“‘Zero vote’ campaign against Mar Roxs, Liberal party bets is an expression of OFWs’ wise vote.”

Thus said migrant rights group Migrante-Middle East in reply to Malacanang spokesperson’s “Vote wisely” comment.

On weekend, Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte was heard saying in an interview on Radyo ng Bayan that overseas Filipino workers should vote wisely based on platform of governance.

“Ang inaasahan lang po natin ay, siyempre, mababase po ito sa plataporma, mababase po ito doon sa ano po ba ‘yung ikagaganda pa ng ating bansa, at ‘yung ikabubuti pa ho ng buhay ng ating mga pamilya (What we only expect is, of course, votes will be based on platform. Based on what will help our country, and what will help benefit your families),” Valte reportedly said, when asked about the new effort.

Valte added that OFWs, as absentee voters, have the freedom to elect their candidates in 2016.

“Usec. Valte missed our point. Because LP, the administration’s ruling party, has an anti-OFW policies and programs such as the manual random inspection of Balikbayan boxes and the added clearing fees on cargo forwarders’ container vans which cost will be passed on to OFWs, we protest by waging the ‘Zero Remittance’ and later on the ‘Zero Vote’ campaign,” said John Leonard Monterona, regional coordinator of Migrante-Middle East.

“What LP and Mar Roxas being LP’s presidential candidate have to offer? Nothing new but a continuation of Aquino’s anti-people and anti-OFW policies and programs on pretense of ‘Tuwid na Daan’ slogan,” Monterona added.

According to Monterona, a Roxas presidency like Aquino would mean intensified forced migration of millions of unemployed and underemployed.

“Like Aquino, Roxas will not provide protection and welfare programs for OFWs abroad and their families. He, too, will not address the root causes of forced migration and chronic poverty. There will be more unnecessary and additional state exactions and imposition of government fees to OFWs just what exactly Aquino has being doing now,” Monterona said.

“Human right violations and impunity will continue to reign under a Roxas presidency,” added Monterona.

The Department of Foreign Affairs-Overseas Absentee Voting Secretariat (DFA-OVS) reported that new registrants have reached 600,000 aside from the total overseas voter stock accumulated during the previous registration periods stands at 975,263.

The DFA-OVS is targeting 1-M new overseas absentee voters (OAVs) by end of the registration period on October 31, 2015.