I really had a hearty laugh upon reading the e-mail from Philippine Ambassador to Italy Virgilio Reyes because he seemed to lecture me, and then bragged of his accomplishments as an envoy.
Reyes was reacting to my column here in The Manila Times last week on his inactions on complaints by Filipinos residing in Italy.
In his e-mail, the ambassador tried to correct my estimate that there are 200,000 Filipinos living and working in Italy. He said according to the Italian Ministry of Interior’s statistics, there are 170,000 registered Filipinos in that country and another 20,000 are undocumented. Therefore, there are only 190,000 Pinoys right now in Italy.
I don’t understand how Reyes arrived at the 20,000 undocumented Pinoys in Italy when they are in hiding to avoid deportation. They have no legal documents to live or work there. So, could it be that Reyes is a psychic too?
Reyes wrote, “Filipinos living and working in Italy have complaints against the embassy which are baseless and untrue”
How the heck would you know Mr. Ambassador about their complaints when you are always out of your office???!!! I went to our embassy there twice and both times you were in a meeting somewhere in Rome, according to one of your staff.
Just in case you don’t know, there is a Task Force OFW-Rome, recording all these complaints against our embassy there.
TF OFW-Rome has been asking for an appointment with you since last year but you reportedly refused to meet the group for reasons, they claim, known only to you.
The multi-awarded Ambassador Reyes, so he claims, said the complaints against the embassy came from one or from only a handful of Pinoys and do not represent the entire population of Filipinos working and living in Italy now.
One wonders, since there is only one or a handful of complainants, Reyes and his entire staff will no longer act on their problem?
Could this be the reason why cases of abused OFWs, particularly domestic helpers, pile up in some of our embassies because their individual misery does not get attended right away?
It would have been wise for Reyes to look into the complaints of the Filipinos in Italy against our embassy there rather than waste his time making excuses and lie about the problems brought before his office.
It behooves DFA Secretary Albert del Rosario to remove Reyes from his post at once. He does not deserve to stay a day more in that embassy.
The guy is inutile!