30 August 2011
Migrante-Middle East brief reaction on the reported recall of PH ambassador to Syria Wilfredo Cuyugan by the DFA as sanctioned by Malacanang
Migrante-Middle East came to know that Philippine Ambassador to Syria Wilfredo Cuyugan has been notified by the Department of Foreign Affairs to leave his post as he is recalled from his post.
It is our view that Amb. Cuyugan must be recalled due to his failure to read the actual peace and order situation in Syria in which he kept on saying publicly ‘nothing to worry and alarm’ as the situation in Syria is not that worst contradicting reports we have been receiving from trapped OFWs who have been seeking to be evacuated and repatriated.
Amb. Cuyugan even dilly-dallied and acted too late on the repatriation of about 60 distress OFWs then temporarily seeking refuge at the Filipino Workers Resource Center (FWRC) since June 2010 or at the start of the upheaval in Syria in which we have exposed and pressed him hard. Thus, he’s more of a liability to the DFA rather than pro-actively providing assistance to trapped OFWs who plead to be evacuated and repatriated without further delay.
We welcome his recall from the post, while we continue to urge the DFA to clean its rank from inept and incompetent envoy especially here in the Middle East as the Arab Spring continues.
We need pro-active and ‘action-man’ envoy as what Sec. del Rosario and Usec Seguis have recently exemplified leading the actual evacuation of trapped OFWs in Libya.
DFA could still improve its evacuation and repatriation efforts.
John Leonard Monterona
Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator