I DEMAND the RECALL of OSAKA Consul General Maria Lourdes Ramiro Lopez sign now

Hon. Benigno Simeon Aquino III
President, Republic of the Philippines

cc: Hon. Jejomar Binay
Vice President, Republic of the Philippines
Head, Task Force Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs)

cc: The Department Secretary
Department of Foreign Affairs
Republic of the Philippines

Your Excellency President Noynoy Aquino,

We, the Filipino residents of Western Japan, members of our family, our supporters and friends, do hereby SIGN and SUBMIT this PETITON ONLINE, and a corresponding PETITION on PAPER, containing the signatures of our KABABAYAN, in WESTERN JAPAN.

We request your attention and assistance for the RECALL of Consul General Maria Lourdes Ramiro LOPEZ, of PCG-Osaka-Kobe...

The copy of our SIGNED PETITON states the following...


PETITION TO REMOVE THE CONSUL GENERAL OF OSAKA

In line with his strong stand against corruption, and in order to improve the welfare of 80,000 Filipinos in Western Japan, we strongly urge President Aquino to remove the present Consul General in the Philippine Consulate in Osaka, Ms. Maria Lourdes Ramiro Lopez.

Since arriving in 2005, ConGen Lopez has shown herself to be an incompetent public official, who has disregarded the long-standing request of the Filipino community for quality public service from the Osaka Consulate. She has also allowed irregularities and performed acts which would normally have been investigated by authorities. However, we wish to inform the President that the leadership of the DFA has not conducted any investigation, to the detriment of the Filipinos in Western Japan.

Since 2009, it has been widely reported in major Philippine newspapers that Ms. Lopez has an ongoing criminal case for falsification of public documents. Based on the investigation of the Ombudsman, this high-ranking DFA official did not graduate from any college.

We wish to emphasize that falsification of public documents, especially of ones educational background, is not a victimless crime, for it erodes the publics trust of government. Aside from Filipinos, the reputation of the Philippines in the eyes of the host government and many Japanese nationals, many of whom are married to Filipinos, is also affected.

ConGen Lopez is unqualified to head any office, particularly a consulate. Her falsification case also puts her civil service eligibility in question. The lack of qualifications of the Consul General shows in the manner that the Philippine Consulate in Osaka has been mismanaged for the last five years.

In particular, the Filipino communitys criticism of lack of access to the consulate, especially by telephone, was blatantly ignored. ConGen Lopez continues to coddle the lone telephone operator, who has been universally criticized for being rude and unprofessional. The background of this operator is also being disregarded by her

Lack of transparency has been a serious issue with ConGen Lopez. During her entire five years, the consulate was unable to transparently present to the Filipino community the various requirements of consular documents, which changed frequently. Up to now, the website of the consulate is seriously inadequate, which has led some individuals to take advantage of the lack of information by providing consultancies for a fee.

There are also irregularities which must be investigated. There are reports that vendors and facilitators abound in the consular lobby, and some of them are able to enter the offices of the officials and staff inside and chat with them during working hours. We would also like to point out that commercials enterprises, in the form of photo machines and photocopy machines, were in the consular lobby and most probably operated without any authorization from the government.

The Consul General must be removed by the President, and a senior and qualified career officer should be appointed instead. The Consul General will have all the time to prove that the allegations against her are false in the Sandiganbayan while in the Philippines, and not while in Japan representing the Philippines.


Concise Version in PILIPINO

SIGAW NG MGA PILIPINO SA WESTERN JAPAN:
TANGGALIN ANG CONSUL GENERAL NG OSAKA

Mula nang manungkulan sa Osaka ang Consul General na si Ma. Lourdes R. Lopez, lalong nabaon sa pangit na serbisyong publiko ang mga Pilipino sa Western Japan. Ang konsulado ay narito sa Japan upang maglingkod sa ating mga Pilipino, at hindi upang suportahan ang maluhong pamumuhay ng mga tamad na kawani ng DFA.

Ang kawalan ng kaalaman ng Consul General sa kanyang katungkulan ay nakikita sa maraming paraan. Matapos mangako nuong 2005 na magpapadala siya ng outreach team sa Aichi prefecture kada buwan, hindi niya ito ipinatupad sa hindi malamang dahilan. Malakas ang hiling ng mga Pilipino para sa isang pag-uusap, ngunit parang takot na takot siyang harapin ang dapat niyang pinag-sisilbihan. Liban sa ilang grupong umaasa na bibiyayaan niya ng outreach, hindi na siya humaharap sa mga Pilipino, lalong-lalo na sa Aichi, kung saan mahigit 25,000 ang nakatirang Pilipino.

Halatang kapos ang kaalaman ni ConGen Lopez sa gawaing consular kung kaya hindi niya maisayos ang mga requirements para sa mga dokumento. Pabago-bago ang mga hinihinging papeles, at hindi niya maiparating ang mga impormasyon sa publiko. Noong 2005, nangako siyang gagawa ng PRIMER para gawing basehan ng imporamsyon tungkol sa mga serbisyo ng konsulado. Hanggang ngayon ito ay wala. Ang lahat ay napipilitang tumawag sa telepono, para malaman ang mga kailangan, bago pumunta sa Osaka. Ang babaeng phone operator, na matagal ng nirereklamo dahil sa hindi magandang pakikitungo sa mga tumatawag, sa halip na tanggalin, ay lalo pang kinukupkop ni ConGen Lopez. Ang trunkline telephone system ng konsulado ay makaluma at hindi mai-upgrade para maging interactive. Ang official website ay hindi kumpleto.

Bukod sa maraming pagkukulang bilang isang opisyal ng gobyerno, kalat na ang balita na siya ay may kasong kinakaharap sa Sandiganbayan, dahil sa pagpalsipika ng kanyang DIPLOMA. Lumabas sa imbestigasyon ng Ombudsman noon pang 2009 na hindi siya nagtapos ng kolehiyo. Dapat niyang patunayang nagtapos siya at mayroong civil service eligibility habang nasa Pilipinas, at hindi habang nanunungkulan bilang pinakamataas na opisyal ng pamahalaan ng Pilipinas sa Western Japan.

Napalaking kahihiyan ang bagay na ito, hindi lamang para sa mga Pilipino sa Japan, kung hindi pati na rin sa mga Hapon. Maraming Hapon na asawa ng mga Pilipino ang dati nang pumupuna sa baba ng uri ng serbisyo ng konsulado, na lalong nagalit nang malaman ang dungis na ito sa pangalan ng ating bansa. Ang lahat ng ito ay hindi binigyang pansin ng DFA Secretary.

Ang bilang ng mga Pilipino sa Western Japan na 80,000 ay isa na sa pinakamalaki sa buong mundo, kung kaya hindi dapat ipagwalang-bahala ng DFA ang pangit na pumumuno ng Consul General sa Osaka. Kung ayaw gumalaw ng DFA dahil isa sa kanilang opisyal ang nasasangkot, panahon na upang iparating natin sa mas nakakataas ang ating DEMAND para palitan ang Consul General na ito, bilang unang hakbang para maisa-ayos ang pamamalakad ng konsulado.

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Maura HallBy:
Politics and GovernmentIn:
Petition target:
President Noynoy Aquino, Head, Executive Department, Republic of the Philippines

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