Press Release
March 2, 2006


Senator Manny Villar, Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, sends his condolences to the families of the two overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who were killed in a crossfire between Saudi authorities and suicide bombers in Saudi Arabia on Monday (Feb. 28).

Villar also expressed concern over the welfare of OFWs, not only in Saudi Arabia, but in other parts of the world which are facing danger, threats or uncertainties.

The concerned government authorities should regularly make an assessment of the situation in countries that have unstable security situations. We need to ensure that our OFWs are not exposed to unnecessary threats or dangers, says Villar.

Villar adds, I am happy to learn that Tony Santos, the OFW who was kidnapped and held hostage by militants in Nigeria has been freed after 11 days of captivity. Its good to hear also that that the three Filipino seafarers who were held hostage in Somalia for six months have also been freed finally.

The three seafarersJanito Ranido, Agustin Ibaez and Ug Amado Espinasarrived in Misamis Oriental yesterday (March 1). The fatalities in Saudi Arabia were identified as Abel Monterela and Felix Llorando and the injured as Rodel Canlas Miranda, Salvador Traquena Bibon, and Jimmy Mayo Pactor.

Villar cites, OFWs are already sacrificing so much by working abroad and being away from their loved ones, the concerned authorities should really look after their welfare. We should immediately provide protection and assistance to distressed OFWs, especially those in high-risk countries.

Given the tremendous contribution of OFWs to our countrys economy, we should ensure that their needs are very well taken cared of. They have been the miracle workers or saving grace of the Philippine economy year in year out through the precious dollars that they remit to their loved ones here, further cites Villar.

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