The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) should start looking into the incident last week wherein a young Filipino was offloaded from a KLM flight to Brazil by one of its officials.
Arjean Belco, a member of the Talaandig tribe from Bukidnon, was on her way to attend the World Youth Day in Brazil aboard a KLM flight from Manila but they had a stopover in Malaysia.
As she was about to board her flight to Brazil, a KLM official who was only identified as one Mr. Shawa, stopped her even if she has been cleared by Malaysian Immigration authorities.
Shawa reportedly doubted Belco’s purpose of travel to Brazil when he saw the young lady.
He reportedly asked Belco why she had a very new passport and who sponsored her trip.
Belco told the arrogant KLM officer that she just got her passport and this is her first trip abroad. She also showed all her documents to prove that the travel was sponsored by Cartwheel Foundation and Goodxorg Corp.
The nincompoop airline official did not buy Belco’s explanation and ordered her back to the Philippines depite the pleadings by her sponsors over the phone to allow Belco to proceed to Brazil.
Clearly, Belco was a victim of discrimination because of her color or race.
The DFA should investigate this incident and impose sanctions if necessary on the airline.
National Association of Independent Travel Agencies (NAITAS) president Wanda Teo said the airline does not have the right to question a passenger of her purpose to travel or check her documents since that is the job of immigration personnel.
Teo urged Belco and her sponsors to file a civil complaint against KLM.
So before you fly KLM, think again. You may suffer the same fate as Belco’s.
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OFWs not in SONA
A lot of people were surprised when President Benigno Aquino 3rd, either intentionally or not, left out the millions of Filipinos working overseas in his State of the Nation Address (SONA).
According to Vice President Jejomar Binay, Aquino should have thanked the OFWs for their millions of dollars remittances every year that greatly help our economy.
As former budget secretary and now Economics professor Ben Diokno said, “every year our OFWs remit $24 million to our country that keeps our economy afloat”.
But certain quarters believe that Pnoy intentionally did not mention the OFWs contributions in his speech because they are not in his agenda or administration policies.
Has the President not heard of the saying “give credit where it is due?”