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

Max Rashbrooke: On How To Make Government
More Open

It’s true that New Zealand scores well on many international rankings of openness... Those findings are all important, and welcome. But we cannot ignore the fact that there are still serious problems.

For a start, those international surveys, while often complimentary, have also pinpointed major weaknesses: political donations are badly regulated, for instance, and appointments to government boards frequently go to those with strong political connections. More>>

 
 

In Court: Hamilton Student's Lawsuit Over Climate Change Policy

A law student from Hamilton is preparing to challenge the Government in the High Court on Monday over what she says is a “failure” to properly address climate change. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Fallout From The Barclay Tape

This is hardly a case of cleaning out your desk and being turfed out onto the pavement. As others have pointed out, the disgraced Clutha-Southland MP will remain on the public payroll for three months until the election, and for three months afterwards. More>>

ALSO:

Visions: National Party Conference

National Party leader Bill English today outlined his vision to take New Zealand into the 2020s and his key priorities for the next Parliamentary term – including further raising incomes and reducing taxes. More>>

ALSO:

Ombudsman: Canterbury Schools Reorganisation Mishandled

An investigation into the Canterbury schools reorganisation after the February 2011 earthquakes has found significant gaps and flaws in the Ministry’s engagement and communications with schools and communities. More>>

ALSO:

Law Commission: Contempt Report "Protects Right To Fair Trial"

The proposed Act limits what news media representatives and bloggers can report on court proceedings, but it also makes clearer than the current law where the line is between contempt and freedom of expression. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog