The Philippine Embassy legal team has filed a case against the female employer who allegedly tortured a Filipina household service worker (HSW) for three years. “We filed a case for (frustrated) homicide. According to our lawyers, the intent to kill is very clear,” stated Philippine Consul General Atty. Raul H. Dado.
A warrant of arrest against the employer will be out soon and the suspect has been placed under travel ban. “Our strategy is to go for maximum penalty on this,” stressed Dado.
The HSW, only identified as Almira ran to the embassy for help last June 20 after enduring alleged severe maltreatment the hands of her female employer. She is now staying at the Philippine Embassy shelter in Hateen and slowly recuperating from the wounds, burns and bruises on various parts of her body caused by flat iron, steel, tennis racket, pencil or any hard object that her female employer used to hit her. “I’m doing a bit fine now. I can eat regularly now. I sleep well now. They’re taking good care of me and my wounds are getting better now,” stated Almira.
Almira claimed she endured three years of torture from her female Kuwaiti employer. Her body bore proof of the years of physical abuse. “I’m not giving up. I’ll fight my case till the end. I want justice,” she said.
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) ordered the preventive suspension of the agency for allegation that it deployed an underage Almira to Kuwait and that it failed to monitor her situation with her employer.
For its part, the agency stressed that based on documents submitted by Almira, she was of the right age when deployed to Kuwait. The agency also denied failure in monitoring the HSW. Almira arrived in Kuwait on December 9, 2011.
She admitted that she made it appear in her passport that she was born on Aug 15, 1987, and not 1993, because she was eager to work abroad. “I want to go abroad because I want to help my family. I want to build a house and send my older brother to school,” she pointed out.
The agency promised to help Almira and likewise provide financial assistance to her family in the Philippines until her case is resolved.
Meanwhile, various advocacy groups in Kuwait are calling for a moratorium in the deployment of household service workers to Kuwait. “How many OFWs have to suffer severe maltreatment over and over again? How many ‘Almiras’ have to suffer and become victims of abuse? Our HSWs don’t have any protection here. It’s not all about money but it’s about our dignity as Filipino people.
We are calling on our Philippine government officials to declare a moratorium on the deployment of HSWs to Kuwait,” urged SANDIGAN Founder and Chairman Ann Abunda. Philippine Labor Attache Atty.
Cesar Chavez Jr said they are now assessing the situation. “We are assessing the situation, reviewing what would be the courses of action in the future as regards the deployment of household service workers but what we are taking into consideration is the welfare of our domestic workers,” he said.
Source: Arab Times