features from SOBRIETY for the PHILIPPINES:
(Without Fear or Favor)
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Migrante-Middle East said they receive reports of OFWs who died under questionable and vague circumstances on an average of two cases every month.
By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
MANILA – Another victim of a mysterious death while overseas, 22 year old Romelyn Eroy Ibanez’s body arrived home, with her left eye, tongue, brain, heart and internal organs missing, from Saudi Arabia on August 24, 2011 – almost a year after she died on September 2, 2010.
Romelyn was from North Cotabato. She was hired by the Solid Works Manpower Agency in Cotabato, it was stated in her contract that she would work as nursing aid for Wafa Al Harkaan and Dr. Sulta Al Otaibi Medical Polyclinic Co.. However she ended up as a domestic helper to an employer named Musfer Yahya Musfer Al-Abbas.
According to the death certificate, the cause of Romelyn’s death was suicide. An autopsy report issued by the Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia claimed that the cause of her death was “poisoning resulting from drinking Clorox acid resulting to complications.”
The Ministry’s findings contradicted the forensic exam made by a certain Dr. Mayma, which revealed that she sustained stab wounds and several cigarette burns. Dr. Mayma said in his report that “it is impossible for the subject OFW to commit suicide inflicting on herself several stab wounds and at the same time taking in acid.”
Two years after Romelyn’s death, her family still cries out for justice. Her sister Mira wrote Migrante – Middle East asking for an update on her sister’s case. She said she already asked the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) in North Cotabato and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) regional office but was not able to get any update on her sister’s case.
“We would want to know what happened to the reinvestigation of my sister’s case,” Mira wrote in her email to John Leonard Monterna, Migrante—Middle East regional coordinator.
“We went to OWWA to ask them (for an update) but they can’t give us any information. They have many files on my sister’s case but whenever I am there they cannot give me any explanation why they don’t have any update on my sister’s case,” she added.
Monterona lambasted the inaction of the government. “I was shocked and disgusted upon reading the email of Mira informing me that the OWWA in North Cotabato and the DFA regional office could not give an update on the reinvestigation,” said Monterona..... MORE
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