I just wondered about the workers that’s all.


“Man at Work” by Van Gogh, in Cutts and Smith published by Parragon Publishing

If you were the end-user of a building being constructed, in a war-torn country, and one day 51 aliens were flown in by the contractor to your site to work, wouldn’t you wonder where they came from? How they got there? If you were the President of a country sending workers overseas, and you learned that 51 of your workers in Kuwait were suddenly elsewhere in the cross-fire of missiles, wouldn’t you wonder how they got there? Anyway, I just wondered about it (see news story, ABS-CBN news). Last July 26, at the U.S. House of Representatives committee on oversight and government reforms, the medical technician, a certain Rory Mayberry, of First Kuwaiti, a company/ contractor in charge of the project of building the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, testified that a amonth ago he was tasked “to escort” 51 Filipino workers from Kuwait to Iraq, and after they had taken off, and when the pilot announced that they were bound for Baghdad, the Filipinos, according to him, were taken aback because they were told that they would be brought to Dubai Hotel.

From ABS-CBN News: “The men started shouting. It wasn’t until a security guy working for First Kuwaiti waved an MP-5 (submachine gun) in the air that people settled down. I believe these men were kidnapped by First Kuwaiti to work on the US embassy,” said Mayberry.

Since then, they’ve been allegedly forced to work as construction laborers to build the U.S. Embassy façade.

I just wondered whether any government official bothered to check it. Or maybe just ask the labor attaché in Kuwait, maybe. (we don’t have one in Baghdad, right? Because of the ban).

Did any government official bother to get the names of the 51 workers, it would be fairly easy to do that, just get a copy of Rory Mayberry’s testimony, by going to the dockets and transcripts of the U.S. House of Representatives; or by getting in touch with Mr. Mayberry himself?

Did any government official bother to check with Kuwait? Or bother to check with the relatives and families of the 51 workers, whether their family member had gotten in touch with them? In other words, did anyone from our end, any government official, bother to pick up the phone one morning, in his/ her house or office, and find out?

A government official based in Kuwait could easily confirm the story, too, by checking with First Kuwaiti, the company. Did any government official bother to confirm the story?

One could easily verify the flight by checking all the commercial planes that left Kuwait in July, and looking at the flight passenger manifest, to check if indeed our workers had been taken to Baghdad?

I know that everybody was busy and caught up in the hustle and bustle of the Asean foreign minister conference in Manila.

I just thought even just one government official would have been asked to confirm the report:

Read the entire transcript. Get the names. Contact Rory Mayberry.

Check with the families. Ask the labor attaché in Kuwait.

Liaison with First Kuwaiti. Verify all outgoing flights July 24-26. Go over flight manifests.

What has the Philippine government done?

Nothing. Apparently. [UPDATE: As of an hour ago, after i posted, i found out from abs-cbnnews.com that Malacañang through Executive Secretary Ed Ermita announced that a team had been formed to go to the Middle East to investigate; still a press release; the team has not moved out or started any investigation; in fact the Ermita branch of government (apologies to Jon Stewart, “the Cheney branch of government”) itself, as of the end of office hours a couple of hours ago, still did not have the names of the workers. Get going, guys, start getting the vital information)

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