The CBCP Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (ECMI), has
expressed disappointment over the failure of the Senate and Congress to pass the Absentee Voting Bill before the end of its current session.
A statement released by ECMI chairman Bishop Ramon C. Arguelles,
and sent to the Office of the President and the two Houses of Congress, charged as "mere pretense and sham" all the loud declaration praising and supporting the heroism of the overseas Filipino workers
"First, many lawmakers using government money, certainly coming from remittances of OFWs, pretended to show interest and support for the granting of the right to vote and the full citizens' right of
overseas Filipinos. They insisted on pretending to meet the Filipinos in foreign lands to consult them when the consultation has been done already for the last fifteen years," Bishop Arguelles explained.
But, he added, "Finally, it can be disclosed, most lawmakers choose to deprive the modern heroes of their full rights as citizens of this republic!"
The statement further urged OFWs and their families to take action on the issue.
"Your lawmakers do not really mean what they say when they call you heroes!!! They do not give you your rights. How can you entrust them with the future of your country and of your children?
your enemies in Congress and the Senate! Tell your relatives to junk them. You are truly heroes. Now you know who are the villains and traitors. They fooled you when they spend your money to consult you
for something you have already clearly declared for years. If needed you can refrain from sending home your remittances. They do not care for you nor your families you sadly leave behind. They are just
after your dollars."
Bishop Arguelles, in conclusion, appealed to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to directly address this concern of the Commission and of the OFWs. "You can still reverse the trend some of your
collaborators seem to pursue: Let History judge your administration to be OFW friendly!!!"