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Tribunal throws out $150k claim as DH disappears

13 January 2017

After her initial victory at the Labour Tribunal, a Filipina domestic helper has apparently abandoned her claim for more than $150,000 as compensation from her employer.

Gemma Farro failed to show up at the Tribunal on Dec 15 for the continuation of the hearing of her claim for compensation for alleged illegal termination and unpaid wages.

Her employer Ng Fung-ping and her husband waited in the court, as did the Tagalog interpreter. But there was no sign of Farro.

Presiding Officer David Chan had ordered the maid to submit to the court on Dec 1 a complete medical report from the supervising doctor of the surgeons at Queen Elizabeth Hospital who operated on her brain tumor in August.

That report is crucial to Farro’s case, as it could confirm or belie a medical report issued by a doctor in the hospital saying a test on her blood had traces of the illegal drug “ice”.

Chan said this could be ground for Farro’s immediate dismissal from her job and criminal prosecution.

At noon, when the claimant did not appear, the court dismissed the interpreter. That signaled the end of Farro’s claim.

Except for the possible implications of the new medical report, Farro was already a winner in the first hearing on Nov 1, as Chan got Ng to pay her $7,702 including salary in lieu of one month’s notice, unpaid leave and air ticket to Manila.

Ng told the Tribunal she did not fire Farro but the maid insisted on staying in a friend’s house after leaving hospital following the surgery.

Farro allegedly resigned after being told she could stay out but without pay.

Her main claim of $150,000 for illegal termination would have been decided on by Chan in the Dec 15 hearing. – Vir B. Lumicao

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