Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Ambassador Benavidez Public Apology is in Order

PRESS RELEASE
22 February 2014

Ambassador Benavidez is Lying, Public Apology is in Order

Ambassador Virginia Benavidez is now claiming that she never made anti-union statements during a meeting with the Canterbury Pilipino Assistance Group (CPAG) last weekend. Leaders of the Filipino community group Migrante Aotearoa are calling on the Philippine Embassy to offer public apology and be open to all groups engaged in efforts to assist distressed Filipinos instead of advising Filipinos to stay away from unions.

“Kapag may problema kayo sa trabaho, huwag kayong lumapit sa unions at sa media lalo na yung nagpo-post sa New Zealand Herald.” (If you have problems with your job, don’t approach the unions and media especially those posting stories in the New Zealand Herald.” Thus was the Ambassador’s statement as recalled by Migrante officials present in the CPAG meeting.

Marty de Lima, coordinator of Migrante chapter in Christchurch, says, “As one of Board members of CPAG, I was present at the meeting and was seated at the front. I heard exactly what Amb. Benavidez said about discouraging distressed Filipinos to approach the unions especially those who post stories in the New Zealand Herald. I was shocked and dismayed with her statement considering that the unions have been very helpful to Filipinos and other migrants needing assistance which the Embassy could not provide. Filipinos who have problems also approach me as I am the Migrante coordinator and a delegate of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU).”

“It is regrettable that some officials of CPAG bowed down to pressure from the Philippine Embassy to hide the truth about Benavidez’ anti-union remarks. CPAG loses its credibility as some officials echoed the lies and denials of a government official who failed to promote and uphold Filipinos’ right to join unions. We urge other officials and members of CPAG to refuse to be accomplices in covering up the Ambassdor’s booboos against NZ unions,” de Lima added.

“We stand proud to be active members of unions that are campaigning against migrant workers exploitation in New Zealand. Several Filipinos working for Christchurch rebuild are among those who have grievances are now seeking support from Migrante and the unions to ensure they get a fair deal,” Migrante noted.

“A formal public apology is definitely in order. The Philippine Embassy must stop any more lies and attempts to cover up Amb. Benavidez’ anti-union remarks. We believe the Ambassador’s anti-union and anti-media remarks are likely in reference to a particular case headlined in the New Zealand Herald that was handled by the First Union and Union Network of Migrants (Unemig) last year,” Dennis Maga, Migrante Aotearoa national coordinator and First Union organiser, stated. [related story on http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10912087]

“Instead of giving negative remarks against unions, we urge Amb. Benavidez to be open to all groups assisting Filipinos in distress. If she cannot appreciate the efforts of unions and community groups like Migrante to assist our distressed compatriots, the least she could do is refrain from discouraging people to join and support such groups that exist precisely because of gross lack of protection from the Philippine Embassy in NZ and around the world,” Maga concluded.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

3-Year Transport Plan: No Plans On Six Northland-Election Bridges

The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. More>>

ALSO:

Family Violence: Increasing Reporting But Fewer Resolutions

“We are aware the Police have embarked on a significant programme of change in how they respond to family violence. The data suggests that adequate resourcing including investing in staff training, support and culture change will be required for this to be effective.” More>>

ALSO:

Health: NZ Children Still Suffer Rickets From Lack Of Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency continues to cause rickets in young New Zealanders, new University of Otago research has found. The researchers say that their finding suggests that at-risk mothers and children should be better targeted for Vitamin D supplementation. More>>

Also GPs, Housing, Milk: PM Press Conference On The UN Security Council

In a press conference today the Prime Minister discussed the upcoming appointment of New Zealand to chair the UN Security Council. He said they would put pressure Asad in Syria and attempt to “jump start” negotiations between Israel and Palestine. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: State Houses Could Sell To Overseas Groups

Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. More>>

ALSO:

AND:

Gordon Campbell: On Climate Change Protest, And Iraq Training

For sheer style, humour and content fit for purpose, it would be hard to beat the Greenpeace protest at Parliament. The fact that the hanging of functioning solar panels from Parliament Buildings caused such spluttering outrage among fogeys old (David Carter) and young (David Seymour) added a Monty Python level of amusement to the whole event. More>>

ALSO:

Speech: Bill English Explains NZ Government To Australia

Here I am part of a successful government, now into its third term and hopefully with more to come. I want to offer some thoughts tonight about the business of government, from a centre-right perspective. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news