MIGRANT RIGHTS rights advocacy group Migrante-Middle East has urged overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) through the Filipino communities and OFW organizations abroad to actively campaign against China’s aggressive reclamation as it recently formed a chapter of a movement called Pilipinong Nagkakaisa para sa Soberenya (Peoples Unity for National Sovereignty) to be known as P1NAS.
P1NAS was formally launched in Manila on June 12 led by prominent anti-US bases campaigners and former senators Rene Saguisag and Letecia Ramos-Shahani and the leaders of umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan).
“The 12 million OFWs around the world can wage an international campaign against China’s aggressive reclamations at the West Philippine Sea. OFWs altogether are capable of helping exert international pressure to China,” said the Saudi-based M-ME regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona.
On July 2, OFW groups in Riyadh convened and held a forum on the issues relating to the West Philippine Sea, China’s aggressive reclamation, and the US role in the West Philippine Sea maritime disputes.
“After that forum, representatives of OFW groups collectively decided to form the Pilipinong Nagkakaisa para sa Soberenya-Koalisyong OFWs-KSA or the P1NAS-KO-KSA,” Monterona said.
The said forum and launching of P1NAS-KO-KSA was attended by around 40 from OFW organizations to include Kapatiran sa Gitnang Silangan (KGS), Pangasenense-Migrante, Alpha Theta Omega, United Filipino Worldwide for Community Development Inc. (UFWCDI), United Muslim Association (UMA), Team Barkadahan, BAGO-Coop Bulakenyo, GRII-Guardians, Gabriela-Riyadh, Alyansa ng Kapatiran Migranteng Makabayan (Akma-Migrante), and the Riyadh chapter of Migrante Sectoral Party (MSP).
“P1NAS-KO-KSA is determined to continue to conduct public information and education campaign to raise awareness on the issues of sovereignty, territorial integrity and the need for an independent and self-reliant foreign policy among OFWs in Saudi Arabia,” said Monterona, led-convener of P1NAS-KO-KSA.
Monterona revealed that there was “a strong suggestion to initiate boycotts campaign versus China’s business establishments and products in order to pressure the Chinese government to stop their aggressive and interventionist acts in the Philippines,” and that the P1NAS-KO-KSA adhoc secretariat will tackle the suggestion during its next meeting.
Monterona added that the formation of P1NAS-KO-KSA and similar formations among the Filipino communities abroad provide a venue for OFWs to be directly involved in efforts to defend and assert Philippine sovereignty and territorial integrity, abrogate unequal treaties and arrangements, and uphold the Philippine interest.
“P1NAS-KO-KSA will also press the Philippine government to denounce and resist the incursions, aggressive actions and interventions of foreign powers not only of China’s aggressive reclamation but also US dictates. We stand for an independent PHL foreign policy that is pro-Filipino, pro-OFWs, too,” Monterona said.