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2 sick Pinays appear in court for overstaying

23 June 2017

By Vir B. Lumicao

An ailing former Filipina domestic worker who had overstayed her visa for over six years asked to be allowed to return home as soon as possible after pleading guilty in court on June 7 to a charge of breach of condition of stay

Teresita Sabino, 69 and single, made her plea before Shatin Magistrate Lam Tsz-Kan but was told to return on July 5 for sentencing pending  a medical report from the hospital that treated her.

Sabino surrendered to the Immigration office on May 19 after staying illegally in Hong Kong for six year and three months, the prosecutor said.

She went underground after being terminated by her employer in February 2011.

Sabino could hardly walk when she appeared in court, and her lawyer said she had been in hospital for treatment of abdominal pain. She was wiping her tears as the lawyer read the mitigation.

Another sick former domestic helper, Julie Madriaga, also appeared before Lam to face a charge of breach of condition of stay.

She was arrested on June 7 when she turned herself in to the court’s General Office for failing to attend a hearing on May 24. She said she was in hospital undergoing treatment for a bleeding uterus.

Reviewing her case, Lam noted that a warrant of arrest was issued against Madriaga and her bail money was confiscated after she skipped her hearing.

No plea was taken and prosecution asked for the next hearing to be set on Aug.1, as the Immigration Department has scheduled a July 18 screening of Madriaga’s non-refoulement claim.

Madriaga came to Hong Kong to work as a domestic helper on June 2, 2013, but her contract was terminated prematurely on Jan 13, 2014, so she decided to stay on.
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