Thursday, March 31, 2011

Musing on Executions


The news on the execution of three Filipinos in China [3 Filipino drug mules executed in China, ‘Am I going to die today?’: Nation mourns for 1st Filipinos executed in China] probably is still permeating through our consciousness. Many sympathize with the families of the executed Filipinos, a thing that is quite unavoidable as Filipinos (it is said) place high regard and value for the family. To lose a family member is to lose a part of one’s life.

The importance that we give to human life (as influenced by our religion perhaps, predominantly Roman Catholicism) made the execution of those three Filipinos tagged as drug mules something evil and sinister. But then, laws were disobeyed (unfortunately in a country which has the highest record of executions every year as said by Amnesty International) and corresponding punishments should be done.

This recent execution brings to mind the issue of working overseas. To what extent do our OFWs have to go to provide for their families? Does/Did drug trafficking help them? Perhaps not, as evidenced by this execution. Something is definitely wrong with the way we take overseas labor. Some opined that they be given a separate department (apart from the Department of Foreign affairs and Department of Labor and Employment). But will this solve the problem? Not immediately I think. But at least it points to a direction and to a notion that our OFWs who take the risk to work are being given all possible assistance.

The fate of those three Filipinos will definitely have an impact in the lives of those they left behind. I can still remember when the remains of Flor Contemplacion were finally brought to San Pablo City and the throng of people who came to join in the mourning and condemnation of her execution. But then what happened just now? Her sons are now finally sent to jail for drugs [3 Contemplacion sons get life for selling drugs, 3 Contemplacion sons moved to Muntinlupa prison]. The sacrifices of our OFWs oftentimes do not guarantee good life. It is within the hands of those who were left behind by these three executed Filipinos to chart their futures. And I do hope that it would be for the good in order (at least) not to put in vain the initial motivations of those three and that was to work abroad to provide for their families, for their loved ones.

Family. Love. Money. Future. Labor. Life. These concepts are interconnected in the increasing complex and difficult phenomenon of working overseas. It is high time that those in the forefront of leadership genuinely work hand in hand with the OFWs. If we could not curtail the surge of working abroad (which, after all, provides the biggest chunk of remittances to the country), at least give them a perceptible guidance and assistance.

Photo Credit: straitstimes.com / Reuters

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