“Slave maids cost the price of a smartphone” – as published by CNN’s Freedom Project

By Susan V. Ople, Special for CNN (Note: This article appeared on CNN’s Freedom Project website last August. It garnered several comments, some scathing, others supportive. Given space limitations (I was only allowed a word count of 500), I wasn’t able to expound on key points especially on the inclusion of Singapore and Hong Kong in the first paragraph. So let me point out that while the law and situation in these two...

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Confucius says …
May19

Confucius says …

Confucius says, “When anger rises, think of the consequences.” Filipinos around the world sympathize with the family of Hung Shih-cheng, a 65-year old Taiwanese fisherman killed in the high seas when officers of the Philippine Coast Guard aboard a maritime patrol ship fired at the fishing vessel where the old man was. Whatever the outcome of the formal investigation, a man’s life perished, and his family led by widow...

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Saudi on my mind

Who among us have yet to encounter a Filipino without relatives, friends, and co-workers in Saudi Arabia? Our office driver, Loloy, has a brother working in Saudi Arabia. I have friends with close relatives in Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom is home to the biggest number of expatriate Filipino workers and this has been so since the start of the Philippine overseas employment program during the 70’s – 80’s. Living and...

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Hostaged!
Jan21

Hostaged!

This is the story of 31-year old seafarer, Gerald Gonzales, from Iloilo City. He holds the record for being the longest held Filipino hostage in Somalia. Gerald boarded Iceberg 1, a cargo ship, way back in 2009 for a 9-months stint as an oiler (all-around shipmate) with a salary of US$350. His contract was to expire on April 12, 2010. But as they say, sh*t happens. Gerald’s ship was hijacked by Somali pirates in March 29, 2010....

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Yes to Internet Freedom!

What does the Philippines have in common with countries such as China, Iran, Russia, North Korea, Cuba and Yemen? All of these countries issued a joint statement with China delineating all the evils of Internet use while underscoring the need to strengthen Internet regulation by various governments. This statement was read during the panel discussions on the Right to Freedom of Expression on the Internet conducted by the UN Human...

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True Colors (On Sen. Koko Pimentel’s Decision to Quit UNA)
Jun29

True Colors (On Sen. Koko Pimentel’s Decision to Quit UNA)

Senator Koko Pimentel declined UNA’s offer to include him in its coalition senatorial slate alongside another candidate (Migs Zubiri). He said he wanted to campaign in 2013 with a “happy heart”, something that he can’t do under UNA because he would have to watch every word that comes out of his mouth, lest he hurts a teammate. Politicos may think that Koko is just being “OA” in dumping UNA....

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