An online campaign to oust Philippine Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III is going on following alleged widespread corruption and undesirable attitude towards OFWs.
One of the grounds cited by the “Oust Bello Movement” was the comment of Bello in Demafelis case. He referred the murdered OFW who was placed inside a freezer as “ice cream.
“He is callous and insensitive to the plight of OFWs. In shocking remarks he made after gatecrashing a meet-and-greet session between HK OFWs and Special Assistant to the President Bong Go on Apr 12, Bello told the OFWs that they should prepare well for their future, and not wait until they turned into “ice cream” like Joanna Demafelis…before they became self-sufficient,” the group’s statement which was issued on April 18.
Several leaders which includes officer from the Mindanao Federation, can testify to the insensitive statement of Bello. Bello further stated that Demafelis family became instant millionaires because there are a lot of generous people who helped them following the unfortunate incident with their daughter.
Furthermore, the recall of Labor Attache to Hong Kong, Jalilodela Torre was pushed through because Bello got disappointed that the Labor Attache didn’t approved the job orders for bar dancers.
Other grounds cited by the group were his promise to issue OFW ID instead of overseas employment certificate and payment of rebates to those long time members of OWWA.
Bello was also accused of corruption with OEC processing last year and the granting of exemptions for direct-hires.
Bello also allegedly appointed several family members and relatives of influential people in some key posts abroad as labor attaches. This was done despite their obvious lack of qualifications.
More serious allegations were the ones involving him in convincing the President to remove the deployment ban in Kuwait.
“This could only be due to the influence of his known close friend, Lucy Sermonia, president of the association of agencies deploying workers to Kuwait. Together, they have misled the President by persuading him to sign an MOU which is empty of substantive provisions,” said in the group’s statement.
Signatories that led the initial campaign to oust Bello were from Bayan Hong Kong and Macau, Global Alliance, Filipino Migrant Workers Association, Mindanao Federation, Unifil-Migrante Hong Kong and Global Ministers Association.