Duterte says OFWs among his inspirations in war vs. drugs
President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday acknowledged the sacrifices of OFWs, saying it is one of the reasons why he has been pursuing an intensified campaign against illegal drugs even during his stint as mayor of Davao City.
In his speech during the oath-taking of government officials in Malacañang, Duterte said during his visits to other countries, he has heard "sad stories" about OFWs, including Filipinas who were raped or sexually abused and domestic helpers who were forced to serve numerous employers.
"I have been to many places. I have been to the Middle East. You know, the husband is working in one place, the wife in another country. The so many sad stories I hear about our women being raped, abused sexually," Duterte said.
About Filipino domestic helpers, he said: "Pagka empleyado ka ng isang pamilya, at yung kapatid ng asawa [ng employer] wala silang helper, magtrabaho ka pa rin dun. Kapag sa compound, nandun yung son-in-law [ng employer], magta-trabaho ka pa rin dun. So matatapos sila [sa trabaho], sunrise na."
Like slaves from Africa
Duterte said this makes OFWs "no different from slaves bought from Africa."
"Kaya 'yung iba, out of sheer desperation, nagpapakamatay, lumulukso sa bintana," Duterte said.
The President said it breaks his heart that some hardworking OFWs would come home only to find out that their children have turned to illegal drugs.
"Diyan ako umiinit talaga... Talagang umiinit ako," he said.
"That is why nung mayor ako, nakita ko 'yung impact, I made no bones about my hatred. I said, 'If you do drugs in my city, if you destroy our daughters and sons, I'll just have to kill you.' I repeated the same warning nung nag-presidente ako, ang rightly so," he added.
Duterte has been widely criticized for his violent anti-drug campaign, which local and international human rights groups have linked to thousands of drug-related killings.
Police figures show that legitimate police operations have led to the deaths of more than 2,600 drug personalities since July 1, 2016 when its war on drugs started under the Duterte administration.
Its statistics also point to more than 6,000 deaths under investigation—including those involving drug suspects—for the same period. —KBK, GMA News