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Runaway OFW Rape Victim Denied POLO Assistance?

In a nation run by fraudulent cheats robbing the Philippine citizenry out of opportunity to pursue legitimate decent livelihood, Filipinos especially women are forced to seek employment in foreign lands. Armed with courageous sheer determination to escape poverty quite a number of people are left with few options or luxury of choosing where they end up.

In December of 2008, B&E Manpower Services located in Pedro Gil, Manila in deployed “Anna” (not her real name) 28 years old from Calumpang, Marikina to work as domestic helper in Al Khobar, in the eastern part of Saudi Arabia. Just three weeks upon her arrival she was sexually abused by her employer repeatedly for the past three months, until she escaped her harrowing experience through the help of her hew found friends on February of 2009. Anna’s sad experience not an isolated case as reported by John Monterona in his Facebook account below:
Migrante Rights and Welfare committee records showed there are an average of 2 -3 reported OFW-domestic helper cases of rape every month aside from labor-related cases. Wondering why the RP government under the Arroyo administration is doing nothing about it!
Instead of assisting rape victims there are serious allegations that POLO (Philippine Overseas Labor Office) official and a staff the agency tasked to assist distressed OFW’s (Overseas Filipino Worker) are refusing and abandoning the victims to fend for their own is just inhumane and cold. Rape victims can’t afford to be choosy on who should help them especially in a country where victims can be at the receiving end of trumped up charges because women in that part of the globe have no legal standing against men. Below is the disturbing newspaper account:
“OFW Anna told us that a Philippine Overseas Labor Official and a staff scolded her for asking help from Migrante, and for not trusting them saying to her ‘it’s all up to her now’. But it should not be like that, the POLO or RP consular office in the Eastern Region should give her all the support and assistance,” he said.
This is a very serious and disturbing allegation; a probe should be conducted to determine if the allegations were true. If found that the official and the staff did refuse and abandoned the distressed OFW they should be recalled, dismissed with all their privileges and benefits forfeited and charges should be filed in court for their criminal behavior of dereliction of duty.

How can the government send such incompetent cold hearted individuals to foreign post at that surely tell a lot on the kind of governance the Philippines has to offer our OFWs. This is the treatment they get in return in exchange for the sacrifice of leaving their family behind in their desire to better their lot while facing the risk and danger of abuse in many forms. This is what they get for their sacrifice in keeping afloat the sinking economy of a nation so wracked by incompetence and corrupt officials enriching themselves at the expense of the people mired in poverty and misery.

Rape victims does not have a choice but to escape their employer, unfortunately when they do that they are considered “runaways” and lose their work status in the process. As such there is fear that once they are found by their employer they can be sent to jail and that is not an unfounded fear based on the numerous past experiences of distressed OFWs in similar situations. Anna is currently staying with a friend and the POLO officials and staff should act expediently in assisting Anna and not let their political or ideological inclinations determine their action or inaction because the NGOs ideology has no bearing on their mandate to assist distressed OFWs. One’s ideology or political leanings does not erase one’s citizenship and the government and their agencies tasked to assist distressed OFWs have a moral and legal obligation to assist all their citizens in dire situations. In case these morons are forgetting or are too clueless like their vindictive wine and food binger president they can’t be choosy or selective on whom they should assist.

Patronage politics has exacted a toll on every aspect of Philippine governance with the appointment of officials and staff in foreign post not for their qualification but a form of patronage reward thus we have incompetent fools manning sensitive post. It is high time to call the attention of our public servants who gets paid with people’s blood, sweat and tears to do their job. Send them a clear message that we are watching how they resolve Anna’s case, below is their contact information:

Philippine Consulate General Jeddah 24/7 Hotline: 0515016318

POLO Jeddah 24/7 Hotline: 0515124797, (02) 665-8462 ext. 101

E-mail Address: owwajeddah@diplomats.com

Philippine Embassy Riyadh 24/7 Hotline: (01) 4823559

E-mail Address: filembry@sbm.net.sa

POLO Riyadh Contact Number: (01) 483-2201 to 03, 0535208306
E-mail Address: owwa_ruh@yahoo.com

POLO ALKHOBAR
POLO Communication Center, Al Khobar Email:
  • polo_alkhobar@dole.gov.ph
  • polo_ero@yahoo.com
Labor Attache II 897-9515, 894-1846 (9663) 899-5714 DAVID DES T. DICANG Labor Attache I 894-1846, 897-6105
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