Filipino 'Illegals' clash with Riyadh embassy staff

Filipino 'Illegals' clash with Riyadh embassy staff
Updated 08 May 2013

Filipino 'Illegals' clash with Riyadh embassy staff

Filipino 'Illegals' clash with Riyadh embassy staff

Undocumented Filipinos and staff at the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh were involved in physical scuffles yesterday as tensions rose on the fourth day of protests over repatriation issues.
Both sides had their own versions on what took place, but videos and pictures appeared to show harassment from both workers and embassy staff. The clashes appeared to center around medical care, water, food, and places to wash and rest.
The embassy released a picture, with a statement, allegedly showing the campers harassing one of the embassy’s security guards.
According to the statement, this happened when staff tried to relocate sick children. The statement claimed that a Nepalese guard, was collared by a group of campers and kicked by one woman when he tried to approach her shortly after she allegedly changed her mind about the relocation of her child.
However, Garry Martinez, Migrante second nominee and international chairperson, claimed in a statement: “Ambassador (Ezzedin) Tago said that the child would be taken to the hospital but after a few hours we discovered that the child was not given any medical attention at all and was never even taken to the hospital.”
Tago said yesterday that the embassy was only concerned about the health care of the woman and her children. “I urge all my workers to ensure peace and to be patient, while we work to solve all their problems.”
Some Filipino workers said they clashed with security guards when they were stopped from taking food and water to their companions inside the embassy grounds.
The stranded workers claimed that there was a shortage of food and water from the Philippine embassy. There was also a lack of places to rest that was causing health problems for them, especially their children.
The embassy had proposed to relocate the stranded workers to a rest house and offered to take the sick children to the hospital along with their mothers. The move to the rest house was reportedly rejected by the workers because it excluded the men.
Carlos Alpajora Jr., one of the protesters, said: “It’s been four days since we started our protest against the Philippine embassy authorities and camped out here with no results so far.”
Another worker said: “We cannot cook or take a bath because our water supply was completely cut off even in the embassy’s bathrooms,” said one of the workers.
More workers have arrived to protest inside and outside the embassy grounds according to Eric Jucson, spokesperson of Migrante.