BACOLOD

Palace: No basis for Nora Aunor to ask Aquino to quit

MALACANANG debunked Tuesday the accusation of superstar Nora Aunor and Migrante group that the situation of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) has worsened under the Aquino administration.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said that the call of the actress and the militant group for President Benigno Aquino III to step down from his post has no basis.

He said the Aquino administration makes sure that the right of OFWs, particularly those in the death row, are not violated.

"The Philippine government, through our embassies and consulates, provides all the necessary and appropriate consular and legal assistance to Filipinos on death row," he told reporters in a briefing.

When applicable, he said the Department of Foreign Affairs even hires private lawyers to defend them.

"We negotiate with the victim’s family when there is a demand for payment or blood money and the issuance of a letter of forgiveness. We even go to the extent where the President writes to his counterpart to ask for clemency. We also conduct regular jail visits to ensure their conditions, well-being and health," Coloma said.

He added that the government has already institutionalized in different embassies and consulates abroad the service called as ATN or Assistance to Nationals.

"Ito po ay isang mahalagang component ng paglilingkod ng ating mga embahada at konsulada para tiyakin na nabibigyan ng sapat na tulong at kalinga ang ating mga mamamayan saan man sila naroroon," he said.

Aunor joined Migrante in commemorating the 20th death anniversary of Flor Contemplacion, an OFW in Singapore who was executed. Aunor portrayed the role of Contemplacion in a 1995 movie. (SDR/Sunnex)
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