Family of OFW who died from maltreatment seeks justice

THE family of an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) from Bugallon, who recently died from infections of her wounds she suffered from maltreatment by her employer in Jeddah is asking the help of the government to seek justice.

According to Zenaida Ibasan, her daughter Rowena, 29 years old from Barangay Gueset in Bugallon, left last December 2017 to work as a domestic helper in Jeddah.

Her daughter had positive feedbacks about her employer in the first three months, being able to manage to send home her P19,000 monthly salary, but on the fourth month, she called her mother and her partner Joseph for help to contact OWWA because her employer already refused to give her salary and started beating her up.

The last time Rowena had called her family was last June, and it was to seek the help of the government because she was continuously being treated like a prisoner who was not provided food as well.

While her family was in a TV Network in Manila, waiting for their turn to be interviewed by Erwin Tulfo, Rowena called her mother on the phone to tell her she was already home in Bugallon.

Zenaida said she felt relieved on hearing her daughter’s voice after months of no contact.

On arriving home, Zenaida was shocked to see her daughter badly bruised, her feet were swollen and had open wounds from the constant beating she received from her female employer.

Zenaida said when her daughter managed to call the agency for help, and the agency promptly called her employer about Rowena’s call for help, her male employer brought her to the airport without nothing else but her passport and airline ticket.

Rowena met a fellow OFW seated beside her on the plane who accompanied her to the bus terminal in Pasay and gave her fare to get home to Bugallon.

On July 11, the day she got home, she was admitted at the Lingayen Community Hospital for treatment but Rowena decided to be discharged since she did not have money to pay to be confined. She left with only mefenamic acid for her home treatment.

Rowena continued to suffer from her swollen and rotten feet until July 20 and she complained of difficulty breathing. She was rushed to Region 1 Medical Center but Rowena died the following day, July 21.

Her doctors said she died from the infection on her wounds.

Rowena’s family is distressed by her sudden death and is asking government to seek justice for the physical abuse and maltreatment she was subjected to by her employer, and to demand payment for unpaid salaries and other damages. (Nora Dominguez)

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