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DH expelled by employer at dawn settles claim for $1,770

Posted on 23 August 2019 No comments
By Vir B. Lumicao

A Filipina helper who was driven out by her employer in the wee hours just 12 days since starting work, has agreed to settle her claims against the latter for $1,770, a tiny fraction of what she had originally asked for.

Aiza Bico said after agreeing to settle the case at the Labour Tribunal on Aug 23 that she just wanted “to end my torment once and for all.”

Bico tried, but failed, to convince the tribunal to order teh employer to refund her agency fees

Bico had originally asked for $14,031 from her employer Veronica Lau Wai-yi for unpaid wages, a month’s salary in lieu of notice, traveling allowance, one-way air ticket and refund for the agency fees that she paid in Manila.
But presiding officer David Chum only allowed the payment of the helper’s wages and other entitlements under the contract, minus the salary in lieu and agency fees which Bico had calculated at $7.615.38 (Php49,500).

“Why do you ask your employer to reimburse you when she had already paid the agency in Hong Kong for all these? You ask the agency for the refund, maybe it did not remit the money,” the officer said. He warned Bico she would lose in a trial.

But Chum also disregarded Lau’s attempt to deduct $279.20 from Bico’s pay for the two days that she allegedly took a day off.  Chum warned Lau she risked breaking the law for not paying for those two days.
The officer said that as each party was claiming a month’s salary of $4,520 in lieu of notice, they must go to trial if they insist on this claim. They will have to give proof as to who ended the contract, and wait for six to eight months.

But if they wanted to settle the case on the same day, they could do so in 15 minutes.
 
The officer called for a break in the hearing, and at the resumption after lunch, both Bico and Lau accepted the $1,770 proposed by Chum.
In her claim, Bico said Lau had forced her to sign a draft letter stating that she was leaving because she was unable to do her work properly. Bico said she gave the resignation letter at 10:35pm on Jul 3, stating she would leave on Aug 3.

But while she was asleep at 12:30 am on Jul 4, she was woken up by Lau, who ordered her to leave immediately. She said she begged to go in the morning but Lau called the agency. Lau then let her talk to a staff who told her, “Pack your things and go.”

The Filipina said she had to walk from the employer’s house in Ngau Tau Kok to the MTR station in Kowloon Bay at 1:45am, unaware that the station was already closed.

She then called 999 and, when police came, she asked if they could persuade Lau to let her stay in her flat until the morning. They however, said, they could do nothing if she refused.

She said she then begged the officers to take her to her agency, Grandview Employment Agency in Hung Hom, but they told her it was not part of their duty. 

As it was raining, she stayed under a footbridge, then went to a park and sat where there was a CCTV camera for her security.

At 6am, she went to the MTR and traveled to Whampoa where she stayed in the agency’s boarding house, spending her own money for her food. She sought help from the Consulate and the Mission for Migrant Workers, which put her up in its Jordan Road shelter.

In a conciliation meeting on Jul 15 at the Labour Relations Division in Kwun Tong, Lau wanted to give Bico just an air ticket to Cauayan, Isabela, saying it was very costly.

Bico, a mother of two from Roxas town, told The SUN this was her first work abroad, for which she paid A&W International in Manila PhP60,000 borrowed from her sister. The agency reportedly told her this was for her medical examination and video and training fees.

She plans to go the Philippine Overseas Labor Office to ask for a refund of the money she paid the agency, and if possible, have her employer put on the blacklist.
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Gabriela HK joins outcry against release of Filipino murderer and rapist

Posted on No comments

By The SUN

Women’s rights group Gabriela Hong Kong has joined the uproar over the planned release from jail of former mayor Antonio Sanchez who was sentenced to seven life sentences in 1995 for the gruesome murder and rape of a young student and the killing of her boyfriend.

The group urged the public to block Sanchez’s release, saying he remains a danger to society, especially to women.
 
Prison officials say Sanchez (in orange) is still in prison (Inquirer photo)
Sanchez, who was mayor of Calauan, Laguna when he raped Eileen Sarmenta and had her killed along with her boyfriend Alan Gomez in 1993, was reportedly about to be released for supposed good conduct while in jail.

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This is said to be in line with Republic Act No. 10592, which increased the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) accorded to inmates.

But Gabriela HK asked, “Did money talk in this case?”
The group pointed out that RA 10592 excludes criminals convicted of “heinous crimes” so Sanchez should not benefit from it.

It also decried that under President Duterte’s rule, high-profile criminals like Sanchez, Imelda Marcos, Bong Revilla, Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada were either released or exonerated while human rights activists and government critics are either harassed or locked up on trumped-up charges.
“We cannot allow this travesty of justice to happen,” said Gabriela HK. “What kind of justice do we have where the innocents are jailed and killed but the guilty get away with heinous crimes?”

Sanchez during his trial in 1995
The group pointed out that while in prison, Sanchez continued his criminal acts. He was found with a kilo of shabu or ice worth P1.5 million inside a statue of the Virgin Mary in his jail cell in 2010. Five years later, he was found to have kept illegal appliances in his cell, like an air conditioning unit and a flat-screen TV.

These, after his trial exposed that Sanchez had caused his henchmen to abduct Sarmenta, then raped her. Not content with this, Sanchez turned over the young girl to his bodyguards, who proceeded to gang-rape, then kill her. Gomez was tortured by the group before being killed, and his body left by the roadside.

After a 16-month trial, Sanchez was given seven life sentences, making a total of 360 years. Recent news reports say Sanchez was convicted of two other murder charges afterwards, making his sentence a total of nine life imprisonments.

Gabriela HK said prison authorities should not be allowed to violate the law by releasing Sanchez.
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Pinay DH, namatay sa atake sa puso

Posted on No comments
Ni Marites Palma


Hindi na inabutang buhay ng mga kaanak  si Imelda Dancel Bartolome, 50 taong gulang, ng Palatao, Naguilian Isabela, nang sumugod sila sa Princess Margaret Hospital sa Kowloon noong ika-22 ng Agosto matapos malamang dinala siya doon ng walang malay.

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Kilala si Imelda Bartolome sa pagiging masiyahin at mabait
Ayon kay Welfare Officer Virsie B. Tamayao, cardiac arrest o atake sa puso ang sanhi ng pagkamatay ni Bartolome, taliwas sa maling balita ng kumalat sa social media na nabilaukan ito sa luya bago nawalan ng malay.

Nangyari ang biglaang pagkamatay ni Bartolome habang nasa bakasyon ang kanyang mga amo, at tanging ang alaga lang nito na binata ang nasa bahay. Pitong taon na siyang naninilbihan sa mga amo na nakatira sa Mei Foo.
Napabalitang nawalan ng malay si Bartolome sa bahay ng amo noong umaga ng Miyerkules, ika-21 ng Agosto, at agad naman siyang kinuha ng ambulansya para dahil sa ospital. Pero kinabukasan ng hapon ay binawian na siya ng buhay.

Si Bartolome ay may asawa at dalawang anak  na naiwan sa Pilipinas.

Nakatakdang magharap ang kanyang amo at mga kaanak sa Philippine Overseas Labor Office para pag-usapan ang karampatang bayad para sa yumao, at ang mga detalye para sa pag-uwi ng kanyang bangkay.
Kabilang sa mga dadalo ang kanyang asawa na si Sabas V. Bueno, nakababatang kapatid na si Jojie D. Bartolome na isang seaman at ang tiyahin na si Basiliza Arellano.

Samantala, nabigla at nalungkot ang mga kaibigan ni Bartolome sa kanyang biglaang pagpanaw. Kilala ang yumao na palangiti at matulungin.
"Hindi ka tatanda kapag kasama mo si Mel, masayahin siyang tao at napakabait," sabi ni Reyma T. Marcos na naging kapitbahay  niya sa Mei Foo sa loob ng tatlong taon.

Wala pang naitakdang araw para sa pag-uwi ng mga labi ni Bartolome. 


 ==
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Still no new labatt for Hong Kong

Posted on 22 August 2019 No comments

By The SUN

More than a month since Labor Attache Jalilo dela Torre was booted out of his Hong Kong post and told to move to Riyadh, a replacement for him has yet to be named.

Reports coming out of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Manila suggest Secretary Silvestre Bello III is still choosing from four likely candidates.

These negate reports lawyer Fidel Macauyag, who currently heads the country’s labor office in Taichung, Taiwan, has already secured the post.

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Usudan says the DFA has to give consent to the appointment of a new labor attache
Both the Philippine Overseas Labor Office and the Consulate deny the report.

The Consulate’s acting head of post, Germinia Usudan, said the Department of Foreign Affairs has not been told a new labor attaché for Hong Kong has been named.

Usudan said that under the “one country team approach”, DOLE has to send an appointment memorandum naming the new appointee to the DFA for concurrence. Once the DFA approves, the Consulate is informed.

“Kapag in-appoint siya ni Secretary Bello, kino-convey siya sa DFA. Tapos, out of courtesy lang, pinapadala siya (the memo) sa post and then we say if we have objection or no objection,” Usudan said.

“Usually, pag wala namang information or any derogatory record, we say no objection. Pero we have not received (the memo), wala pa,” she said.
This was the same statement given earlier by Polo’s officer-in-charge Antonio Villafuerte.

“Wala pa pong request for acceptance,” he told The SUN in a text message.

Meanwhile, Dela Torre has returned to the Philippines and taken a month-long leave of absence. He is said to be still mulling whether to proceed to Riyadh or file for early retirement.
A last-minute bid to get him retained in Hong Kong was circulated and signed by big Filipino community organizations just before he left on July 31, which cited the current unrest in the city due to the massive anti-extradition bill protests as reason.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo reportedly agreed to take up the petition directly with President Rodrigo Duterte, but there has been no word so far on whether he has actually done this.

Apart from Macauyag, the others named as being in the running for the labor attaché post are: Ramon Pastrana, former labatt in Macau, and incumbents Nasser Munder in Jeddah and Cesar Chavez in the Manila Economic and Cultural Office Labor Center in Taipei.

Although Macauyag is widely reported to be favored by Bello, he may not have an easy time getting DFA’s approval because he has a pending case before the Ombudsman.

Macauyag was with the Office of the Prosecutor General before he was named as one of Dole’s eight new attaches in 2017. He was originally assigned to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, but after a few months was moved to Taichung, the second largest city of Taiwan.

A Dole insider said this was because officials assigned to Taiwan do not need a clearance from the Ombudsman as the Philippines does not have a diplomatic post there, only a trade and cultural office.

Previous to his OPG job, Macauyag was city prosecutor for nine years in Cagayan de Oro City where he was linked to a case fixing scandal.


 ==
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