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Filipina dies alone at employer’s home

Posted on 21 April 2018 No comments

Mary Jane and husband Noel
By The SUN

A Filipina domestic worker who died in her employers’ flat while they were away on a holiday will be making her final voyage home to Ilocos Norte late this month, according to her aunt.

But officers at the Consulate’s assistance to nationals section and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration-Hong Kong said on Apr 20 they were still waiting for the undertaker of Mary Jane Respicio Jamon to transmit her repatriation papers.

Police said they received a report about 4:15pm on April 4 that a 44-year-old foreign woman was found collapsed inside a unit on Cloud View Road, North Point. Officers who responded certified that the woman was dead at the scene.

The case was classified as “dead body found”. Initial investigation revealed no suspicious circumstances surrounding her death, the Police Public Relations Bureau said in reply to an inquiry by The SUN.
      
Jamon’s aunt Alona V. Agustin said police called by the female employer’s father had to force the main door open to enter the flat after phone calls to the maid went unanswered. They found her body on the toilet floor.

Agustin said the employers tried to call up Jamon as they were about to return to Hong Kong to tell her to ask their Filipino driver to pick them up.

Alarmed that no one was answering, the female employer called up her father and asked him to go to the flat. But the old man found the door double-locked and dialed 999.

Agustin, wife of the deceased’s paternal cousin, said police told her that Jamon must have just urinated when she collapsed because she was not able to flush the toilet.

“Siguro nahilo siya kasi may lahi silang high blood,” Agustin said, adding that the victim often had flu. She said Jamon was supposed to join her and some friends for barbecue on Apr 5, a public holiday.

Agustin said she saw a big bump on Jamon’s forehead and dried blood and broken tooth in her mouth when she checked on the remains at Victoria Funeral Parlor in Kennedy Town.

Herself a helper here, Agustin said she had been liaising with the police, the Consulate, the funeral parlor and Jamon’s employers as she processed the documents needed for shipping Jamon’s remains to her home in Barangay Sta Maria, Piddig.

She said a public viewing of the deceased OFW will be held on Apr 26 at 2pm to 2:45pm, and the shipping of her remains via a Philippine Airlines flight will take place the following morning.

Officers at the ATN and OWWA, however, said the final schedule is not yet known as the undertaker, Tim Fook Funeral, has not yet handed the repatriation papers to the Consulate.

Jamon was born on Oct 20, 1973. She was married to Noel P. Jamon from Cabatuan, Isabela, with whom she had a 5-year-old adopted child.

Agustin said Jamon had worked for her employers for six years and had just signed her fourth contract with the family. Jamon went home for a vacation in the Philippines last year.

The aunt is waiting for a copy of Jamon’s birth certificate and marriage contract so that OWWA Hong Kong can send her long service pay and salary to her husband.

Agustin also told The SUN about her difficulty conveying the news to relatives because she did not know who to inform first. So, she relayed it to Jamon’s sister in Finland, so she could inform her other siblings in Canada and Hawaii. – Marites Palma and Vir Lumicao




Officers grilled about Filipina theft suspect's claim of repeated strip-searches

Posted on No comments

Two of the strip-searches allegedly happened at Western Police Station
by Vir B. Lumicao 

 
A Filipina maid said she was “ashamed, stressed, and shivering in cold” when several police officers strip-searched her several times in the early hours of Jan 3 after arresting her for the alleged theft of $500 and a lip balm.

But five of six officers who Margie Lotino reportedly pointed at during an identification parade at the Wanchai police station on Apr 13 denied they had gone beyond the body search level stipulated in police guidelines.

Lotino, giving evidence during her trial in Eastern Court on Apr 20 for theft, was emotional each time she was queried by both prosecution and defense lawyers about the alleged strip-searches.
Another body search reportedly happened in Wanchai Station


She said that during two separate body searches in the toilet of her employers’ flat in Pokfulam, various officers took turns ordering her to strip down to her underwear. She was reportedly told to take off her top clothes first, then her lower garments.

“They told me to take off my jacket and shirt, and then they pulled my bra and looked into it. Then they ordered me to take off my trousers and socks. They pulled my panty and also looked into it,” Lotino said, breaking into a sob.

At one point, Magistrate Simon K. F. Ho called a break as the Filipina, who is in her 30s, became too emotional.

She positively identified five female officers who allegedly conducted the body searches on her on four separate occasions: first in her employers’ house, second at the Western Police Station, third at the Wanchai Police Station, and fourth, back at the Western Police Station.

She also identified a male officer who signed the custody search document, which contained details of the searches.

Earlier on Mar. 13, Lotino pleaded not guilty to stealing a $500 bill from her employer on Jan. 2, claiming she had been set up.

Lotino said she found the bill on the floor while she was cleaning the master bedroom, and put it on a cabinet top in the living room.  She said she told her employer about finding the money when the latter got home that evening. The employer, who was then in the bathroom, reportedly thanked the maid but reached out for the money with a towel, a suggestion that she did not want her own fingerprints on the bill.

Not long afterwards, police came and Lotino and her belongings were searched.

Lotino said she was forced to sign a cautioned statement admitting the offence because she was cold, hungry, and was under intense pressure from the repeated body searches and interrogation she was made to endure.

“You better admit you stole the money and I will send you to the Philippines,” on officer allegedly told her at one point, but the maid said she insisted she was telling the truth.

Lotino said during one search at Western Police Station, a male officer entered the room while she was only wearing a bra and panties. In another search, a male officer came in with a pair of scissors and cut the cord of her jogging pants so it could be pulled down easier.

She also complained that her wrists hurt because she was handcuffed tightly when she was transferred to Wanchai Police Station, then back to Western Station. She said she had spotty bleeding and developed a lump in her left hip after the searches.

The defense said the investigation of the maid began at 1:30am on Jan 3 and finished only at 3:15pm on the same day. The defense lawyer challenged the cautioned statement, saying there were several parts that the defendant disowned.

Lotino said she signed the cautioned statement even if her mind was blank because she was not feeling well. “I told the (Tagalog) interpreter that I was stressed, no sleep because they banged my bed; I felt ashamed because they looked at my private parts. I felt cold, they did not give me proper food and water,” Lotino said sobbing.

She said the investigators let her sign parts of the statement without letting her read them. At one point, she said, the interpreter told her to just write what she dictated.

Before the Filipina took the witness stand, six of the officers she pointed to in the police ID line-up were called in to give evidence. Four of them answered “disagree” or “I can’t recall” when asked the same questions about searching the helper bodily.

Each of them was also asked about the first guideline in the conduct of body searches, and the reply was Level One, meaning a search only of a suspect’s outer clothes.

The investigator, when asked why she did not make a custody search report, admitted she forgot to do it but saw a higher officer prepare the document after the examination. 

The magistrate ordered both parties to make written submissions when the hearing resumes on May 6, and extended Lotino’s bail.

Pinoy technician convicted of indecent assault on Filcom leader

Posted on 19 April 2018 No comments

By Vir B. Lumicao
Case was heard at Eastern Court 

A technician was convicted in Eastern Court on Apr 18 of two counts of indecent assault on a fellow Filipino, a female domestic worker known to many as an active leader in the community.

Jesnar Bade, a 55-year-old Hong Kong resident, was ordered held in custody until May 2 pending a community service report. 

The defense lawyer had requested the report as part of a bid to help Bade escape a prison term, but Magistrate Cheung Kit-yee said a jail sentence was still an option.

When contacted by The SUN, the victim identified in court only as Miss X, said she was moved to tears by the outcome of the case. She was not in court for the verdict.

But earlier, Miss X, a mother of three, gave evidence as the prosecution’s primary witness, while her employer’s elderly mother-in-law was the second witness.

Miss X told the court how Bade had embraced her from behind twice and tried to hold her breasts as she asked him to teach her how to bypass the alarm system in her employer’s house in Mid-Levels in July last year.

She said she covered her breasts with her arms, then elbowed him with her right arm, while saying, “Kuya, huwag ganyan! (Big brother, back off!).”

“OK, but I’ll have to kiss you then,” the defendant allegedly replied before eventually stepping away.

To make matters worse, the defendant sent her a WhatsApp message about half an hour later saying he had an erection because of her.

In her testimony, the elderly woman said she called the manager of the security service company, G4S, and asked him to come to her house after Miss X showed her the text message. When the manager saw the message, he helped the elderly woman call the police.

The defense did not call any witness.

In a written verdict that she read out in court, the magistrate said she found the complainant credible because her evidence was straightforward and clear.

The magistrate rejected the defendant’s claim that he had only tapped Miss X on the shoulder and did not embrace her. The magistrate said it was clear from Miss X’s evidence that she did not know the defendant, and had talked to him only for the first time when the technician went to her employer’s house,

“I consider it unacceptable and unreasonable for a male stranger to embrace a woman from behind and to do it twice,” the magistrate said, as she declared the defendant guilty on both charges.

Bade’s wife, who was in court, wiped off tears on hearing that her husband had been convicted.

The defense lawyer said in mitigation that Bade was a first offender, had a clear record, a good family. His wife is said to be a bank executive, his elder daughter is working, and his younger daughter and his son are studying.

He said Bade had worked for the security company for 24 years and had a good work record.

The lawyer vigorously argued for community service to give his client an opportunity to show his remorse.

 

Expired nga ba?

Posted on 18 April 2018 No comments
Bago pa lang si Glor sa amo at isa sa mga tungkulin niya ay ang ipaalala at magpainom ng gamot dito. Diabetic ang amo at makakalimutin na rin kung minsan. Unang araw pa lang niya ay tiningnan na niya ang expiration date ng mga gamot. Nakita niya ang isa na expired na ng ilang buwan kaya ipinaalam niya ito sa amo, ngunit sinabi lang ng matanda na “just keep it”.

Pagkalipas ang anim na buwan ay nagpa check up ang amo at pagdating sa bahay ay sinabi nito na iinumin na ang gamot na ipinatabi sa kasambahay. Nagulat si Glor dahil halos isang taon nang expired ang gamot, kaya sinabi niya sa amo ang, “Maam, are you sure?”. Sagot naman ng amo, “It’s ok, you know it’s very expensive.”

Ininom nga ng amo ang gamot at sa awa ng Diyos ay mukhang wala namang naging masamang epekto ito.

Nang ikuwento ni Glor sa isang kaibigan ang tungkol sa gamot ay nagtawanan na lang sila nang sabihan niya na kaartehan lang para yang expiration na yan sa gamot, dahil kapag mahal pala ay ok pa rin. Sabi naman ng

kaibigan, wala naman siyang dapat ikabahala dahil sinunod lang niya ang utos ng amo.
Lingid sa dalawa, hindi naman talaga agad nawawalan ng bisa o nakakasama ang mga gamot na expired na dahil parang gabay lang iyon sa mga pasyente.

Marami ang may bisa pa ng ilang buwan pagkatapos ng nakasaad na expiration date. Si Glor ay tubong Bacolod at nagtratrabaho sa Sai Ying Pun at magtatapos pa lang ng kontrata sa among Intsik na may dalawang anak. – Ellen Asis

Pinays end Indons’ dominance of Kudarat

Posted on No comments
By Vir B. Lumicao

A Filipina squad has won the championship for the first time in the Sultan Kudarat Friendship Team women’s volleyball tournament, which was previously dominated by Indonesians.

The organizers held the tournament on Apr 5 at Fa Hui Park Playground in Mong Kok to raise funds for a former Bicolano OFW who is cancer-stricken and in need of help, Sultan Kudarat team president Jhergin Barcelona told The SUN.

She said half of the proceeds will go to a project of the team for Cavite youths.

“We play for fun and, at the same time, nakakatulong kami kahit sa maliiit na bagay. Isa lang layunin ng aming grupo ang ipakita sa mga taong may mabuting puso na may paraan para makatulong sa mga nangangailangan,” Barcelona said.  

Team Philippines’ D’Stitch unleashed a barrage of volleys as they scored 25 points against their Indonesian rivals Metal, who trailed the Filipinas by 15 points.

D’Stitch and Metal reached the championship by virtue of their 1-2 finish in the elimination round to be paired in the best of four, in which Filipino teams Defenders and Realsmashers faced off.

Defenders played a thrilling match against Realsmashers, but in the end shook off the challengers, 30-26, to emerge as second runner-up. Realsmashers automatically took the third runner-up position.

The four teams earlier defeated their competitors in the elimination round to enter the best of four games.
Barcelona said 13 teams in all participated in the friendly one-day league, the fourth since Sultan Kudarat was founded in October last year.

The teams were Dolphins, Abstract, NP Spikers, SET HK, DBozz, New Style, Realsmashers A, Realsmashers B, and Spinners.

Barcelona did not say how much they collected for the cancer patient, Imelda Aguila, who is undergoing chemotherapy. She said they received the request for help from members of another team.

Makilahok!

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CARITAS PROGRAMS
Health Concern Day (for Women FDW)
Body check including mass body index, blood pressure, glucose and stress test, and muscoskeletal assessment
May 20 (Sunday) 2:30-4:30pm. Test results out on May 27, same time. Fee of $20 will cover tests and handouts
Venue : Caritas Fortress Hill Centre. G/F., No. 28A Fortress Hill Road, Fortress Hill, Hong Kong.

Saturday Basic Cantonese
May 12 – Aug 25 2018 (16 lessons in total)
Time   : 10:00 - 13:00 (Total 50 hours)
Target : Ethnic minorities in HK with HKID
Fee     : HK$100 / head including materials (CSSA recipient : HK$50). Venue : Caritas Fortress Hill Centre. G/F., No. 28A Fortress Hill Road, Fortress Hill, Hong Kong.
                       
Saturday Basic Chinese Writing
Jun 9 – Sept 22, 2018 (16 lessons in total)
Time   : 10:00 - 13:00 (Total 50 hours)
Target : Ethnic minorities in HK with HKID
Fee     : $100 / head including materials (CSSA recipient : HK$50). Venue : Caritas Shek Kip Mei Centre. Rm. 107, 1/F, Tai Hang Tung Community Centre, 17 Tong Yam Street, Shek Kip Mei, KLN
For queries, call 2147-5988.

For Tinikling Lovers: The Tinikling Group of Migrants is in need of  male/female performers with or without experience, no age limit. TGM  performs mostly for LCSD events. Interested person may contact Marie Velarde @ 67175379, Emz Bautista @ 98512804and Rowena Solir @97331049.

Attention: Rugby enthusiasts:The Exiles Touch Rugby group is inviting rugby enthusiasts to join the team. We practice every Sunday at the Happy Valley Pitch 8 from 5pm to 8pmat the Happy Valley Pitch 8.  For those interested please contact: Ghelai 65414432whatsapp/sms or click “like” on Exiles HK facebook page

Wanted: softball players: The all-Filipina softball team is now open for tryouts. Those who are interested, especially those with prior experience in the game may contact Team Captain Don Gaborno 5318-5113

An invitation to play volleyball:Calling sport-minded Filipinas who want to play volleyball. A team is being organized by a group led by Shane Key Gonzales to compete in upcoming volleyball leagues in Hong Kong. Interested parties may contact Shane at 54498080.




What's on where

Posted on No comments
HKMU 7 Decades

With Journey’s Arnel Pineda as special guest
Apr 29, 1-6 pm, HK Cultural Centre Piazza, Tsim Sha Tsui
Organized by: HK Musicians’ Union and Philippine Consulate General. Sponsors: Philippine Airlines, Heliservices, Parsons Music and The SUN

 ‘Are You OK’ Graduation
(Public Education and Community Launching Ceremony)
Apr 22, 10:45am – 2pm, Chater Garden, Central
OFWs who finished 4 Sundays of training on human trafficking and illegal recruitment will receive certificates)
Organizers: International Office for Migration, Equal Opportunities Commission, RainLily and Christian Action
Free entrance

Beyond Myself Exhibition
Apr 26 - May 14, The Hive Spring (2 MTR stops from Admiralty) . Open to the public. Organized by: Enrich HK
This international art exhibition showcases the work of Filipino domestic worker artists in Hong Kong and London, telling their own stories of hardship, sacrifice, struggle, empowerment or achievement. The exhibition comes to Hong Kong for two weeks only following highly successful events at Goldsmiths, University of London and UP Vargas Museum in Manila. Kick-off ceremony on Apr 26 is free but a voluntary donation of $100 will be requested. RSVP: http://bit.ly/BeyondMyselfHKLaunch Email info@enrichhk.org

CARD HK Graduation
Apr 29, 1-5pm, Bayanihan Centre Kennedy Town
Graduates will come from batches 45-47
Future Training Schedule:
June 10, Livelihood Training
June 23, Saturday, Financial Literacy
Venue: Bayanihan Centre Kennedy Town
To register, call 95296392 or 54238196
Organized by: CARD HK Foundation

Professional Development for Child Care Workers Training
May 13, 12nn-5pm. POLO Community Hall, 18th floor, Mass Mutual Tower, 33 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai. Only shortlisted participants who confirmed their attendance will be allowed to take part. Maximum no of participants: 50
Reminder
(1) Make sure you are available from 12:00nn-5pm. If you cannot commit on the said time, inform POLO so your slot can be offered to others who are free and eager to join the training.
(2) Please be at the venue one hour before the start of the training. Latecomers will not be accommodated
 (3) Walk-ins will not be entertained

Bb. Turismo 2018 (Flag Queen 2018)
May 20. Lung Wo Road, Central
Organizers: Federation of Luzon Active Group with One Visayas HK. For details, check or message Flag Luzon FB page

Free Zumba Class
Sundays, 10am-11am (or stay longer if you want)
Pier 10, Central, Open to everyone
Offered by: Kayumanggi Zumba Fitness Group HK

Free Yoga Class 
Sundays, 8:30am-9:30am, Pier 10, Central
Open to everyone
Organized by: Andappan Yoga Community

Fate slams rival in knock-out game

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By Emz Frial
Hong Kong’s only all-Filipino softball team, Fate, scored big in its first game in the Festival of Sports, a knock-out game held annually by the Hong Kong Softball Association, separate from its regular league.
Fate scored a decisive win over its local rivals, Minions, 18-1, in a game that was called off after only three innings in accordance with regulations.

The locals batted first. Four players managed to stand on the batting plate but only one, Chong Yin, got to run the bases. However, Chong was caught out before she could reach home base.  
Myra Japitana scoots to safety on the home base. 

When it was their turn to bat, the Filipinas immediately scored 5 points, courtesy of Myra Japitana,  Jeremiah Gabales,  Don Gaborno, Bambee Abadilla and Maribel Sitchon.

The inning ended in their favour, 5-0 .

In the next inning, a pitching error by Gaborno gave batter Chan Po Yan a free walk to the first base. She later managed to run to second base but was stuck there when the next three batters were caught on pass balls or standing out.

Taking over at the home plate, Fate piled up 6 more scores. Those who made this possible were Belinda Ganitano,  Japitana,  Eunice Locop,  Gabales,  Abadilla and Sitchon. That ended the second inning at 11-0.
Minions’ Chong Yin did not lose faith, and managed to score for her team in the third inning.

But it was too late, as the unstoppable Fate retaliated with 7 more points. Those who scored were Japitana,  Locop,  Gabales,  Gaborno, Sitchon, Delia Elbanbuena – and ninth batter Editha Hidalgo who ended the game with a home run.

The umpire then called both teams to line up before declaring an end to the game as per regulations.
On April 15 Fate will have a game versus local Celsius at 12:15pm at Shek Kip Mie.

Bello scored for likening dead OFW in freezer to ‘ice cream’

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Bello with  Presidential Communications Asst Sec Mocha Uson at the Bong Go event

By Daisy CL Mandap


Filipino community leaders in Hong Kong have begun an online campaign to get Philippine Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III kicked from his post, allegedly because of widespread corruption and his callous attitude towards overseas Filipino workers.

Among the grounds cited by the so-called “Oust Bello Movement” were the labor chief’s alleged use of the words “ice cream” to describe Joanna Demafelis, the OFW who was killed and stuffed in a freezer by his employers in Kuwait.

“He is callous and insensitive to the plight of OFWs. In shocking remarks he made after gatecrashing a meet-and-greet session between HK OFWs and Special Assistant to the President Bong Go on Apr 12, Bello told the OFWs that they should prepare well for their future, and not wait until they turned into “ice cream” like Joanna Demafelis…before they became self-sufficient,” said the group’s statement issued on Apr. 18.
MinFed officers with SAP Bong Go (in red shirt)
The allegation was supported by several leaders who were at the meeting, including officers of the Mindanao Federation, who organized the event. One MinFed officer told The SUN several guests, including those who were part of President Duterte’s entourage in his Hong Kong visit, had expressed shock at Bello’s insensitive remarks.

The statement further quoted Bello as saying that Demafelis’ family had become instant millionaires since many people moved by the OFW’s unfortunate death had given them money.

 Bello with HK employment agency operators
Foremost among the grounds cited by the group, however, was Bello’s firm stand on the recall of his Labor Attache to Hong Kong, Jalilo dela Torre. The group alleged that the recall “appears to have been prompted by a complaint from a recruiter who failed to get the Labor Attaché to approve a job order for bar dancers in the red light district of Wan Chai”.

Despite assurances from Go and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano that Dela Torre would not be removed from his post, the group said Bello is adamant his labor attaché must return home to answer allegations of impropriety.

“Is this the result of money changing hands between the agencies and Secretary Bello?,” asked the group. “That could only be the case”.

Five other grounds were cited by the group in calling for Bello’s sacking, including his failure to comply with promised relief for OFWs, such as the issuance of the OFW ID to replace the overseas employment certificate, and the payment of rebates to longtime members of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administraiton.

In addition, Bello is accused of engaging in corruption when he abruptly halted OEC processing last year, and when he took over the granting of direct-hire exemptions to Filipino professionals who found their own jobs abroad.


Another ground cited was Bello’s alleged use of his position to appoint family members and relatives of influential people as labor attaches in key posts abroad, despite their lack of qualification and failure to meet the minimum requirements for the job. The group alleged that the prized posts are traditionally given as rewards to labor officials who had served well in difficult assignments in Asia and the Middle East.

More damning were the allegations that Bello had connived with agencies in an effort to trick President Duterte into lifting the deployment ban to Kuwait, and with employers’ groups to stall efforts to end work contractualization.

The statement alleged that Bello has gone against the recommendation of his own top officials who feel that the working and living conditions of Filipino workers in Kuwait have not improved.

“This could only be due to the influence of his known close friend, Lucy Sermonia, president of the association of agencies deploying workers to Kuwait. Together, they have misled the President by persuading him to sign an MOU which is empty of substantive provisions,” said the statement.

Bello was also accused of adopting a draft executive order made by employers’ groups in the long-running campaign to end work contractualization.

“His open collaboration with big companies and employers’ groups has served as the main stumbling block to ending contractualization, a key campaign promise by President Duterte”, said the statement.

Among the initial signatories of the campaign to get Bello booted from the Cabinet were Bayan Hong Kong and Macau, Mindanao Federation, Global Alliance, Unifil-Migrante Hong Kong, Filipino Migrant Workers Association, and the Global Ministers Association.






Bethune House on edge as resources dry up

Posted on 17 April 2018 No comments
By Vir B. Lumicao

A shelter for distressed migrant women workers in Hong Kong is on the brink of closing down as its financial resources continue to dwindle.

According to executive director Edwina Antonio of the Bethune House Migrant Women’s Refuge, the only other option left to them is to borrow money to keep going.

“Magsasara kami, o mangungutang para ipagpatuloy ang shelter,” Antonio replied when asked by The SUN what measures they intend to take in the face of financial distress.

Bethune House Migrant Women’s Refuge executive director Edwina Antonio with supporters and wards.
On April 1, Antonio renewed her appeal for financial help when she addressed the Luzon Alliance International and Global Alliance event on Chater Road.

It is only through the community’s support that the 32-year-old Bethune House is able to continue serving the scores of women who come to it for shelter when they are driven out by their employers, she said.

In early March, Antonio took to social media to appeal for financial help, saying Bethune’s cash resources would dry up next month.

Antonio said the charity must raise $120,000 each month to pay for the rent, utilities and other operating costs of its two shelters in Sheung Wan and Jordan Road.

The amount goes to food, personal hygiene products, medical attention, visa extension fee, transport and documentation needs of 15 or more residents in each of the two flats.

Despite the dire outlook for the shelter, Antonio continued her usual work advising migrant workers who approached her for advice on their particular problems.

Wards at the two shelters were at the Chater Road booth of Bethune House on Apr 1 urging mostly migrant workers passing by to contribute to Coins for Bethune.

The women had been terminated by their mostly local employers, with two of them accused of theft and a third one, of maltreating her young ward.

The theft cases are pending resolution in court while the maltreatment case had been dropped thrice by investigators for lack of evidence but has dragged on because the employer had allegedly amended her charge each time police dropped it.

Bethune House caters to helpers from the Philippines or Indonesia who are victims of abuse, illegal termination of contract, or accused of wrongdoing by their employers.

The shelter gives residents a full range of assistance, from drafting their complaints to reporting to the police, going to the hospital for a medical check-up, filing a claim in court, and attending court hearings.

During their stay, the wards are also taught their rights under the law, and the legal implications of their cases. In addition, they learn how to deal effectively with trauma, stress, anxiety and depression resulting from their experiences.

The wards are forbidden by law to work while their cases are pending, so, they totally rely on charity to remain in Hong Kong and fight their cases, Antonio said.

 She hoped that kind hearts would come to Bethune House’s rescue. Donations can be made by check payable to The Bethune House Migrant Women’s Refuge, Ltd. or by direct deposit to Hang Seng Bank S/A number 284-8-241309.

Antonio said all cash donations of $100 and above are tax deductible.

The Bethune House was set up in 1986 by the Mission for Migrant Workers initially to help distressed Filipino helpers. It now helps workers of other nationalities.

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