‘Be Careful What You Post on Social Media,’ Group Warns OFWs in Middle East

By: Ernie Reyes, InterAksyon.com
January 8, 2016 4:33 PM

MANILA – The Blas F. Ople Policy Center, a migrant workers’ rights advocate, reminded on Friday overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Middle East to be doubly cautious about what they post, share, or like on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media amid rising tension in the region.

Susan “Toots” Ople, who heads the center, sounded the alarm after three Filipinos were included among 44 suspected terrorists who were arrested by police in Saudi Arabia last month for posting opinion about the events in the Middle East.

“I find it extremely worrisome that three Filipinos were included among 44 suspected terrorists arrested by police in Saudi Arabia last month,” Ople said at a media briefing on the current situation in Saudi Arabia and Yemen borders. “It is important that our workers become more mindful of the growing security concerns in the region, and on the need for them to avoid any move that is political in nature.”

Ople said the tension between the two countries had escalated in Narjan region in Saudi Arabia near the Yemen border.

She noted that most OFWs use social media site not only to communicate with their loved ones but also to voice their opinion about current events.

“What you cannot say aloud in the country where you are, don’t post on social media because there may be a lot of big brothers watching,” she said.

She also urged the government to include this reminder and other relevant information in the predeparture orientation seminars of Middle East-bound OFWs.

“Our workers should be more cautious and to be careful for whatever they are posting on social media,” she said. “Be mindful there is high security threat and government authorities will be on the look-out what possible threat. Our workers would not want to be associated with any derogatory action against the Saudi government and any other Gulf states for that matter.”

She also asked the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to immediately verify the identities and backgrounds of the four suspected Filipino terrorists.

“We need to ascertain whether there is a concerted move to involve our nationals in the ongoing rift between Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states and Iran,” she said. “It has to be emphasized, however, that majority of our workers in the Middle East are simply there to work, and provide for their families.”


(Source: InterAksyon.com)

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