Taiwan has spoken: OFW critical of Duterte stays, protected by freedom of speech
Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said no one can pressure Ordidor or her employer “nor shall she be deported without consultations held between both governments”
Apr 28, 2020
Taiwan-based Filipino caregiver Elanel Egot Ordidor who was tagged by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) as a critic of President Duterte’s COVID-19 efforts and subsequently threatened of deportation can stay, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Republic of China (Taiwan).
This is despite DOLE’s request to deport Ordidor over her Facebook posts, which criticized President Duterte’s efforts to combat COVID-19 in the country. The caregiver, who has been warned of the grave consequences of her postings, previously committed to deleting them. But according to DOLE, Ordidor continued “to discredit and malign the President and destabilize the government” through posts and a controversial video posted on her four other accounts.
In a video posted on a Facebook group, she aired her sentiments about government policies saying Filipinos “would die not from the virus but from hunger” among other statements.
Right to freedom of speech
According to the statement released by MOFA, Oridor, who was accused of attempting to “discredit and malign” Duterte and “destabilize the government” by “willfully posting nasty and malevolent materials against Duterte,” has a right to freedom of speech.
In a report by a major Taiwan news outlet, the foreign affairs ministry added that “Taiwan is a sovereign, independent country where foreign workers enjoy ‘citizen treatment’ and their rights and interests are protected by relevant laws and regulations, including freedom of speech, which should be respected by governments of all countries.”
Labor Attaché Fidel Macauyag previously said that the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) had already gotten in touch with Oridor’s broker and employer to arrange for her deportation for violating Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.
Rejecting DOLE’s request to deport Oridor, MOFA added that “no person or institution, in this case, has the right to pressure her, her employer, or broker, nor shall she be deported without consultations held between both governments.”
Overseas Filipino workers’ rights and welfare NGO Migrante International denounced DOLE’s singling out of Ordidor as “harassment” saying, “It is outrageous that these officials are very overzealous in their display of bootlicking skills toward President Duterte and seem to have plenty of time to bully a poor OFW while the pleas of countless other Filipino migrant workers are falling on deaf ears.”
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