OFW Rights Advocate Succumbs to Cancer
by : Bien Custodio
Alfredo Jaboli Ganapin(August 11, 1961 – December 20, 2004), one of the most active champions of the rights and welfare of migrant Filipino workers, has died of cancer. He was 43.
Ganapin had his last seizure at 4:45 p.m. on December 20, 2004 after almost a month of confinement at the Faisal Specialist Hospital’s intensive care unit in Riyadh, his colleagues said.
His wife, Anamie, and sister Alice Ganapin, together with the medical staff of ICU MS 14, were at his bedside when he passed away.
“He is passionate to a cause and a very well organized person,” said Mike Bolos, a co-convenor of Ganapin at International Coalition on Overseas Filipinos Voting Rights (ICOFVR).
Bolos remembered Ganapin as one who had “an eagle’s eye for details and always strived for perfection.”
“He is a big loss to the organizations that he belongs to and we will sorely miss him,” said Bolos.
“Ka Alfred is a gallant advocate and a fighter in support to what he believes is right,” said Alkhobar-based Gani Manalo.
Despite his busy schedule, Ganapin, spent a lot of time campaigning for the enactment of the Philippine Absentee Voting Law. Ganapin arrived in the Kingdom in August 1991 as a veterinarian. He worked at the production center, veterinary vaccine, laboratory department of the Ministry of Agriculture.
He was also a pioneer member of Progressive Times Group, and an original moderator of eLagda-Riyadh, proponent of e-Ladga “Erap Resign Movement, and a Namfrel volunteer during the absentee voting exercise in May.
He and his colleagues were also volunteers of the Pusong Mamon Task Force, which is helping distressed Filipino workers in the Kingdom, and the migrant workers’ advocacy group CMA.
“I am truly saddened and shocked by this news. Alfred was such a sober and rational advocate of migrants’ rights and he will be remembered,” e-mailed Jalilo dela Torre, a diplomat formerly based in Riyadh and now in Tel-Aviv.
Ronnie Abeto, a friend of Ganapin’s and a colleague in the advocacy, now based in Yanbu, remembered how frustrated Alfred was during the May election regarding the future of the Philippines with the kind of candidates running for the top position of government.
“Higit sa lahat, si Alfred Ganapin ay isang simbolo ng katapangan, ng katapatan at ng katatagan (More than anything else, Alfred Ganapin was a symbol of courage, truthfulness and firmness,” said Abeto.
Ellene Sana of Central for Migrant Advocacy (CMA) said that Alfred was not just an advocate but also a poet.
“He is a dear friend who cheered me up when I was down,” added Sana, who is based in Manila.
Vic Barrazona, who appealed for blood donation when Ganapin was undergoing series of biopsy at KFSH, remembered him as one of the original individuals who launched “Suportahan Ta Ka!” a project which aims to help female distressed OFWs in Bahay Kalinga.
“He also participated in the round table discussion of Overseas Absentee Voting in Manila last July,” said Barrazona.
- OFW Rights Advocate Succumbs to Cancer by : Bien Custodio