessness, low wages, corruption, et cetera. Three years on, many OFWs are still facing the same problems brought about by the government's labor export program," Migrante said. – Rambo Talabong/Rappler.com