UKPC/FCYA - Toronto

Ugnayan ng Kabataang Pilipino sa Canada / Filipino Canadian Youth Alliance - Toronto Chapter

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Press Statement: The Jocelyn Dulnuan Support Committee

6 October 2007


We, in the Jocelyn Dulnuan Support Committee, are deeply saddened by the death of a kababayan/ compatriot, a sister and co-worker, and we offer our deepest sympathies to her family, relatives and friends.

Jocelyn came from an indigenous farming community in Ifugao province north of Manila. She worked for a year in Hong Kong as a domestic before coming to Canada. Like many other Filipino migrants, she left the Philippines to seek a better life for her family.

Imie Belanger, Jocelyn's sister-in-law, and Sol Pajadura, Migrante-Ontario Coordinator,
at a press conference and fundraiser held Saturday, October 6, 2007
at the Patricia Kemp Community Centre in Vaughan.

Jocelyn came to Canada under the Live-In Caregiver Program, a federal government program that allows Filipinas to come as caregivers. In this program, she was required to live in her employer’s residence – a condition that renders her vulnerable to all kinds of exploitation and abuse.

Yet Jocelyn did not only suffer a violent death at the hands of still unknown assailants in her employer’s mansion, she was also a casualty of the Philippine government’s Labour Export Policy (LEP) that pushes us out of the country to work and be separated from our families. Jocelyn’s death is another in a long line of the many atrocities happening against Philippine migrants abroad, including in Canada.

The Philippines is a maldeveloped country cursed by a backward unindustrialized economy. It serves foreign interests by supplying cheap labour for components, a market for consumer goods, a source of raw materials, and now a source of workers and interest from debt. With this backward economy, the overwhelming number of Filipinos cannot find decent work to support themselves and their families.

To alleviate the potential social explosion due to mass unemployment and poverty, the government of the Philippines has turned to a labour export policy (LEP). It systematically sends people overseas to feed off the billions in remittances sent home every year, and represses opposition at home. Around 3000 Filipinos are now daily leaving the country to search for work abroad. There are now some ten million Filipinos outside the Philippines, working in over one hundred countries. And this year alone, they have remitted close to US$15 billion.

It is therefore such a shame that the Philippine Consulate continues to drag its feet in exercising its responsibility for bringing Jocelyn’s remains back to her hometown even as the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs has already issued instructions “to provide … full assistance to the victim’s next of kin, especially in the repatriation of the remains to the Philippines.”

While we continue to raise support for the family that Jocelyn left behind, we strongly demand that the Philippine Consulate muster all the necessary resources to bring Jocelyn’s remains back home. The Consulate has the responsibility to look after the rights and welfare of its nationals, especially its overseas workers, who send billions of dollars to their home country every year, saving it from bankruptcy.

And while the Canadian authorities should conduct a thorough investigation into the murder of Jocelyn and bring the assailants to justice, all the more we, along with the rest of the Filipino community urge the Philippine government through its Consulate here in Toronto, to assume its responsibility in pressing the Canadian authorities in this regard.

THE JOCELYN DULNUAN SUPPORT COMMITTEE : Asosacion Negrense, AWARE/Gabay, Community Alliance for Social Justice (CASJ), Ifugao Association, Migrante-Ontario [DAMAYAN Migrant Resource and Education Centre, SIKLAB, Ugnayan ng Kabataang Pilipino sa Canada-Toronto (UKPCTO), United Filipinos for Nationalism and Democracy (UfiND)], Philippine Independence Day Council (PIDC), Philippine Press Club of Ontario (PPCO)

REFERENCE: Maria Sol Pajadura. Cell: 647-448-7030. Email:

(Photos by Alex Felipe