Toronto, October 13, 2007 -- Jocelyn Dulnuan, 27 years old, of Namulditan, Hingyon, Ifugao, the Philippines was found dead on Oct. 1, 2007 in the house located at 2450 Doulton Place, Mississauga where she worked as a live-in caregiver. Jocelyn had arrived in Canada last November through the Live-in Caregiver Program of the Canadian Government. Peel regional police are investigating her death and treating it as a murder case.
Twelve days have already passed since the discovery of her body. Press reports as of today are conflicting over whether the police have already finished their investigation. The police for its part have been very tight-lipped about the case. We hope this has only been so as not to jeopardise the investigation.
Jocelyn Dulnuan's murder raises important issues of public safety, equality and justice for the Filipino community. Given the recent problems regarding the treatment of Filipinos by certain police departments in certain jurisdictions in Canada, the fear exists in the minds of many in the Filipino community that Dulnuan's murder may not get the serious and prompt treatment it requires. We need to know that the police is taking this case seriously and not doing a slipshod job because Jocelyn is a Filipino, and a migrant worker.
Filipino migrant workers are a significant part of our community of 100 thousand plus in the greater Toronto area and contribute greatly directly to the Canadian economy through their work, the products they buy, and the taxes they pay without availing of Canadian public services. Indirectly as well, the work of Filipino migrant workers enables Canadians themselves to contribute greater to the economy. Filipinos, and especially Filipino migrant workers deserve equal rights, safety and justice.
The proper institution to ensure that justice is pursued and the muderer(s) of Jocelyn punished is the Philippine consulate. It is the role of the Philippine consulate to protect the rights of Filipinos in Toronto and surrounding regions. At the very minimum the Philippine consulate has the duty both to pull every diplomatic lever it can to ensure that justice is thoroughly pursued by the local Canadian authorities while keeping the Filipino community properly informed of its efforts. We note that Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Claro Cristobal said that Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo has instructed Alejandro Mosquera "to provide full cooperation for bringing anyone responsible for the crime to justice...." Given the sorry history with other cases of Filipino migrants that have come to grief and the initial response of the local consulate and labour attaché to our approach for help, we can only hope that these instructions are not mere public relations exercises. If any harm comes to a Filipino abroad, will the consulate just leave that person behind and hush matters?
Jocelyn Dulnuan would be alive now if the Philippine government had been able to provide the employment back home sorely sought after by so many Filipinos rather than relying on sending people abroad for remittances. We hope that Jocelyn is not a sacrifice to this policy of exporting Filipino workers.
The Jocelyn Dulnuan Support Committee is composed the following Migrante-Ontario organizations: Damayan Migrant Resource and Education Centre, Philippine Advocacy Through Arts in Canada (PATAC), SIKLAB-Ontario, Ugnayan ng Kabataang Pilipino sa Canada-Toronto
(UKPC-TO), and United Filipinos for Nationalism and Democracy (UFiND); the following organizations: Asosacion Negrense, AWARE/Gabay, Community Alliance for Social Justice (CASJ), Ifugao Association, Philippine Independence Day Council (PIDC), Philippine Network for Justice and Peace, and the Santaginian Association of Ontario; Fr. Ariel Dumaran of San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish and members of Jocelyn Dulnuan's extended family and friends.
FOR REFERENCE: Maria Sol Pajadura. Cell: +1 647-448-7030.