PH to air ‘Quezon’s Game’ in Israel
MANILA, Philippines — Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Monday said he was committed to reminding Israelis of the late President Manuel L. Quezon’s act of kindness towards more than 1,000 Jews fleeing the Holocaust during the Nazi regime shortly before the start of World War II.
In an organizational meeting between the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Israel should be reminded of the late President’s gesture.
Quezon had allowed the entry of German Jews, who were escaping the Nazi persecution, and provided them with visas and safe shelter in the Philippines.
“Maybe they will be more humane in treating our Filipino children there,” Lacson said.
This developed after Sen. Francis Tolentino asked the DFA for an update on some 100 overstaying Filipino women migrant workers and their children currently facing deportation from Israel.
The Filipino mothers were left with no legal status after their working permits were not renewed when they gave birth to their children.
“I think the movie is called ‘Quezon’s Game’ if i’m not mistaken. I was thinking…maybe it’s timely to make arrangement for that to be shown in Tel Aviv,” Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon suggested.
“A little effort on the part of our embassy there, for a little expense may show how ungrateful they are if they proceed with what they’re trying to do,” he added.
Locsin then said that the suggestion of the senators “will be done.”
“Quezon risked even more than his life, he risked his political career. For those of us who come from politics, believe me, that’s worth more than life,” Locsin said.
“He did it that he time when we were a colony of the United States, he had no authority to bring in the Jews but he took them in because it was the decent thing to do,” he further noted.
In a tweet Monday afternoon, Locsin said he would ask an Israeli television station to air the said film “so the old Israelis our caregivers take care of can see the kind of people Filipinos have always been.”
“Or else I will write the American-Jewish societies to crack the whip. I have many friends among them,” he added.
Will ask an Israeli TV station to air it so the old Israelis our caregivers take care of can see the kind of people Filipinos have always been. Or else I will write the American-Jewish societies to crack the whip. I have many friends among them. https://t.co/VABlTiBjJb
— Teddy Locsin Jr. (@teddyboylocsin) August 19, 2019
According to DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Sarah Lou Arriola, the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv is working closely with the Philippine immigration and Israel’s border authority “to ensure that deportations are carried out in a just and humane manner.”
She added that the DFA is coordinating with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) for the reintegration of the deported families.
She further noted that a school in Israel is providing education to Filipino children and other expatriate children “for them to understand and speak Tagalog and at the same time for them to be able to be more familiar with our culture in case of reintegration.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.