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2 Filipinas chase dead employer's estate for $100k

06 April 2018

By Vir B. Lumicao

Two Filipina domestic workers whose elderly employer took her own life in January are claiming more than $100,000 against the estate of the deceased for unpaid wages and other money due them.

But during a hearing of their claim at the Labour Tribunal on Apr 6, no representative appeared on behalf of the deceased employer, Fung Yuk-mei.

Presiding officer Catherine Cheng told claimants Cleofe Quintella and Amalia Tongga their case cannot move forward unless they find out who the executor or administrator of Fung’s assets was.

The two were told to go to the Probate Registry to search for Fung’s name and find out if any application for grant of probate or letter of administration has been received by the office.

“If the deceased died with a will, there should be a particular person named as the executor. When one dies, the executor should apply for probate authority. When a person dies without a will, there should be a person who will administer the assets of the deceased,” Cheng said.

Quintella has a claim totaling $65,438 against the female employer while Tongga is claiming $41,039.

Quintella is seeking payment for three months of arrears in wages, long service pay, unused statutory holidays, annual leave and air ticket. Tongga is claiming one month’s unpaid wages, long service pay, unused statutory holidays and air ticket.

The two told Cheng the claims were computed by Labour officers who they approached after the employer was found dead in her bedroom on Jan. 29, with a pan of burnt charcoal beside her.

Tongga said Fung had no next of kin, as she had been living alone when she hired Quintella in 1982 and Tongga in 1985. The only relative she had was a niece, who allegedly told them she knew nothing about the deceased’s assets.

The helper told Cheng that police who investigated the suicide had collected cash and jewelry they found in the victim’s room, as well as a letter whose contents were not disclosed to them.

Cheng said all she could do was adjourn the case until such time that Quintella and Tongga could supply her with the name and address of the executor or administrator of Fung’s assets.

The two helpers went straight to the Probate Registry after the hearing but, when contacted by The SUN, said they could not find Fung’s name on the register.

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