Monday, August 01, 2005

Cruel stereotyping and irresponsible reporting

Press Statement
1 August 2005

MIGRANTE Europe is disturbed about a report which came out in a national newspaper in Manila about a supposed “Filipino-looking woman” who was tagged by witnesses, the British media and the London Metropolitan Police as one of the alleged accomplices arrested with four suspected terrorists in London in connection with the July bombings in that city.

At this moment, it has never been established by the London Police nor by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs that the supposed “Filipino-looking woman” is indeed Filipino.

It is totally irresponsible for the British media and the London Police to release statements by quoting witnesses speculating on the nationality of the woman. To say that the woman being led by the London Police after a raid is “Filipino-looking”, is, to say the least, cruel stereotyping. Even if the British media and the London Police had the best intention to report what witnesses have described, they could have been less cruel and more sensitive by just stating that an “Asian-looking woman”, instead of “Filipino-looking woman”, was arrested.

Despite this cruel stereotyping and irresponsible reporting, we believe that the very good reputation of the more than 60,000 Filipinos working in Britain as domestics, nurses and health care worker and the valuable contribution they continue to deliver to the British society remain undiminished and unquestionable.

We salute our compatriots in Britain and elsewhere for being true heroes.

Despite being confronted with abuse, exploitation and racism in the countries where they chose to work, and despite the neglect of their rights and welfare by the Philippine government, and the bureaucratic corruption, joblessness and poverty back home, they continue to work hard, to remain honest, law-abiding and able to sustain their loved ones and eventually, keep the bankrupt Philippine economy afloat.

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